Last week the boys had a couple of friends over, one of whom is required to be on a very low-fat diet due to a medical condition. I like to bake cookies whenever kids come over and most cookies are heavily laden with butter (which is a big part of why they are so delicious). My oldest had been telling his friends about my cookies and I didn’t want to skip making them just because there were dietary constraints. I have experience baking gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and even completely vegan, so I didn’t think that it would be too hard to find something fat-free (it is actually a lot harder than I thought). I have been researching recipes for Mézes Puszi (Hungarian honey kisses) so I knew that there were some ginger cookie recipes that called for egg whites and applesauce in place of butter and full eggs, but I had never actually tried any of them. I finally settled on an adaptation of David Lebovitz’s recipe for Nonfat ginger cookies (I am a huge, huge fan of David Lebovitz ever since I read his book, The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City). All of the kids loved them and no one had to feel left out because of dietary restrictions. David was impressed, asking where I got the awesome recipe for Mézes Puszi. While it isn’t an authentic Hungarian recipe, it has certainly pleased my Hungarian friends and family. These cookies are best after a day or two because it allows the flavors to meld. These cookies are also much more like gingerbread than gingersnaps (they’re more cakey).
Fat-Free Ginger Cookies (Almost Mézes Puszi)
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup plain applesauce
- 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cinnamon Sugar for rolling (recipe follows)
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses. Beat at medium speed for five minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the two large egg whites, beating for an additional minute.
- In another medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper and salt and stir to combine.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until combines.
- Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking sheets.
- Roll dough into walnut sized balls (a heaped tablespoon works well) and roll in cinnamon sugar.
- Place sugar covered dough on cookie sheets, spacing evenly and leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
- Bake for 13 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
- Granulated Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Mix desired amount of sugar with cinnamon (I like a ratio of ½ – 1 teaspoon cinnamon to 1 cup sugar).
- Store in an airtight container.