Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Recipe Makeover: Yummy Holiday Cookies

I took the following recipe (which is scrumptious in its own right) and made a few substitutions to make some reasonably healthy cookies that everyone in the family loved.

First off, I substituted coconut oil for half the butter. Since the cookies are coconut anyways, I think it actually enhances the taste. I doubled the eggs (because I often do when I use more whole-grain flours - it helps bind them together more and helps them rise more). For 1/4 cup of the flour, I substituted flax seed meal, and used whole-grain flour (Spelt/Wheat mix) for the rest. I upped the coconut from 1 1/2 cups to 2 1/4 cup. And I substituted xylitol for half the sugar.

Here's the original:

Coconut-Cranberry Chews


About 1½ cups (¾ lb.) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups dried cranberries
1½ cups sweetened flaked dried coconut


1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1½ cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg, until well blended.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes (see notes). Mix in cranberries and coconut.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12" x 15" baking sheets.

4. Bake in a 350°F regular or convection oven until cookie edges just begin to brown, 11 to 15 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely.

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