The Naughty List Doesn't Have to Include Your Diet

As much as I dislike the thought, I have resolved this holiday season to make at least one dessert that I can eat without guilt. That way I can also have some of my full fat, full sugar delights without a qualm, because hey, those other things were low-fat! It's all about the rationalization, and in that spirit I present several healthier recipes from the St. Louis County Library collection that not only will excuse that late night dessert plate on Christmas Eve, but also will taste fabulous. These two recipes you see below I even made myself, to make sure of just that.

The "Spiced Pumpkin Cookies" on page 305 were only 68 calories each if you use brown sugar as I did, or you can use Splenda Sugar for Baking and cut out six calories. Among the complete nutritional information this cookbook provides, I found that they also have 15% of your daily serving of Vitamin A. If you don't happen to have whole wheat pastry flour, substitute 1/3 cup whole wheat flour and 1/3 cup cake flour, which I did and they turned out just fine. I also used Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon both because it was easier and because I love the flavor. Don't be afraid to use the raisins the recipe calls for, they do work really well! If you're planning on making this cookie to share with a large group and you don't want tiny cookies, make a double batch, as this recipe doesn't make a ton of batter.

"The best light recipe: a best recipe classic" by the editors of Cook's illustrated
A holiday staple in my house is the peanut butter cookie, so I was curious to see if a lighter but still delicious version existed. So I tried out the recipe on page 327 of this book, and was not disappointed. These peanut butter cookies taste exactly like the other kind, only with twenty less calories and 3.5 grams less fat. The dough was a little crumbly, but it came together fine when rolling it into balls before putting it on the cookie sheet. I made fairly small cookies for a good peanut butter punch but even less calories, and managed to squeeze about thirty-two cookies from this recipe. This book is highly recommended for holiday baking or baking in general, because not only are the recipes better for you, they've been thoroughly tested so you know they'll taste great.

--Lindsay T., Jamestown Bluffs



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