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Make Over Your Favorite Holiday Treat

Try these lighter versions of classic goodies

Russian Tea Cakes continued...

These powdered-sugar cookies end up on many a holiday cookie platter and are one of my personal favorites. Here's a light rendition I love just as much.

1 cup no- or low-trans fat margarine with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon (such as Land O' Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste Spread or Take Control)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Splenda
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup powdered sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat margarine and vanilla until smooth.
  • In a 4-cup measure, whisk 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar, Splenda, and both flours together, then beat into the butter mixture until just blended.
  • On low speed, beat in the chopped walnuts.
  • Use a cookie scoop (1/8 cup) to place the dough on an ungreased nonstick cookie sheet or jellyroll pan, 2 inches apart. Using your fingers, press down on the dough balls to flatten to 1/2-inch thickness.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, or until starting to lightly brown. Let cool, then roll in the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar.

Yield: 20 large (bakery-size) cookies

Per cookie: 144 calories, 3 g protein, 12.5 g carbohydrate, 9 g fat (1.3 g saturated fat, 2.2 g monounsaturated fat, 4.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 1.1 g fiber, 60 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 56%

Thumbprint Cookies

Journal as: 2 pieces of "cookie, brownie"

You can fill these fun, festive cookies with an assortment of jam or preserves.

1/2 cup no- or low-trans fat margarine with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon (such as Land O' Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste Spread or Take Control)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Splenda
1 large egg yolk (or substitute 2 tablespoons egg substitute)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds
1/3 cup less-sugar preserves (or lemon curd)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat the margarine with sugar and Splenda on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  • Add egg yolk or egg substitute and vanilla and almond extracts; beat well.
  • In a 4-cup measure, whisk the flours and salt together. Beat flour mixture into the margarine mixture gradually on low speed, just until combined.
  • Put almonds in a small food processor and process until nicely ground. Beat into cookie dough mixture on low speed, just to combine.
  • Use a cookie scoop (1/8 cup) to put dough on nonstick cookie sheet or jellyroll pan, about 2 inches apart (line with parchment paper if desired). Make a deep indentation in the center of each ball with your thumb.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven. Fill center of each cookie with a slightly heaping 1-teaspoon measure of jam (if necessary, press down center of cookies again before filling with jam). Bake about 8 minutes more or until golden brown. Place cookies on wire rack to cool.

Yield: About 15 large (bakery size) cookies

Per cookie: 136 calories, 2.5 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (1.2 g saturated fat, 3 g monounsaturated fat, 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 1.3 g fiber, 78 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 49%.

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