Chewy Ginger Cookies


Christmas is a tough time to stick to the low-fat rule of the low-acid diet. Typical cookies are full of butter, so I’m trying to stick to only a couple per party. But if you like ginger, these nearly fat-free cookies are a good option.

These cookies aren’t oozing with butter, but they are deliciously sweet and spicy. I made them large and dusted them with cinnamon-sugar so they’d feel like a treat you could buy at a deli. These are pretty enough to wrap up for a holiday gift or share at a cookie exchange.

I don’t bake many desserts, so I learned a lot from this recipe. First, chilling the dough is the difference between dusting the cookies and throwing globs of Gak into a bowl of sugar. Second, using room-temperature eggs makes a magic emulsion happen with the applesauce and sugar. You can soak an egg in warm water for 10 minutes if you didn’t remember to take it out of the fridge early.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup mild molasses
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar + a pinch of cinnamon (for dusting)



  1. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses for 5 minutes on medium speed. Stop the mixer every few minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. After 5 minutes, add the egg and continue to beat for 1 minute.
  3. Set the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until they are totally incorporated. Turn up the speed to medium and mix for 1 minute more, or until the dough is all stuck in the beaters. The dough will be very sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until the dough is firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
  5. While the dough is chilling, set the oven to 350 degrees with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small bowl, mix the granulated sugar with a pinch of cinnamon.
  6. Working quickly before the dough cools, use two spoons to shape the dough into rough balls of about a tablespoon each. Drop each ball into the sugar and roll until covered. IMG_4925
  7. Set the balls of dough a few inches apart on the baking sheets, and smash them down a bit with your fingers. You should be able to fit all of the cookies on the sheets, but if not, return any unused dough to the refrigerator while the first batch bakes. IMG_4926
  8. Bake until the cookies are barely set in the centers, 13 minutes. Rotate the sheets halfway through baking for even cooking. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes about 24 cookies. Active time 35 minutes; total time 50 minutes plus chilling. Adapted from


2 responses

    • Not at all — it’s a substitute for oil or butter. In breads and muffins you can’t tell the difference. In cookies you can tell they are low fat, but they are still moist!

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