Thursday, October 2, 2008


Not that I recommend it (bingeing, that is), but after spending two months on the road my kitchen is a haven and my stove my best friend. Cookies are the outcome of this sweet sweet union. It's a completely natural and beautiful act. Although, yesterday I baked a pear cake and met with minor disaster. The batter was sweet, subtle, smooth (too many s's, I know) and the pears perfectly ripe but stupid me pulled it from the oven too soon. Upon cutting into the cake, I was greeted by a gooey fist clenched at its centre. Opps. I nearly cried. It was to have been pure bliss. But I will bake the pear cake again. Oh yes, and I will eat it with whipping cream. And ice cream. Ha.

But back to the cookies, I found the recipe in my new favourite cookbook in the whole entire world, Perfect Light Desserts, by Nick Malgieri, and David Joachim. It is seriously the best dessert book I have chanced upon in some time. These men can bake. Mmmm, men who can bake... The cookies are both molasses laden and chocolaty. Go figure. Plus, wait for it, they contain 4 Tbsp of butter! It sounds like less when I put it in tablespoons. Somehow, a quarter cup sounds like more and I'm aiming for popularity, so tablespoons it is. I brought a plate of these circles of perfection into the high school where I was substitute teaching this week. I left them in the staffroom along with my card. Let's just say I've been getting a lot of calls. Although the one at 6:30 this morning was less than thrilling.

Anyhooo, here you have it:

Chocolate Spice Cookies

1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I used allspice)
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (good thing I've been churning out gallons)
1/4 cup molasses

Preheat the oven to 350.
Sift the dry ingredients.
In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together. Beat in the applesauce and molasses
Stir in the dry ingredients. Don't over mix! This is the low fat cookie cardinal rule.
Drop by spoonfuls onto prepared pans. Flatten the cookies with your hand or the back of a fork.

Now, the baking is slightly different. Position your racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Place one sheet on the top rack and one on the bottom. Bake the cookies for ten minutes, switching the positions of the sheets half way through baking. The cookies will be quite moist when done but they will firm up as they dry. Resist the temptation to keep baking them. This is the second cardinal rule of low fat cookies: always slightly under bake.


  1. Those cookies look great - I am going to put a library hold on that cookbook. I felt sad (really) reading about your pear cake. My problem is usually more in the over-baking department- a sure-fire way to make me MAD( at myself, and my dry cookies!)

  2. just made these today and they LOOKED like they turned out great. i did note that you kept the 1 cup sugar...gasp...i cut it down to 1/2 cup as i have sworn a personal oath never to exceed 1/2 cup sugar in a cookie recipe again.