If you have already experimented with baking fat-free cookies, you probably know that it is difficult, if not impossible, to produce a crispy cookie once you remove the oil, butter, or margarine from the recipe. In my experience, unless there is peanut butter in the cookie dough, which adds a little fat, most recipe conversions yield a very tasty, but very soft and cake-like cookie. This isn't bad. Not at all! But, if you have your heart set on a crispy cookie, this might not be the place to look. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a way to have your dessert and eat it oil-free, you are in the right place!
My husband requested I try the "Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies" (page 431) as my first go at the dessert section in this book. I saw immediately that I would have to change two of the ingredients to keep this whole-grain and oil-free. For the all-purpose (white) flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour. I used a combination of baby food prunes and apple sauce, to equal the ½ cup margarine called for. Because I used no oil in the dough, I lined my cookie sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Because I used whole wheat flour and prune puree, the cookies are probably a bit darker than they would have been if prepared as directed.
As predicted, these cookies came out very soft and moist, only slightly chewy, and oh so delicious! I included the optional dried cranberries since I had them on hand from the Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries (see review above), a pretty and tasty addition. I decided to do a fat gram comparison between the recipe as written and how I prepared it, using FitDay to do the calculations. The recipe as written was to yield about 2 dozen cookies, and the fat would come from the margarine and walnuts. The recipe as I prepared it yielded 3 dozen cookies, and omitted the margarine. The fat grams, when prepared as written, come to 4.7 grams per cookie. The fat grams as I prepared this recipe come to 2.2 grams per cookie. And who can eat just one, anyway?