I’m looking for a good fat substitute. How do you lower the fat in cookies? I have substituted applesauce for butter or margarine in breads and cakes, but don’t know how to handle cookies.
Because fat adds moisture, flavor, and texture to cookies, you may not be able to remove all of it and still get grandma’s traditional linzer cookies. However, you can experiment with your cookie heirlooms by gradually decreasing the amount of fat called for by the recipes. Each time you make cookies, cut back a little more on the butter or shortening until you end up with a cookie that you (and the family) find acceptable.
You’ll still need to add some kind of fat substitute to the recipe though — unless you want cookies that taste like hockey pucks. Here are some ideas: Pureed fruit can sometimes work in cookies — try using canned pumpkin as a fat substitute, which will not only add moistness and flavor to the cookies, but also some vitamin A. Another good baking substitute is baby food 100% prunes. Try substituting two egg whites for one whole egg in your recipes to remove all the fat (and cholesterol) in the egg.
Speaking of egg whites, my favorite low-fat cookies are meringues — made from egg whites and sugar (look for a recipe in most any classic cookie cookbook). These non-fat puffs of air are light and sweet and satisfy my never-ending sweet tooth. Chocoholics may want to add some cocoa or a small number of mini chocolate chips to the recipe.