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Healthy Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Nearly everyone loves a good oatmeal cookie, and oats are a healthful ingredient: they are a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E and fiber. Reducing the fat while keeping the cookies crisp is an artful balancing act. Using apple butter is the secret in this recipe, along with an egg white. For a softer cookie, do not flatten the dough as much before baking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats 
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda  
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil 
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar  
  • 1 egg white 
  • 1/3 cup apple butter 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract  
  • 2/3 cup raisins 

Directions:

Position racks in the upper third and the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets, preferably insulated sheets, with parchment paper.

In a bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt until well mixed. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and canola oil until blended. Add the brown sugar and beat with the spoon until the mixture is fluffy and clings together, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg white, apple butter, vanilla and raisins. The mixture may look slightly curdled. Add the dry ingredients and mix until a sticky dough forms.

Using 2 spoons, drop walnut-size balls of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. For rustic cookies, dip the bottom of a glass in cold water and flatten each ball until it is 1/4 inch thick. For a more elegant shape, moisten your fingers, then flatten each cookie while smoothing the sides, making neat 2-inch rounds.

Bake the cookies for 7 minutes, then switch the position of the pans between the racks and rotate each pan 180 degrees. Continue to bake the cookies until they are cinnamon brown, about 8 minutes more. Remove from the oven and, using a wide spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to wire racks. Let cool completely. The cookies will crisp as they cool. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Makes 40 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).