Healthy (ish) Chocolate Cookies

>> Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hello Friends!
I have a recipe for you today. I know, it's been ages. But, I think that you will agree that this particular recipe was worth the wait!

Lately, I've been wondering if it's possible to make a cookie/treat that is more healthy than "normal" but that does not become oddly textured or overly dry because of substitutions like applesauce or black beans for oils/butter in recipes (I've also seen zuccinni puree, recipes that omit the fat entirely and other adventurous substitutions). The problem, as I see it, is that people tend to use regular recipes and just swap out ingredients, rather than creating new recipes that take into account the properties of the substituted ingredient. This little chocolate cookie was created from scratch (haha!) around its special ingredient (raisins!), which I think helps make the final product much better. Soooo, with that long-winded explanation, I give you my latest creation!

Sorry, one more note: You're going to want a food processor for this one. A blender might work, but it will be pretty difficult to get the puree out of the jar. It's really, really sticky. Really.

First, puree about 1-1.5 cups of regular raisins. You want to end up with about 3/4 cup of the raisin puree. More puree is okay, so if you are concerned, it's better to puree more than you need than not enough. This takes a while in the food processor. Keep pureeing until it sticks together in a ball.

Next, add 1/4 c. softened, unsalted butter to the food processor (this is the -ish part of the recipe. I've yet to successfully test a recipe for any kind of baked good that is completely fat free. Well, I've made some, but they were basically inedible. SO. Healthy-ish. Still a treat, but one you can feel much better about!) and process it with the raisins until it's all combined nicely.

Dump this mixture into a mixing bowl and add 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. packed brown sugar (if you want a cookie that is more "semi-sweet" chocolate flavor, you could probably do 1/4 c. white sugar. I wouldn't reduce the brown sugar, though. It's more moist and helps give the cookie its soft, chewy texture). Cream together your raisin/butter mixture and the sugars. Add 2 eggs (I have never tried these with egg substitute, but if you are feeling adventurous, give it a try and let me know how it goes) and keep creaming.

Add in the salt, baking powder and vanilla. Keep mixing. Mix, mix, mix. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl; that raisin puree is sticky and you want it to fully incorporate. Add in the cocoa. Mix, mix, mix.

This is the tricky part (not really)-adding in the flour. Depending on where you live, the humidity and all that jazz, this is going to take between 1 and 2 cups of flour. Honestly? I'd eyeball it. I put 1 cup in and mix it all up then add more in about 1/4c intervals until the consistency is right. It should be pretty stiff dough, but not dry. Sticky is good! (think of a thick brownie batter).

Now, you have a choice. You can bake them "as is" and have little chocolatey cookie deliciousness or you can say to yourself, "Self, I've ommitted most of the fat. I'm going to dump in some chocolate chips!" Whatever floats your boat. :-) But, chocolate chips pretty much end any illusion that these are "healthy" and they just become super tasty chocolate chip cookies.

Drop these onto a cookie sheet that you've sprayed with cooking spray (this is really important-the sugars and the fact that these have very little butter are a bad combo-they will stick to the tray if you don't spray it) and bake at 350 for about 7-9 minutes.  They are done when they are puffy and still soft to the touch. Better to underbake a bit than over bake. DO NOT OVERBAKE. The bottoms will become crusty and gross and burnt tasting. Let them cool and finish off for a couple minutes before transfering them to a cooling rack! They are soft, chewy (almost like a brownie) and yummy! Even my husband likes them!

The Recipe: 

Low-Fat Chewy Chocolate Cookies
3/4 C raisin puree
1/4 C unsalted butter
1-2 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C cocoa powder
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs

Optional: Chocolate chips

Cream puree, butter and sugars together. Add eggs. Mix well. Add cocoa, salt, baking soda, vanilla. Mix well.  Slowly add flour until the texture is stiff, but still sticky. Drop onto a greased (cooking spray) cookie sheet at bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes. Makes 36 cookies. Approx. 1.5g. fat and 72 calories per cookie


Morgan -Ing March 1, 2012 at 2:48 PM  

DANG! I don't have any raisins! SOOOOOON! Those look amazing!

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