Monday, December 13, 2010

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies are one of my favorites for a holiday cookie!

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com

I can go months and months without making cookies for most of the year, but when it's December I feel that cookie-making urge come upon me.  For the last few holiday seasons I've been experimenting with low-sugar and whole-wheat cookie recipes to get cookies that are at least somewhat South Beach Diet friendly. I'm not really a baker, but I am getting better at looking at a recipe and figuring out how to adapt it.  This recipe for Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies was adapted from a cookie in the Bob's Red Mill Baking Book, and it already used whole wheat flour.   I subbed an approved sweetener for sugar and used trans-fat free margarine instead of butter to make these cookies more diet friendly.  I also switched out some of the flour for almond flour for a slightly different texture and a more nutritious cookie.

This is not an ultra-sweet tasting cookie, but if you like molasses, I'm betting you'll like them.  Of course, if you're not on a diet, go ahead and make them with sugar and butter if you prefer.  I did try one version of this recipe with Blackstrap Molasses, which is more nutritious and lower in sugar than regular molasses.  I actually loved the Blackstrap Molasses cookies, but I decided most people would probably prefer the milder-flavored regular molasses in this.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
Use a hand beater to cream together the margarine (or butter) and Stevia, Splenda or sugar.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
In a small bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground allspice.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
Add half the flour mixture and half the molasses to the bowl and beat at low speed until it's all combined.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
Then add the other half the flour mixture and the other half of the molasses and beat again until combined.  (This is NOT the same photo as the one above, but I'm confused about why the bowl doesn't look that much fuller.  Just trust me on this one.)

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
Mold the dough into a ball, cover with cling wrap, and refrigerate one hour.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
The original recipe called for the cookies to be rolled out with a rolling pin.  I did that with my Blackstrap Molasses version and thought it was rather a pain.  This time I used my (new!) cookie scoop to scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
Then I used a flat metal turner to smash the cookies (using another turner to scrape them off.)  I thought this was easier than rolling them out, although it produced slightly more "rustic" looking cookies.  If you like rolling, go ahead and roll them.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com
Bake cookies about 14 -16 minutes.  (Shorter time will produce chewier cookies and longer time will produce crispier cookies.)  Let cool for about 20-30 minutes.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies
(Makes about 20 medium-sized cookies, adapted from Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies in the Bob's Red Mill Baking Book.)

Ingredients:
6 T margarine or butter (use trans-fat free margarine for the South Beach diet)
4 T Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener, Splenda, or sugar (use Stevia or Splenda for the South Beach Diet)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup almond flour (I use Honeyville Almond flour, which is made in Utah)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I use Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon from The Spice House)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/3 cup molasses

Instructions:
Put the margarine (or butter) and Splenda (or sugar) into a medium-sized plastic bowl and use hand beater to beat until the mixture is creamed together.  (You can use a stand mixer, but I thought it was easier with a hand beater for this small amount.) 
In a smaller bowl, combine white whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and ground allspice.  Add half the flour mixture to the bowl with the margarine/Splenda mixture, along with half the molasses, and beat at low speed until fully combined.  Then add the other half of the flour mixture and other half of the molasses and beat again.  When dough is all combined, mold it into a ball, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and refrigerate for 40-60 minutes, or longer if you get distracted. 

When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper (or oil it if you prefer.)

The original recipe called for cookies to be rolled out with a rolling pin and cut with cookie cutters, so if you want shapes other than circles you can definitely do that.  I used a cookie scoop to scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough, then used a flat metal turner to smash the cookies (using another turner to scrape them off.)  Make cookies about 3/8 inch thick.

Bake cookies for 14-16 minutes, or until they're just starting to look golden on the edges.  (Shorter baking time will make chewier cookies and longer baking time will make crispier cookies.)  Let cookies cool 20-30 minutes.

I have lots of cookies left which I'm planning to freeze, and I can't think of any reason why they won't freeze well.


South Beach Suggestions: 
Made with whole grain flour, almond flour, margarine, and Splenda,these cookies would be approved for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.  The molasses has about 78  grams of sugar (slightly less for Blackstrap Molasses) so these are not a sugar-free cookies, and they're calorie dense, so make them a "once-in-a-while-treat" and use portion control if you're actively trying to lose weight.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Bloggers Make Cookies with Molasses:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Gluten-Free Gingersnap Star Cookies from Gluten Free Goddess
Sweet Potato Molasses Cookies from White on Rice Couple
Joe Froggers New England Molasses Cookies from Andrea Meyers
Sparkling Chewy Molasses Cookies from Not Martha
Molasses Cookie Balls from Green Lite Bites
Molasses Ginger Spice Cookies from Farmgirl Fare
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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6 comments:

  1. Hey there! Yum. I have a gluten free recipe for molasses cookies that I'll have to whip up, now that I saw this one!

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  2. Kalyn, anything sugar-free or low sugar makes me excited. I love these cookies because of that!

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  3. Your low sugar cookies always look so delicious! I love the almond infusion in these...definitely Christmas-worthy.

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  4. I found your blog while searching for low GI resources on the web and much say I appreciate your South Beach approach. However I cannot agree that those cookies are low sugar. Molasses is a sugar that scores pretty high on the GI scale.

    I do like your other low/no sugar flour-less cookies though!

    Cheers,
    Angelika

    ReplyDelete
  5. Angelika, maybe so, but there is a minimal amount of molasses compared to the other ingredients, so the total amount is low. There is 78 grams of sugar for 20 cookies, which comes out to just under 4 grams of sugar per cookie. That's certainly not very high.

    I also added almond flour to make the GI lower than cookies with all whole wheat flour.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your cookies look very tasty! Great recipe for the holiday season.

    ReplyDelete

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