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Hot From the Oven

October 22, 2009
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The cool air has arrived, and with it comes the lovely aroma of food cooking in the kitchen.

What better way to welcome in the fall than with a batch of freshly made cookies? And these recipes won't leave you second-guessing -- they're tasty and good for you (and the kids).

Almond-and-Honey Butter Cookies
(Dairy)

This thumbprint cookie uses honey as the only sweetener and tender ground almonds to replace much of the butter found in similar cookies. Just a touch of butter mixed with honey in the filling gives it a rich flavor without too much saturated fat.

1 cup whole almonds, toasted 
11/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. salt 
2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup honey, divided 
1/3 cup canola oil 
4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided 
1 large egg 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
3 Tbsps. toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

Process the whole almonds in a food processor or blender until finely ground (you will have about 11/4 cups ground).

Transfer the ground almonds to a large bowl.

Add the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt; stir until just combined.

Beat 2/3 cup honey, oil and 3 tablespoons butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well-combined. Add egg and vanilla; beat until blended.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir to combine. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Roll tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press the tip of your index finger in the center of each cookie to make an indentation.

Bake the cookies, in batches, until set and barely golden on the bottom, 13 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 30 minutes.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup honey and 1 tablespoon butter in a small bowl until creamy. Use about 1/4 teaspoon to fill each cookie and top with 2 sliced almonds, if desired.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Approximate nutrients per cookie: calories, 94; fat, 5 g; cholesterol, 8 mg; carbohydrates, 12 g; protein, 2 g; fiber, 1 g; sodium, 43 mg; potassium, 9 mg.

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies
(Pareve)

The deep flavors of molasses, pumpkin and spices make these wholesome cookies delicious without the addition of butter.

2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 
2/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. ground ginger 
1/4 tsp. ground allspice 
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin purée 
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
2 large eggs 
1/4 cup canola oil 
1/4 cup dark molasses 
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat three baking sheets with cooking spray.

Whisk the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, oil and molasses in a second bowl until well-combined. Stir the wet ingredients and raisins into the dry ingredients until no traces of dry ingredients remain.

Drop the batter by level tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies 11/2-inches apart.

Bake the cookies until firm to the touch and lightly golden on top, 10 to 12 minutes, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Makes 36 cookies.

Approximate nutrients per cookie: calories, 68; fat, 2 g; cholesterol, 12 mg; carbohydrates, 12 mg; protein, 1 g; fiber, 1 g; sodium, 67 mg; potassium, 76 mg.

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