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HOLIDAY SWEETS | LOW-FAT COOKING

Corny Cookies

December 22, 1996|DONNA DEANE | TIMES TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR

"Great texture!" was the first comment tasters made when they tried these cookies in the Times Test Kitchen. Texture is always a big issue in low-fat cookies, because fat is what makes cookies crisp; when you reduce the fat, the result is often tough.

The next thing people said was, "What's in them?" The answer is cornmeal--for the slightly crunchy texture--and Chinese five-spice powder, which adds a delicate anise flavor.

The cookies are topped with the jelly of your choice. I found ginger preserves and lingonberry jelly work well, as does raspberry. Just before serving, dust the cookies with a little powdered sugar.

CORNMEAL FIVE-SPICE COOKIES

1 cup yellow cornmeal, plus extra for dusting

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup nonfat egg substitute

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nonstick cooking spray

3/4 cup ginger or lingonberry preserves

Powdered sugar

Mix together cornmeal, flour, five-spice powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg substitute until well blended. Beat in cornmeal-flour mixture just until mixed.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons cornmeal over baking sheet to lightly coat. Spoon cookie dough by heaping teaspoons onto baking sheets. Make indentation with finger in center of each cookie. Spoon 1 teaspoon jelly into indentation. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned around edges, 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove to wire rack to cool. Lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Each cookie contains about:

78 calories; 53 mg sodium; 5 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.11 gram fiber.

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