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Recipes April 4, 2014

Oatmeal Walnut Crisps

It is hard to imagine the holidays without cookies! Sadly, it is hard to find healthy options in the cookie jar. But, here is an exception. These delicate, thin cookies are made with whole grains, contain minimal saturated fat, and (for a cookie) are relatively low in calories—as long as stop after one or two. This simple batter is versatile. Use the recipe as a base and add variety to your holiday treats by trying the variations below. 

Position rack in center of the oven; preheat to 400ºF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or use a Silpat nonstick baking liner).

Whisk oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk egg whites, sugar, oil, and vanilla in large bowl. Add oat mixture; mix with rubber spatula until blended. Stir in walnuts.

Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls, spacing mounds 4 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Use the back of a spoon to spread batter into 2- to 2 ½-inch rounds. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges are just starting to turn golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not over bake. Immediately, slide a metal spatula under each cookie to loosen, then transfer to wire rack to cool. Continue until all the batter is used. Make sure that baking sheets are cool before spooning batter onto them.

Store cookies in an airtight container. If cookies become soft, you can re-crisp them in a 350ºF-oven for 5 to 8 minutes.

If desired, drizzle cookies with chocolate. Place in refrigerator for a few minutes to set the chocolate.

Yield: about 30 cookies.

Per serving: Calories: 45 (50 with chocolate drizzle). Total fat: 3 grams (3.5 grams with chocolate drizzle). Saturated fat: 0 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 15 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 5 grams. Fiber: 0 grams. Protein: 1 gram.

Variations:

- Substitute 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest for cinnamon.
- Substitute 4 tsp minced crystallized ginger for cinnamon.
- Substitute finely chopped almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans for walnuts.

Tip: To make larger cookies with a chewy texture, drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Do not spread batter. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Yield: about 12 cookies. Per serving: Calories: 120 (130 with chocolate drizzle). Total fat: 7 grams (8 grams with chocolate drizzle). Saturated fat: 0.5 grams (1 gram with chocolate drizzle). Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 45 milligrams. Carbohydrates: 11 grams (13 grams with chocolate drizzle): Fiber: 1 gram. Protein: 2 grams.

Tip: What about those yolks? To eliminate waste, use liquid egg whites, available the refrigerated egg case in supermarkets, or reconstituted dried egg whites.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup packed ligh brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped fine
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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