Baking Low Fat Cookies

Baking great tasting low fat cookies is a delightfully challenging experiment. Understanding the essential roles of fats enables us to creatively identify ways to reduce it without compromising great taste and desirable texture.

Fats, in one form or another, preserve moisture in cookie dough by preventing starch granules, gluten proteins in flour and eggs, from absorbing all available liquid in cookie dough.

Butter is fat

When creamed with
sugar, fats entrap air cells to help leavening cookie dough.

Fats, especially butter, can move freely and easily throughout cookie dough, carrying with it the wonderful aroma of freshly baked homemade cookies .

Reducing fats will adversely affect the shelf life of homemade cookies. Fats effectively delay moisture loss that ultimately leads to staling.

Butter, margarine, vegetable shortening are solid fats at room temperature, and oils are liquid fat. Knowing how essential fats are in baking, it makes sense to1:

  • Make gradual changes. Don’t try to substitute all ingredients at once.

  • Replace high fat ingredients such as cream cheese, peanut butter, sweetened condense milk, etc. with their low fat versions.

  • Reduce the number of egg yolks.

  • Use cocoa powder instead of chocolate, and increase the amount of wet ingredients accordingly to balance.

  • Do not overmix and overbake cookie dough.

Please also check out low fat cookie recipes. They offer great ideas for cookie lovers with restricted fat intake.

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1 Rosendaal, Julie Van. 1st Edition. One Smart Cookie: All Your Favorite Cookies, Squares, Brownies and Biscotti…With Less Fat! Rodale Inc. 2000.