Molasses-Walnut Cookies
November, 2006

Makes 3 dozen / A nice dessert or sweet breakfast treat, these cakelike cookies taste fabulous dunked in a French roast or hickory coffee. Preparation tips: Don't overstir the batter—the cookies will become too dense. For a different glaze taste, substitute coffee or rum for the milk.

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup pumpkin purée
4 tablespoons molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Glaze (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1-2 tablespoons nonfat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Place a paper towel in a colander. Set applesauce on paper towel and top with a second paper towel. Let sit for 5 minutes until liquid has drained. Scoop applesauce off paper towels and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine sugars and butter. Blend together for 5 minutes. Add drained applesauce, pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract. Beat on low until thoroughly combined. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Stir in walnuts, candied ginger, and coconut.
3. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Measure dough 1 tablespoon at a time; with floured hands, roll it between your palms and set on baking sheet (12 cookies per batch). Reflour hands and flatten each cookie with your palm. If you're not adding the glaze, sprinkle cookies with natural cane sugar. Bake for 16 minutes until golden. Remove from sheet and cool on wire rack.
4. To make glaze: Blend powdered sugar, maple syrup, butter, and milk until smooth. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Spread a small dollop on top of cooled cookies.

PER SERVING (1 cookie): 96 cal, 32% fat cal, 4g fat, 2g sat fat, 11mg chol, 1g protein, 15g carb, 1g fiber, 73mg sodium