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Low Fat Biscuits

Posted 02/01/2009 by Anna Hollisey

Traditional Passover Cookies

If you’re craving sweet treats on your diet, look no further. We’ve got some delicious low-fat biscuit recipes for you to try with your family.

English Macaroons

Don’t confuse them with French Macarons: although both recipes are traditionally made with nuts lightened with egg white, the two biscuits couldn’t be more different. French Macarons are elegant, piped ‘biscuits’ which are usually filled with Buttercream. They’ve reached legendary status in France, with Parisian bakers competing to create the most compelling variations. From espresso & blackberry to chocolate & pistachio, contemporary Macarons come in a rainbow of colours. However, Macarons are notoriously fiddly to make, and for this reason they’re usually left to professional bakers. The English Macaroon is a more homely, achievable biscuit – it’s just as low-fat and (we think) equally delicious!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 100g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 125g (4½ oz) desiccated coconut
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 170ºC (150ºC Fan Oven / 325 F / Gas Mark 3). Let the eggs come to room temperature. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and set aside.

Separate the eggs and put the whites into a big, roomy bowl. Use an electric whisk (or hand whisk) to whip them until they are forming soft peaks when you lift the whisk out. This will take a couple of minutes with an electric whisk or about 10 minutes by hand.

Add half of the sugar and whisk to incorporate it, then add the remaining sugar and coconut and fold it in with a metal spoon. Drizzle in the vanilla and fold gently. Use a tablespoon to drop mounds onto the baking paper.

At this point, a nice variation is to make an indent in the top of each Macaroon, and then spoon in a little jam when they come out of the oven. Whether you make an indent or not, bake the macaroons for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Cool on a wire rack – they’re nice just warm.

Spiced Crisp Cookies

These cookies are an adaptation of recipes for Moravian Crisps, a traditional cookie from Eastern Europe. They’re spiced with ginger and cinnamon – you could also add orange zest for a little spritz of citrus.

You’ll Need:

  • 60g (2½ oz) vegetable shortening (TREX)
  • 125g (4½ oz) soft brown sugar
  • 6tbsp molasses
  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 170ºC (150ºC Fan Oven / 325 F / Gas Mark 3) and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. In a pan, melt the shortening, sugar and molasses until smooth. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the shortening mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon and then use your hands to pat the dough into a round. Wrap in clingfilm and put into the fridge for half an hour to rest and cool.

Lightly flour a board and roll out the dough as thinly as you can (1-2mm). Cut into rounds or crescents and use a fish slice or spatula to carefully transfer them to the baking sheets; re-roll the scraps and cut more shapes. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on the trays for a minute before using the fish slice to transfer the biscuits to wire racks. They will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight tin.

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