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Gingerbread Christmas Trees


1/4 cup Land O Lakes Light Butter (5.5 grams fat per tablespoon) or other light butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 egg whites
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
cooking spray if not using non-stick cookie sheets
1 recipe White Icing
optional colored sugar or sprinkles


1. In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together, then beat until light. Add molasses and egg whites, beating to blend all ingredients together. Set aside.

2. Stir flour together in a separate bowl with malted milk powder, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until just blended. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to overnight. The longer the dough is refrigerated, the easier it is to handle.

3. Preheat oven to 325º F. Working with a third of the dough at a time, roll out onto a lightly floured board or pastry cloth to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut out cookies with floured 3 – 4 inch Christmas Tree cutters and transfer cookies to baking sheets lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake cookies until lightly browned around edges and barely firm when touched (about 10 minutes). After removing from oven, allow cookies to cool a few minutes before transferring to wire racks. When completely cooled, decorate with White Icing piped from a pastry bag or paper cone.

Yield: 30 to 32 cookies each at approximately 85 calories with icing; 1 gram total fat; 0.5 gram saturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 18 grams carbohydrate; 0 dietary fiber; 1.5 grams protein; 60 milligrams sodium.

Compare traditional recipe at 120 calories and 5.5 grams total fat vs. 85 calories and 0.5 gram total fat per cookie

WHITE ICING

  • 1 16-ounce package confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder*
  • 1/3 cup warm water

    *Meringue powder is available at specialty stores wherever baking and cake decorating supplies are sold.

    Beat sugar with meringue powder and water on until thick and white, about 7 minutes. Icing may be tinted with food coloring at this point. Keep icing covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. Use small metal icing spatula, paint brushes and/ or decorating bag with small writing tips. (Thin frosting with a little warm water to obtain the right spreading or piping consistency.)

    Yield: about 3 cup at approximately 18 calories per teaspoon; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 4.5 grams carbohydrate; 0 dietary fiber; 2 milligrams sodium.

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