It was my turn to host my daughter’s playgroup this week, and the kids expect themselves some cookies. Good cookies. So in addition to the zucchini bread (recipe in my Skinny Dish book), hummus plate with Baked Lentil Chips, cherry tomatoes, and carrot discs, strawberry cucumber water (a pitcher of filtered water with strawberry and cucumber slices), sparkling berry lemonade, and white wine on the snack table, I invented a new sugar cookie with help from my friend Betty Crocker.
I had some sugar cookie mix in the pantry which called for 1 stick of softened butter (1/2 cup) and 1 egg. Instead, I added 1 Tbsp softened Earth Balance margarine, 3 Tbsp flaxseed meal gelled with 1/2 cup warm filtered water, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1/4 tsp pure almond extract, and sprinkles. Sure they’re still sugar cookies, but they’ve also got vision-enhancing and cancer-kicking beta-carotene, omega-3 fat- and fiber-rich flaxseed meal, and they’re much lower in fat than Betty intended them to be. And with the almond zing (without the almond allergen) and sprinkles, there’s no need for frosting.
Crazy Carrot Sugar Cookies
Makes 28 good-sized cookies
3 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal (such as Bob’s Red Mill) mixed with 1/2 cup warm filtered water for 5 minutes until a gel forms
1 pkg (17.5-oz) Sugar Cookie Mix (such as Betty Crocker’s)
1 Tbsp softened or melted Earth Balance margarine
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 tsp pure almond extract (I repeat, this does not contain almonds for the allergenics)
sprinkles (optional, black sprinkles or poppy seeds for Crazy Halloween Cookies)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together (except sprinkles) in a bowl and drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Top with sprinkles, if using. Bake for 12-14 minutes until very lightly browned. Cool and chow!
Nutrition info per cookie: 79 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 58 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 1 g protein, 10% vitamin A, 2% iron.
Were they good? Were the kids fooled? Lemme just say that the plate of 28 was just crumbs after the 2-hour playgroup, and my 3 yr-old son started crying because he only got one. One 6-yr-old boy said “What are these orange things in here?” I was honest, and he responded with “Well, I can see the carrots, but I can’t taste them. They’re actually good!”