Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Honey Balls

The air is cool, the trees are bright with autumn colors, apples are still abundant and pumpkins are on the doorstep, all of which makes me crave the earthy, rich flavors of the season and are the inspiration behind this soft, flavorful, nutritious cookie. The flaxseed meal provides a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids, as much as 170 mg per cookie! It also gives it a nutty flavor which pairs so well with the grated apple. The light coating of pumpkin pie spiced sugar really makes this the perfect cookie for an autumn day, but the real treat is that it's only about 7 carbs each!

Apple Honey Balls
(Makes 28 cookies)

¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
¼ cup flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1/3 cup zero trans-fat buttery spread (I use Smart Balance)
¾ cup Splenda granular
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup grated Granny Smith apple (peeled and cored)
1½ teaspoons lemon juice

Topping Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. If desired, line cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flours, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and mace. Stir with a fork to break up any clumps in the almond flour; set aside. Grate the apple into a small bowl and toss with the lemon juice; set aside.

3. Prepare the topping by placing the sugar in a small bowl with the 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, stir to combine; set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the buttery spread, Splenda and honey with a handheld or standing mixer. Add egg and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. With a wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients all at once and stir until well combined. Fold in the grated apple. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonful into the sugar-spice topping mixture (or a level small cookie scoop). Roll just one side in the sugar-spice mixture and place on cookie sheet with the topping mixture side up. (Tip: If dough is too soft, place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes and it will be easier to handle.)

5. Bake for 12-13 minutes until bottom begins to brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information per cookie: 70 calories, 6.9 g carbohydrate, 4.2 g total fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 42.5 mg sodium, 0.8 g fiber, 1.6 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

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