Reduced-Fat Apricot Cookie Buttons
1/4 cup drained, unsweetened applesauce (from 6 tablespoons, undrained)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, in a small bowl; whisked together
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, spread out on a dinner plate
Small jar apricot preserves
Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl deep enough to keep the bottom of the strainer from touching the bottom of the bowl and add the applesauce. Set aside.
Place oven racks in the lower-middle and upper-middle positions and preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Very lightly, spray two cookie sheets or inverted jelly roll pans with butter-flavored vegetable oil. Set aside.
Add the flour and salt to a medium mixing bowl and with a wire whisk stir and whisk together until combined. Set aside.
Add the butter to a mixer’s bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add the sugar; mix 3 minutes. Measure and add the drained applesauce; mix 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk; mix 20 seconds or until incorporated. Add the vanilla; mix 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer’s stand, add the flour mixture and with a large rubber spatula, stir and fold until the flour combines with the butter mixture.
Form a rounded teaspoon of dough into a ball, dip into the egg white, lightly coat with nuts, place on prepared baking sheet and make a deep dent in the center; repeat with the remaining dough, placing 18 evenly spaced on each sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove to a cooling rack and, while warm; fill each center with 1/2-teaspoon apricot preserves. Cool completely.
Makes three dozen.
Cook’s note: To store, place wax paper between each layer.
Nutrition values per cookie: 54 calories (49 percent from fat), 2.9 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat), 6.3 g carbohydrates, trace of fiber, 0.9 g protein, 9 mg cholesterol, 34 mg sodium.