I've mentioned before on this blog that diabetes runs in my family which isn't necessarily ideal when you love to bake as much as I do. Inevitably this question always seems to come up when I make something for the relatives, "can you make it less sweet"?
The recipes in the book use alternatives to the traditional granulated white sugar, which helps to bring down the level of sweetness. Sucanat, an unrefined cane sugar, is the one predominantly used in Naturally Sweet.
I was keen to test out a recipe to see if the cookbook really lived up to its claims and decided to have a go at one of my all-time favorite cookies, Oatmeal Raisin. The cookie dough came together really easily, although you do have to take the extra step of grinding the Sucanat in a spice grinder.
The cookies browned beautifully in the oven with crispy edges and a soft center, just how I like them! They tasted great and had a very nice molasses flavor to them. I didn't even miss the extra sugar to be honest but the true test was to get other people's review.
I brought the cookies in to the office but didn't disclose that they were low sugar. My co-workers devoured them and when I revealed that they were made with less sugar they were completely surprised. One person even said I could have cut the sweetener a little more and they still would have been fantastic. Now that's a testimonial if I ever heard one! I plan on making more recipes from the cookbook for my family to enjoy this holiday season.
My friends at America's Test Kitchen have kindly donated two copies of Naturally Sweet to give away to my blog readers. Here's how to enter:
1) Only open to those with a U.S. mailing address
2) Leave your email address in the comments section of this post. Sorry, comments without an email address will be disqualified.
3) Deadline for entry: Saturday December 31 at 11:59pm PST.
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups (7 ounces) Sucanat
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
3 cups (9 ounces) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg in bowl. Working in 4 batches, grind Sucanat in spice grinder until fine and powdery, about 1 minute.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and ground Sucanat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until combined, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Add oats and raisins and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Give dough final stir by hand.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with 2 heaping tablespoons of dough at a time, roll into balls and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Press dough to 1/2-inch thickness using bottom of greased drinking glass.
Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges begin to turn golden and firm, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool completely on sheet. Serve.