Brownie Pecan Cookies

These cookies were created one afternoon while I was making chocolate chip cookies with my children and realized part of the way into mixing the cookie dough that I was out of chocolate chips. I didn't want to waste the cookie dough that was already in progress and my daughter and son were really looking forward to eating some cookies! So came up with these cookies to make instead. They are the perfect fix for a chocolate craving. They are fudgy like brownies with a nutty pecan flavor throughout the cookie. The best part about these cookies is that they have less fat and calories than a traditional cookie. They use only 1/2 cup of butter and one egg instead of 1 cup of butter and 2 eggs, like most cookie recipes call for. And they still taste delicious. My children kept asking for more!

On a side note, be sure to check back later for my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I have created a recipe that retains the chewiness that I love about chocolate chip cookies while reducing the calories, fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Look for that recipe to come soon!

Brownie Pecan Cookies

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. fat free yogurt (I like to use Stonyfield Organic Fat Free Plain Yogurt.)

1 egg

2 tbsp. natural, no sugar added applesauce

2 tsp. vanilla flavoring

2 1/4 c. flour

3/4 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the yogurt, egg, applesauce and vanilla flavoring; and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in two batches, mixing just until the flour is incorporated into the wet mixture. Then stir in the pecans.

Drop the cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. The parchment paper makes it easy to remove the cookies from the sheets without any risk of sticking. Bake the cookies until they are set, about 7 minutes. Let the cookies rest on the sheets for 1 minute before moving them to cooling racks to cool completely. Once the cookies are completely cooled, put them in an airtight container for storage. A tip for keeping the cookies from sticking together while you are storing them is to use the parchment paper that you used to cook them on to layer in between the cookies. Or if you didn't use parchment paper, you could use wax paper to layer. Just do not cook your cookies on wax paper, it is not made to be exposed to the high heat of the oven and if you do, then the part of the wax paper without cookies on it, will burn and you'll have smoked cookies!

Makes about 5 dozen cookies. Enjoy!!

UPDATE: added the nutritional information on 2/21/2011.

Per cookie:

65 Calories

3 g fat

1 g saturated fat

8 mg cholesterol

24 mg sodium

9 g carbohydrates

1 g fiber

5 g sugar

1 g protein