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When chef and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Virginia Willis shared her weight-loss strategies for an EatingWell feature, she said, "I do not want the enticement of dozens of cookies lying about on the counter or in the freezer. But sometimes I just need a bite of something sweet and chocolaty. This is my 'tablespoon cookie' recipe—I don't even bother getting out the measuring cups. And I love how lacy and thin they are."

EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2022


Credit: Jacob Fox

Recipe Summary

10 mins
25 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

  • Combine butter, granulated sugar and turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir until well blended. Add applesauce and vanilla; stir to combine. Add flour, baking soda and salt; stir to combine. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart.

  • Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool and firm up, about 10 minutes.

To make ahead:

Store airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Silicone baking mat or parchment paper 

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie
97 calories; protein 1g; carbohydrates 13g; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 9g; added sugar 9g; fat 5g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 8mg; sodium 70mg; potassium 17mg.