Low-Fat Pumpkin Spice Pillow Cookies

Low-Fat Pumpkin Spice Pillow Cookies 

Soft cake-like cookies that are lower in fat and sugar than standard, but with great flavor. The secret is replacing some of the butter with canned pumpkin. These are wonderful on their own, even better with chocolate chips folded in. For a low. FODMAP version, use gluten-free all-purpose flour and replace the applesauce with an equivalent amount of mashed ripe banana. 
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin 
2 large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (optional) 

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. 

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.

Combine the butter and both sugars in a large bowl. Using a stand mixer or handheld beater, mix until light. Add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla and beat to blend. Mix in the applesauce. On low speed, beat in the dry ingredients. Beat in the chocolate chips, if using. 

Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared pans, spacing  the 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until firm to the touch and brown on the bottoms, rotating the pans halfway through, about 18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the pans for 5 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool. 

NOTE: These keep for about 4 days at room temperature and freeze well.