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Improving on perfection

Question: My aunt sent me this recipe from Florida. As you can see, there is a lot of fat, and though the batter doesn't seem greasy, the cookies leave grease marks on the paper or towels I place them on to cool. Because you revised the Raisin and Spice Cookies, I thought maybe you could revise these too. _ LaVonne Zigler, Wooster, Ohio.

Answer: At first I was a bit reluctant to mess around with a recipe called "World's Best Cookies." To achieve their characteristic crispness, cookies naturally require more fat and sugar than I normally like to include in any recipe.

In this case I decided to leave the lesser of two evils (the sugar) alone and simply try reducing the amount of fat. I also eliminated the butter option and the egg to get rid of the cholesterol.

The increase in the amount of oats in my revision is to compensate for volume lost by the decrease in other ingredients. I hope you will enjoy this more healthful version.

Breakfast terrine

If you really want to impress your family and friends, present them with this gorgeous yogurt terrine for breakfast or brunch. It was created by Adam Odegard, the executive chef at the Peninsula Hotel in New York, for the opening of its sensational new urban spa.

This light and scrumptious dish drew rave reviews from the food writers in attendance at a press breakfast. Now you can either go to New York and order it from the hotel menu or stay home and make it yourself.

Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 18 cookbooks. Send your favorite recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, c/o the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, Calif. 92038.

World's Best Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup oil

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

{ cup shredded coconut

1 cup crushed corn flakes

1 cup oats

3{ cups flour

{ cup chopped nuts

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

In large bowl, cream together butter, oil, sugars, egg and vanilla. In separate bowl combine remaining ingredients, then add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Roll dough into cookies the size of walnuts and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a glass dipped in water then bake in preheated 325-degree oven 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 7{ dozen (2-inch) cookies.

Better Cookies

2 sticks (1 cup) corn-oil margarine

{ cup canola oil

2 egg whites

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

cup shredded coconut

1 cup crushed corn flakes

1\ cups old-fashioned rolled oats

{ cup chopped nuts

3{ cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

{ teaspoon salt

In very large bowl, cream margarine, oil, egg whites, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add coconut, corn flakes, oats and nuts and mix well.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Roll dough into cookies the size of walnuts. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with a glass dipped in water. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 7{ dozen (2-inch) cookies.

Each cookie contains approximately: original recipe: 87 calories, 8 mg cholesterol, 5 gm fat, 62 mg sodium; revised recipe: 75 calories, no cholesterol, 4 gm fat, 52 mg sodium.

Vanilla Yogurt Terrine

with Fresh Fruit Coulis

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

{ cup cold water

1 cup non-fat milk

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups non-fat plain yogurt

1{ cups fruit purees

6 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Melon balls, for garnish (optional)

Combine gelatin and water and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Combine milk and grated lemon rind and place over low heat. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat. Add softened gelatin and mix until gelatin is thoroughly dissolved. Add vanilla and yogurt and mix until smooth.

Spray six ramekins or decorative molds with non-stick vegetable coating. Pour { cup yogurt mixture into each ramekin or mold. Refrigerate until firm.

To serve, "paint" the bottom of each of 6 large plates with \ cup of the fruit purees. Place 1 tablespoon wheat germ in the center of each plate and unmold terrines on top of it. Garnish with mint sprigs and melon balls, if desired.

Serves 6. Each serving contains approximately 115 calories, 2 mg cholesterol, 1 gm fat, 84 mg sodium.