Athenaeus, I just saw Marianne Esposito on TV doing a cookie made with oil rather than butter. In case it may be of use to you I found it on her website and post it below. There very well may be others. If you husband has a sweet tooth, this sort of cookie may be at least better than one made with butter or margarine. You could also experiment with that new sugar substitute, too, if weight is also a problem.
My guess is that she may have other Italian cakes, cookies, pie crusts, etc. that are made with oil instead of butter.
For her website: http://www.ciaoitalia.com/recipeindex.html
CIAMBELLETTE (Aniseed Ring Biscuits): MAKES 4 DOZEN
...These little rings with the licorice flavor are a favorite of mine. They freeze beautifully.
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons Colavita (tm) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla or anise extract
4 tablespoons sugar plus extra for dipping the rings into before baking
2 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, slightly crushed if desired
2 3/4 to 31/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a mixing bowl, combine 4 eggs, the olive oil, lemon zest, vanilla, sugar, and anise seeds.
On a sheet of wax paper, sift together 2 3/4 cups of the flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add to the egg mixture and combine to make a smooth but fairly stiff dough. If more flour is needed, add it a little at a time until the right consistency is obtained. All the flour may not be necessary, depending on the type of flour used and the size of the eggs.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces; work with one piece at a time; keep the remaining pieces covered so they do not dry out.
Roll each piece into a 12-inch-long rope and cut twelve 1-inch pieces from each rope. Roll each piece under the palm of your hands into a 5-inch long rope; form a circle and pinch the ends closed.
Beat the remaining egg slightly with a fork, then dip each ring into the egg wash, and then coat each of them in sugar. Place the rings on the parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake the ciambellette for about 20 to 25 minutes or just until they are golden brown. Cool on racks.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA N UMBRIA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.