Healthier Holiday Cookie Recipes
The 'Recipe Doctor' lightens up 4 favorite cookie recipes.
Santa isn't the only one who eats cookies during the holidays. If you count the cookies served at work and holiday parties, many of us are basically eating cookies for the entire month of December. And why not? Cookies are the perfect holiday treat. They're bite-sized -- the ultimate finger food. They go great with tea and other holiday beverages, and they can be decorated festively.
But of course, they're not always the healthiest treat. And that's where "The Recipe Doctor" comes in. My goal is to make your cookie recipes a little healthier, but still delicious.
For starters, the following cookie recipes feature at least one healthful ingredient: oats, cranberries, molasses, walnuts or almonds, or dark chocolate. I've also decreased the amount of baking fat and switched to a fat with less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat. Further, I reduced the amount of sugar and increased fiber and nutrients by using at least half whole-wheat flour.
The end result: Cookies that are still festive and flavorful but offer everyone a few healthier options on the holiday dessert tray.
4 Healthier Holiday Cookie Recipes
Iced Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies
1/4 cup reduced-fat margarine (8 grams of fat per tablespoon), melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
Streusel glaze topping:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water (you can add a teaspoon more, if needed)
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat melted margarine and brown sugar on low speed until combined. Add egg and applesauce; continue to beat till blended (about 2 minutes).
- Stop mixer and add oats, flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to bowl with margarine mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl. Stir in cranberries or chosen dried fruit pieces.
- Using a cookie scoop, drop dough scoops (about 1/8 cup of dough) onto jellyroll pan lined with parchment paper, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake just until set (about 12 minutes). Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make icing: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, water and maple flavoring, stirring until smooth. Add another 1/2 teaspoon or two of water for desired drizzling consistency. Put cooled cookies side by side in jellyroll pan and, using a teaspoon, drizzle glaze over cookies.
Yield: Makes about 24 cookies
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 portion light dessert + 1 teaspoon sugar