My favorite holiday tradition is the cookie platter! As a young girl, I’d slave in the kitchen with my aunt baking the usual suspects our family has come to expect year after year, resulting in a spread of sugar cookies, crème-de mint sandwiches, chocolate truffles, peppermint bark and the list goes on! Not quite fit for the dessert of the feast, but a staple treat to share here and there. Except it usually ends up here and there around my middle. This year I began thinking about how I can have my cookie and eat it too. There are lots of gluten free, vegan, half the fat and sugar options that will still have a taste testers begging for more. The best part is telling them they are gilt-free (or less-than-usual guilt) after they praise your baking skills. Skinny for Santa too!
Black and White Cookies
These vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free cookies are simple to make! From Elanas Pantry.
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ cup agave nectar
½ cup grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate drops
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour and salt
- In a smaller bowl, combine grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
- Stir wet ingredients into dry
- Chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes between 2 pieces of parchment paper
- roll out dough 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick
- Using a 2 inch cookie cutter or the top of a 2 inch wide jelly jar, cut out cookies
- Bake at 350° on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5-7 minutes until brown around the edges
- Cool for ½ hour
- In a small saucepan, melt chocolate over very low heat, stirring continuously
- Remove saucepan from heat and one by one, dip cookies into chocolate
- Set cookies to cool on a parchment lined baking sheet –refrigerate if necessary to harden chocolate
Makes 24 cookies
This cookie is an anytime treat that takes me back to childhood. Make them better for you by replacing half the butter with applesauce and use whole-wheat pastry flour to increase fiber. From thatsfit.com
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add applesauce, eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat until well combined.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flours, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the liquids and mix well.
- Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish or plate.
- Using about 1 tablespoon at a time, shape the dough into balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
- Place on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies are set but not hard. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Nutrition Content (per cookie) 93 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 14 g carbohydrates, 7 g sugars, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein, 61 mg sodium Note: Using Splenda instead of sugar reduces the calories to 73, carbohydrates to 9 g and sugars to 1 g.
You can’t go without dunking this holiday favorite in your milk. Just 60 calories per cookie! From skinnychef.com
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1?4 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1/4 cup unsulfured dark molasses
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Coat 3 large cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sesame seeds, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa powder, clove, and salt. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, with a wooden spoon mash the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy and well combined.
- Add the egg and molasses and stir until blended.
- Stir in the flour until a smooth soft dough forms.
- Drop by tablespoons onto the cookie sheet.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the cookies have puffed and are firm to the touch.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Makes 48 Cookies
Nutritional Content Per cookie: 60 calories, 1g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 3g fat (1 g saturated), 7 mg cholesterol, .5 g fiber, 33 mg sodium.