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Easy Holiday Cookies That Are Actually Healthy

by
author image Susan Marque
Susan Marque is a versatile writer with an eclectic background. She started in animation, became a healthy food expert, has written for every type of media, and continues to explore all avenues from screen to print. After many years in Hollywood she went back to school in New York, earning an M.F.A. in creative writing from The New School. She currently lives in Manhattan.

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Easy Holiday Cookies That Are Actually Healthy
Susan Marque

If you thought the words “cookie” and “healthy” didn’t belong in the same sentence, think again. Here are 10 cookie recipes that are healthier than the store-bought variety. From natural sweeteners to quality flours, you’ll be baking with good-for-you ingredients. So break out the rolling pin and preheat your oven. You can feel good about giving your loved ones — and yourself — a cookie or two.

1. Honey-Mint Cookies
Susan Marque

1 HONEY-MINT COOKIES

For the perfect after-dinner treat, reach for these cookies. They’re topped with honey mixed with peppermint and then further topped with a chocolate spread. You won’t believe that this decadent cookie is good for you. The honey can help fight allergies and aid digestion, while the dark chocolate provides powerful antioxidants.

Related: Honey-Mint Cookies Recipe

2. Fruity Pinwheels
Susan Marque

2 FRUITY PINWHEELS

Easy to make and pretty to look at, these jam-swirled cookies are lovely on the holiday table. They bake in 10 minutes, so whip them up whenever you’re craving something sweet. You can use any type of jam that suits your fancy at the time. Pack these cookies for lunch or a potluck: Your co-workers and friends will be happy to try a few!

Related: Fruity Pinwheels Recipe

3. Lemon Drops
Susan Marque

3 LEMON DROPS

It may be cold out, but here’s a zesty treat that’ll brighten up your day. These low-sugar lemon cookies are topped with delicious bits of candied orange. Packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C and blood pressure-regulating potassium, citrus rinds are incredibly nutritious. They also contain bioflavonoids, which offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Remember to purchase organic lemons and oranges for this recipe; conventionally grown citrus fruits can contain pesticide residue.

Related: Lemon Drops Recipe

4. Gingerbread Cookies
Susan Marque

4 GINGERBREAD COOKIES

These gingerbread cookies put a deliciously healthy spin on the traditional holiday dessert. The almond-based cream cheese contains heart-healthy unsaturated fat, which reduces your LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. Almonds also provide a dose of vitamin E, which prevents free radical damage, and magnesium, which boosts energy. Feel free to get creative with the toppings, such as dried blueberries for the eyes and goji berries for the buttons.

Related: Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

5. Oatmeal Cranberry Gems
Susan Marque

5 OATMEAL CRANBERRY GEMS

Heart-healthy oats and fiber-rich cranberries make a deliciously tart winter pairing. Full of fiber and antioxidants, these cookies are the perfect blend of mild sweetness from the dried fruit and spiciness from the ginger and cinnamon. And since the recipe doesn’t include eggs, these cookies are vegan-friendly. Don’t have brown rice syrup on hand? Honey works just as well.

Related: Oatmeal Cranberry Gems Recipe

6. Christmas Lace Cookies
Susan Marque

6 CHRISTMAS LACE COOKIES

Delicate, light and crunchy, these lace cookies make a great afternoon treat to accompany coffee or tea. The batter might not seem to yield much, but you only need a small spoonful for each cookie. Be sure to space the dollops of batter far enough apart to allow plenty of room for them to spread. And to keep the treats from sticking together, make sure the chocolate is completely hardened before stacking and storing the cookies.

Related: Christmas Lace Cookies Recipe

7. Jam and Oat Bars
Susan Marque

7 JAM AND OAT BARS

These oat bars may look like a lot of work, but they’re actually incredibly easy to make. And since they contain fruit and cereal, they can even double as a breakfast. Incredibly nutritious, oats are rich in antioxidants and digestion-promoting fiber. They can also help reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol, so go ahead and give these bars a big bite.

Related: Jam and Oat Bars Recipe

8. Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Cookies
Susan Marque

8 CHOCOLATE-DIPPED VANILLA COOKIES

Here’s a cookie that’s good for your heart and mood, thanks to the dark chocolate in which it’s dipped. Dark chocolate can raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol while lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is important for heart disease prevention. And dark chocolate also contains the chemical serotonin, which acts as an antidepressant. Whip up a batch of these chocolate-coated cookies whenever you need a pick-me-up.

Related: Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Cookies Recipe

9. Pistachio-Topped Shortbread
Susan Marque

9 PISTACHIO-TOPPED SHORTBREAD

These star-shaped shortbread cookies feature a unique ingredient: tofu glaze. After you’ve made the dough, simply roll it out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake the cookies, then top them with the tofu mixture. Finally, sprinkle the cookies with crushed pistachios for crunch. Feel free to replace the raw honey with agave, maple syrup or your favorite sweetener.

Related: Pistachio-Topped Shortbread Recipe

10. Chocolate Cookie Bars
Susan Marque

10 CHOCOLATE COOKIE BARS

These chocolate bars include three layers: a crispy cookie, creamy caramel and heavenly chocolate. They may sound complicated to make, but they actually take less than 30 minutes. Simply bake the cookie, drizzle on the caramel and then add the melted chocolate on top. Not a fan of caramel? Feel free to swap it out for your favorite nut butter.

Related: Chocolate Cookie Bars Recipe

What Do YOU Think?
AnnaPustynnikova/iStock/Getty Images

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

What’s your favorite holiday cookie? Which healthy ingredients do you like to incorporate into your cookies? Which of these recipes would you try? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Related: 9 Chocolate Desserts That Are Actually Good for You

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