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Healthy Holiday Cookies

Healthier Holiday Cookies
Holidays are a great time to indulge in foods you normally shy away from the rest of the year. Especially when you can find healthy versions of them. Here are two good-for-you cookie recipes you’re going to love.  


No Bake Snowball Cookies

Makes about 10 bite-sized cookies, but you can easily double or triple the recipe for larger batches. 

These no-bake cookies are incredibly versatile. They combine the healthy fat found in nuts with plain oats and are sweetened with dried fruit. Dates are called “nature’s candy” due to the almost-brown sugar-like flavor that they give these bites.  Inspired by a packaged snack bars that contain whole nuts and dried fruit, this bite-sized cookie will give you an energy boost without too many calories in one serving. Rolling them in powdered sugar makes them taste like Mexican Wedding Cookies or Russian Tea Cakes, without all of the butter and calories.

1/3 cup dry roasted, unsalted almonds (or other nuts)
1/3 cup pitted dates (or other dried fruit – cranberries, raisins, etc.)
1/3 cup oats
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1-2 Tbsp water
1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar (optional)

1)   Combine first 3 ingredients (and cinnamon, if using) in a food processor, and process 2-3 minutes, until evenly ground.
2)   Add 1 Tbsp water, and pulse until mixture starts to clump, adding more water if needed
3)   With clean hands, form teaspoon-sized balls.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to eat, then roll in powdered sugar if desired.

Approximate nutrition facts (per ball): 60 calories, 2.5 g fat, 8 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g protein

– Add 1 Tbsp cocoa powder and roll in shredded coconut.
– Use raisins instead of dates and add shredded carrot for a carrot-cake flavor.


Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies, adapted from Bon Appetit

Meringue cookies are a wonderful option to keep the calories low, and the ingredient list is pretty simple. Between the chocolate chips, melted chocolate, and cocoa powder, these definitely satisfy a chocolate craving without throwing your whole day off.  They’re best fresh, so make them the day you want to serve them.

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt

1)   Preheat oven to 350. Grease two baking sheets.
2)   Melt 1/2 of the chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler.
3)   Combine cocoa, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and cornstarch.  Gently whisk to combine.
4)   In a separate large bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt.  Beat with a hand mixer until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining powdered sugar in 4 additions, just to combine. Once all the sugar is added, beat 2 more minutes until thick and glossy.
5)   Fold in cocoa mixture, followed by melted chocolate and chocolate chips (this can get messy!).\
6)   Drop by teaspoon onto baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes, then rotate baking sheets and bake about 6 more minutes, until cookies begin to crack on top.
7)   Cool 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Approximate nutrition facts (per cookie): 70 calories, 2 g fat, 13 g carbs, 1 g protein

What’s your favorite holiday cookie recipe?