Before and after Thanksgiving, many of us find ourselves overindulging in treats. According to one news source, many people gain 6 pounds this time of year.
Thus my search for a low-calorie Christmas cookie. Spark People (SparkPeople.com) is my go-to source online for diet tips, encouragement and the occasional recipe. There I found Peppermint-Dark Chocolate slice-and-bake cookies.
Cooking Done Light (cookingdonelight.com) provided the recipe for Lightened Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Butter Frosting. Even with the frosting, a small cookie has less than 50 calories.
Finally, weight loss consultant Jennifer White’s website Jennifer’s Kitchen (jeniferskitchen.com) provided the recipe for Coconut Oatmeal Cookies. There was no calorie info but she explains in her notes why these a supposedly healthier than the average cookie. Find these recipes on the respective websites for more tips, as well as comments and substitutions from people who tried the recipes.
Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
2 teaspoons finely ground flaxseed meal
1/4 cup nondairy milk
1/3 cup almond butter
3 tablespoons coconut oil (soft)
1/2 cup raw sugar, turbinado sugar, or evaporated cane juice - divided (reduce to 1/3 cup for a less sweet cookie)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups rolled oats (Gluten-free oats may be used if desired.)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
Optional additions: 1/3 cup carob chips; 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a small saucepan, whisk together flax and milk. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. When mixture comes to boil, remove from heat. Set aside.
Place almond butter, coconut oil, and approximately 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix together very well with an electric mixer.
Add flax mixture, salt, and vanilla and mix.
Stir in oats, coconut, and remaining sugar by hand. Mix until very thoroughly combined. Dough will be very thick.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake at 325°F for 17-19 minutes or until very lightly browned on the bottom. You don’t want them to brown too much or they will be overdone.
Allow to set for about 1 minute before removing to rack to cool.
Lightened Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Butter Frosting
1 ¼ cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (90 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. milk
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Mix in the egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.
Stir in the flour until just combined.
Drop 1 tbsp. of batter onto the baking sheet leaving about 1 inch in between each cookie.
Bake for 12 minutes.
Place baking sheet onto a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Take cookies off baking sheet and place directly on wire rack to cool completely.
For Frosting: In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients until smooth. Using a spatula, frost cookies.
Serves: About 48; 46 calories per cookie
Peppermint-Dark Chocolate slice and bake cookies
1 large egg chilled
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 sticks I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter cooking and baking blend, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
4 sugar-free candy canes
This dough will refrigerate well for two days and will freeze nicely for up to two months. If you want you can use egg substitute for the dough.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat butter blend in an electric mixer and slowly add sugar. Beat until smooth. Add egg mixture and blend until incorporated. Add the flours and blend on low until a dough is formed.
Divide the dough in half. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Place half of the dough on the wrap. Using a floured hand shape into 9-inch long roll. You can shape into rectangle, square or pyramid, depending on the shape of cookie you desire. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 45 minutes, or until dough is firm. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or use silicone baking mats. Slice dough into 1/4 pieces. To assure even baking, place 1 pan on upper-middle rack and 1 pan on lower middle rack. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Rotate cookies front to back and change racks. Continue baking until golden brown about another 7 minutes. Cool on rack.
Melt the chocolate chips. Crush the peppermint by placing in ziploc bag and lightly hit with a rolling pin. Spread 1/3 of the cookie with melted chocolate and sprinkle with small amount of crushed peppermint.
Yield: 6 dozen cookies; 55.3 calories each