A Healthier Cookie Exchange

christmas cookies cookies food pastries
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It is time to start talking about the holidays!  At this time of year you are bombarded with party invitations and get togethers involving food and booze. This blog is dedicated to some ideas for healthier cookies for an annual cookie exchange.

Ingredients to switch out or add:

1.) Replace high calorie oils with apple sauce, pumpkin or bananas.

2.) Use no calorie sweeteners instead of cane sugar: try swerve, monk fruit or stevia.

3.) Use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

4.) Add in healthy nuts, seeds and fruits to add more functional foods.

5.)  Add healthful herbs and spices to cookies: cinnamon, thyme, lemon zest, nutmeg, rosemary, lavender.

6.) Add Protein powder in cookies to make it a better macro-nutrient blend.

7.) Use egg whites instead of whole eggs as much as possible to help lower calories.

8.) Replace white flour with high fiber or protein flours: almond, coconut, whole wheat, quinoa, flax-seed, oat.

9.) Cut calorie content by skipping the icing.


Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie: Recipe from Delish


1 1/2 c.  smooth unsweetened peanut butter, melted (plus more for drizzling)

1 c. coconut flour

1/4 c. packed keto-friendly brown sugar, such as Swerve

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt

2 c. keto-friendly dark chocolate chips, such as Lily’s, melted

1 tbsp. coconut oil


  1. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut flour, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into rounds then press down lightly to flatten slightly and place on baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted chocolate and coconut oil.
  4. Using a fork, dip peanut butter rounds in chocolate until fully coated then return to baking sheet. Drizzle with more peanut butter then freeze until chocolate sets, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve cold. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

Servings: 22 cookies  Kcal per serving: 136 per cookie  Protein: 5gm  Carbs: 10gm  Fat: 10gm


oatmeal pecan cookie

Oatmeal Pecan Cookies: Recipe by Woman’s Day.com


3/4 c.  pecans

3/4 c.  rolled oats

ripe bananas

1 tbsp.  vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

Kosher salt

  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse pecans until they resemble coarse crumbs.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with rolled oats; set aside. In a food processor, blend bananas with vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt until bananas are smooth. Add to oat mixture and combine to form a batter.
  3. Scoop heaping spoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Gently push down the center of each cookie and top with a few extra pecan pieces.
  4. Bake until no longer tacky, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet.

Servings: 16 cookies Cal per serving: 37kcal Protein: 1gm Carb: 9gm Fat: 4gm


peanut butter cookies

Pumpkin-Cherry Cookies: recipe from Good Housekeeping

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
15-oz. can pure pumpkin
1 c. coconut oil
1 c. brown sugar
large egg
1/2 c. roasted, salted pepitas
1/2 c. dried cherries


  1. Whisk together whole wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. At medium speed, beat pure pumpkin, coconut oil, brown sugar, and egg until well combined; gradually beat in flour mixture, then pepitas and dried cherries.
  2. Scoop onto large parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet to form 16 mounds, spaced 2-inches apart; flatten into disks.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until dark brown on bottoms. Cool on wire rack. Cooled cookies can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature up to 2 days or frozen up to 2 weeks. Reheat in toaster until crisp.

Serving: 16 cookies Kcal per cookie:  290 cals, Protein: 5gm, Carbs: 33gm, Fat: 17gm



Merry Meringues: recipe from Good Housekeeping

large egg whites
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
For Almond
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Green food coloring
For Lemon
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
Yellow food coloring
For Mint
1/2 tsp. mint extract
red food coloring
For Blueberry
1/4 c. freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed
Purple food coloring


  1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 225 degrees F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat egg white and salt until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat until meringue stands in stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in vanilla and flavor of choice.
  3. For each color desired, using small brush, lightly paint 3 to 4 stripes of food coloring inside large piping bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip. Divided meringue among piping bags. Pipe meringue into 1 1/2-inch rounds onto cookie sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Bake 1 hour.
  4. Turn oven off. Leave meringues in oven 1 hour with oven door closed. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Makes 5 dozen meringues.

Servings: 5 dozen Kcal: 5 per meringue Carb: 2gm


Flourless cookie

Flourless Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies:  Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen


  • 2 cups raw hazelnuts (or about 1 cup hazelnut butter or almond butter if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 oz your favorite dark chocolate bar, chopped (at least 72%, with no soy)
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Transfer hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor and process for 10-15 minutes or until it turns into a hazelnut butter; you’ll probably have to scrape down the sides frequently. We want this to be very creamy so make sure to get it that way. Once it starts to get creamy, add in a teaspoon of coconut oil and the salt and process again for another minute or two.
  3. Let the nut butter sit for 5-10 minutes until it cools down a bit. This is important so don’t forget to do it! Otherwise you’ll end up with a cooked egg.
  4. Add in the coconut sugar, vanilla, egg, and an extra egg yolk. Process again until well combined and a dough begins to form. Next add in cocoa powder and process again. The dough may become a large ball, so if that happens just transfer the dough to a medium bowl and use a wooden spoon to stir it all together until well combined. Next stir in chopped chocolate.
  5. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. I like to flatten mine pretty thin.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes then remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 18 cookies.

Servings per recipe: 18 cookies.  Calories per cookie: 155kcal,  Protein: 3gm, Fat: 11.4gm, Carb: 11.5gm

Flourless Double Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies with Sea Salt {grain free, gluten free, paleo}