Lighten Up the Holiday Cookie Swap

The holiday cookie season is coming.   It’s time to get start planning what kind of cookies and treats you’ll make for your  office cookie trays, neighborhood cookie swap parties, school parties, and coffee get togethers with your friends.

Instead of the usual suspects which can be loaded with fats and sugars, try a cookie swap of a different kind, by swapping your cookies with these lighter temptations from our own collection, and several recipes courtesy of AARP. 

We’ve all been tempted by those buttery-good 300- or 400-calorie cookies that seem more like a meal replacement than an after-dinner treat.
Holiday Cookies
Dessert doesn’t have to be so decadent, however: We’ve compiled recipes for cookies that are just as delicious as those diet-busting doozies, but have some health benefits or less fat than other cookies that are like them.”  — AARP
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES

This is a family favorite version of a cookie that is packed with ingredients more nutritious than your average recipe. You still get great flavor, with less fat calories.  In fact, one cookie is less than 1 gram of fat.

Trail Mix Cookies

TRAIL MIX COOKIES

This recipe for a hearty and chewy trail mix cookie is courtesy of Mirval Resort in Arizona and appears in Sweet & Savory, the resort’s newest cookbook.    This is a family favorite version of a cookie that is packed with ingredients more nutritious than your average chocolate chip recipe, although it does have some chips, too.  By using mini chocolate chips, a smaller amount goes much further.  You still get the great flavor, with less fat and calories.  In fact, one cookie is just 2 grams of fat.

Ginger Drizzle Cookies

HOLIDAY GINGER COOKIES

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP These cookies are festive, colorful and surprisingly healthful. Half the usual white flour is replaced by whole-wheat flour, the shortening is replaced with canola oil, and ground flaxseed is added for fiber.  Per serving: 90 calories, 0g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 1g fiber, 105mg sodium.

Black Dog Ginger Cookies

BLACK DOG GINGER COOKIES

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP The signature ginger cookies from the famous Black Dog Bakery on Martha’s Vineyard are spiced up with fresh cinnamon and cloves, and molasses adds an even deeper richness. Ginger, believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, is an immune booster: perfect for cold season.  Per serving: 218 calories, 1g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 0g fiber, 217mg sodium

Old Fashioned Almond Cookies (Photo by Blogger Baking Paris Sweets)

OLD FASHIONED ALMOND COOKIES

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP These delectable almond cookies, also called amandines, are a specialty of Arnaud Larher’s Montmartre patisserie. They’re low-fat (there’s no butter or oil), sophisticated and versatile — the ideal accompaniment for coffee, tea, hot chocolate or ice cream.   Per serving: 96 calories, 0g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber, 7mg sodium
Cantucci Almond Cookies

CANTUCCI ALMOND COOKIES

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP These twice-baked, biscotti-style almond cookies are native to Tuscany and excellent with postmeal coffee or dessert wine. They have only 3 grams of fat per cookie, because, like the amandines, they are made without butter or oil.  Per serving: 88 calories, 1g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber, 38mg sodium

Cantucci Almond Cookies

AMARETTI

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP Try another Italian dessert staple, this one a sweet flourless treat — with 5 grams of protein, thanks to the nuts. You can substitute hazelnuts for the almonds in these cookies, which freeze well, so make a big batch.  Per serving: 153 calories, 1g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 2g fiber, 4mg sodium

Oatmeal Cookies

OATMEAL COOKIES

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP It’s hard to go wrong with this classic cookie, and this recipe is especially easy — just five ingredients, including sunflower oil instead of butter, which means less saturated fat. Oatmeal may help lower cholesterol and is full of antioxidants. Per serving: 89 calories, 1g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 4mg sodium

Raisin Apricot Breakfast Cookies

RAISIN APRICOT BREAKFAST COOKIES

From: 10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats — AARP A healthful cookie for breakfast? Sign us up! Orange juice and prunes or applesauce, rather than butter, play the major role in moistening these cookies, which have enough fiber to be satisfying. And enough flavor to disappear fast.  Per serving: 177 calories, 2g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 2g fiber, 165mg sodium

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

CRANBERRY OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP

From 75 calories each, courtesy of Canyon Ranch. This delicious variation of the oatmeal cookie is also simple and tasty, using a mix of oats and low fat cream cheese. And the cranberries add some seasonal spice (in addition to being full of antioxidants and other nutrients).

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BISCOTTI

This crispy, low-fat cookie from Green Mountain at Fox Run is the perfect cookie swap selection because it can be made in advance, holds up well for travel and shipping, and of course, those green pistachios and red cranberries are color-made for Christmas.

Peanut Butter Ricotta Cookies

OATMEAL PEANUT BUTTER RICOTTA COOKIES

This recipe for healthy ricotta cookies is from Shaun T, creator of the Insanity Workout, and was a hit with guests of the Dr. Oz show. Made with ricotta cheese, they are high in calcium and one serving is only 50 calories and 2.6 grams of fat.

Vanilla Cacao Nib Cookies

VANILLA CACAO NIB COOKIES

Crunchy, delicious, and easy to bake Vanilla Cacao Nib Cookies. We could just call them “organic chocolate chip cookies” but they are much more than that.  This organic treat can’t be beat!

Peanut Butter Square

PEANUT BUTTER RICE KRISPY SQUARES

This dessert is perfect for bake sales and school lunches and are sure to become favorites in your home. Kid and Family Approved, not to mention coworkers and neighbors.  There is never a time our tray of these crunchy squares doesn’t disappear immediately.

Macaroons

GLUTEN FREE COCONUT MACAROONS

Canyon Ranch Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein shows us how to make delicious, gluten free coconut macaroons. So easy, so yummy — perfect for any occasion!

Dipped Rice Cakes

CHOCOLATE DIPPED RICE CAKES

This recipe is so simple, and shouldn’t be restricted to the holidays.  With just three ingredients (and sometimes 2) you can have a crunch, sweet, low-fat treat anytime.  Spruce them up with orange peel — trust us on this.

Peanut Butter

NO FLOUR PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

These cookies are closer to shortbread in texture, and a nice treat when a sweet craving hits. The quantity, nutritional stats and such really depends on the size you roll them, and what type of peanut butter you use. Even vanilla extracts have different carb counts. Thus, the stats can vary greatly. Whatever your method, it’s a protein sweet with good fats and one or two are plenty.

Chocolate Avocado Pie

BROWSE MORE DESSERT RECIPES

BROWSE OUR DESSERT RECIPE COLLECTIONS for more healthy holiday treats.
November 9, 2015 |

3 thoughts on “Lighten Up the Holiday Cookie Swap

  1. […] by SpaIndex.com: Guide to Spas and Spa Lifestyle Daily Recipe type: Dessert Meal: Holiday Cookies Print […]

  2. […] | from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook Recipe type: Desserts Meal: Holiday Cookies Print […]

  3. […] of: Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex | AARP.com Recipe type: Desserts Meal: Holiday Cookies Print Photo by Meal Makeover Moms […]

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