It’s just before Christmas and my house is in full swing. There are gifts to wrap, cards to be sent, family and friends to see and cookies to bake. Yes, I have an annual tradition of making cookies and other goodies. Typically, I make at least two different cookies and chocolate truffles. This year, I decided to try and make healthier cookies and forgo the truffles.
My children are 2, 3 and 6, and they believe in Santa Clause and are quite excited for his arrival and the Christmas holiday in general. I really wanted to include them in on this tradition of cookie making that my grandmother started when I was their age. I asked what type of cookies they wanted to make, and they picked good old sugar cookies with icing. I also chose, to keep in a healthier spirit, oatmeal cookies with nuts and dried cranberries.
For three days, we baked cookies for teachers, my co-workers, church and family. They loved all of it, mixing the dough, forming the dough into balls, decorating and of course taste testing. I tried to take the opportunity to talk to them about ingredients and potion sizes.
I know that cookies are not necessarily the healthiest items, but if you chose the right kind they can be a nice, tasty treat. For example, you can try this Chunky Peanut Butter Cookie recipe.
I try to keep cookies in moderation and feel that on special occasions they are just fine. Here are a few tips for making holiday baking a little healthier:
- Watch the butter, maybe go with a lighter version. I use margarine.
- Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. It may change the taste a little, but give it a try.
- Use cocoa instead of melted or grated chocolate.
- Remove low-fat cookies early, so they don’t dry out.
- Substitute applesauce for butter in cakes to decrease the amount of fat.
- When baking, try to use other sources for flavor such fruit, nuts and coconut.
- Look up recipes on the internet. I love Taste of Home, the healthy section
- Use quality ingredients and everything tastes better!
From my family to yours, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!