Eating a warm, ooey gooey, fresh-from-the-oven cookie is an instant mood-booster and a quintessential part of the holidays. But if you’re trying to lose weight or watching your sugar intake, they’re likely the last thing you want to encounter – and it can be particularly hard to resist when everyone else in the room is indulging. However, there’s no need to deprive yourself this season. Thanks to these guilt-free holiday cookie recipes, you can satisfy your sweet tooth and still fit into your New Year’s Eve outfit!
Star Mint Meringues
Both small in the palm and festive on the table, these red-hued, star-shaped cookies get a flavorful kick from all-natural peppermint extract. Go ahead and grab a handful, dieters – each meringue contains a mere 27 calories! This recipe makes approximately 34 cookies. Be sure to read the recipe through in advance, as it requires several kitchen tools including a decorating bag and star tip.
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red paste food coloring
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a very large mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
4. Gradually add sugar, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
5. Fold in extract.
6. Using a new, small paintbrush, brush stripes of red food coloring on the inside of a decorating bag fitted with a 1/2 inch open-star tip.
7. Carefully spoon egg white mixture into bag.
8. Pipe 2-inch stars 1 inch apart onto prepared cookie sheet.
9. Bake about 1-1/2 hours or until meringues appear dry and are firm when lightly touched.
10. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
(Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, as listed at bhg.com.)
These cute little gingerbread men are diabetic-friendly with just two grams of fat and 12 carb grams per serving. An aromatic way to greet guests this holiday season, the dough is flavored by cinnamon, cloves and molasses: just pop these into the oven a few minutes before you expect visitors to arrive.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup 50-70% vegetable oil spread
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup full-flavor molasses
1/4 cup refrigerated egg product or 1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
“These cute little gingerbread men are diabetic-friendly.”
1. In large bowl, combine butter and vegetable oil spread; beat with an electric mixer on medium-high to high speed for 30 seconds.
2. Add brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cloves.
3. Beat until well mixed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
4. Beat in molasses and egg.
5. Add all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, beating until just combined.
6. Divide dough in half.
7. Cover and chill dough for 2 to 3 hours, or until easy to handle.
8. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
9. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
10. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough, half at a time, to a 1/8-inch thickness.
11. Using a 2 to 3-inch gingerbread person cookie cutter, cut out shapes.
12. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.
13. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until edges are firm and centers are set.
14. Cool on cookie sheet on wire racks for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
(Recipe from Diabetic Living, as listed at diabeticlivingonline.com.)
These melt-in-your-mouth cookies taste great while helping you achieve your health goals. Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year and new you!