By Penelope Wall, December 4, 2009 - 12:58pm
I live by the “everything in moderation” mantra, but something about the holidays makes me want to throw that out the window. It’s all those cookies—they’re my downfall!
I love holiday cookies so much that a few years ago, I invited some girlfriends over for a holiday cookie exchange and asked everyone to bring a platter of cookies to share. Not to be outdone, each guest showed up with a stunning platter of prize-worthy holiday cookies.
The cookie swap was so successful that I decided to make it an annual event. Now I’m always on the lookout for an amazing cookie recipe to outdo what I made last year. It has to be beautiful and it has to be delicious. So when I tried these Fig ’n’ Flax Thumbprint Cookies in the EatingWell Test Kitchen a few months ago, I was practically in tears. They were everything I wanted and more.
Then the gals in the Test Kitchen told me that they were only 80 calories each (holy cow!). I got to thinking: would it be possible to fill an entire holiday cookie platter with beautiful, delicious AND low-calorie cookies? I did some digging around for some of my favorite healthy cookies and—ta da! I found these five amazingly delicious holiday cookies for the platter—all for 100 calories or less. Believe me: I’ve tasted every single one of these cookies and you would never know they’re low-cal! Now I don’t have to feel quite so guilty about my holiday cookie obsession.
Fig ’n’ Flax Thumbprint Cookies
Ground flax adds a nutty flavor and the brown sugar caramelizes on the outside of these thumbprint cookies. I love fig preserves and they really make this cookie special, but other fruit preserves could be used as well.
Lusciously Nutty Holiday Logs
These stunning phyllo rolls are flavored with orange and dark chocolate for a winning cookie that will be a lovely addition to any holiday cookie platter.
These luxurious macaroons are studded with pistachios and dried cranberries. For a variation, substitute chopped crystallized ginger and mini chocolate chips for the pistachios and cranberries.
Italian Hazelnut Cookies
These crispy cookies might not be the most beautiful cookie on the platter, but their sweet, nutty burst of flavor more than makes up for it.
Chocolate Coconut Meringues
These chocolate, coconut and almond meringue cookies are so light and airy, they are a perfect little treat that’s not too heavy.
Almond & Honey-Butter Cookies
This thumbprint cookie uses honey as the only sweetener and tender ground almonds to replace much of the butter found in similar cookies. Just a touch of butter mixed with honey in the filling gives it a rich flavor without too much saturated fat.
Yummy Molasses Crackles
Classic ginger molasses cookies get a little makeover with less butter and some added crystallized ginger for a spicy jolt.
These quick, no-fuss, chewy chocolate cookies are definitely a conversation piece. They’re made on your waffle iron. No need to haul out the big mixer, you can mix the batter with a small hand mixer or even by hand. Kids love these!
This easy no-bake treat won EatingWell’s 2008 cookie contest. The recipe is a yummy combination of dates, toasted rice cereal and coconut.
Double Nut & Date Tassies
These two-bite pecan tarts satisfy the sweet tooth with far less guilt than pecan pie. (The recipe is the winner of this year’s holiday cookie contest!)
Do you have a prize-winning holiday cookie recipe? Tell us what you think below.