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Sugar Babies

This recipe is a semi-finalist in EatingWell’s 2010 Holiday Cookie Contest.

Active Time: 45 Minutes | Total: 1 Hour 10 Minutes | To Make Ahead: Store airtight for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Makes: 6 Dozen Cookies

Nothing says Christmas like cookies covered in sparkling sugar! Treats like that are welcome at every holiday celebration! But at our house we discovered that as we incorporated healthier choices into our daily lives the holiday menu planning became more and more challenging! For a while we followed the “we want what we want” strategy of holiday food choices, but we found those recipes holding less and less appeal over the years. We wanted to retain the festive delight of holiday foods, but we needed to serve them in a way that pleased our new palates and sensibilities. Simple. Quick. Sugary. Crackly. Not a hint of “this is good for you.”

2 3/4 cups white whole-wheat flour (see Note, below)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups organic evaporated cane juice sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2-2/3 cup all-natural decorating sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add sugar, butter, oil and eggs to another large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in gently and mix until just combined.
3. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 level teaspoons each) with your hands. Roll each ball into a small bowl of decorating sugar and roll to cover. Place on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake until the centers are almost set, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool 1 minute on the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool. The tops will be gently cracked with a moist inside, which will firm as the cookies cool.

Per serving: 59 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 6 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 28 mg sodium; 22 mg potassium.

Note: White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available in large supermarkets and at natural-foods stores. (Or find it online from bobsredmill.com or kingarthurflour.com.) Store it in the freezer.

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