5. Eliminate Trans Fat & Other Artificial Ingredients
Steer clear of ingredients that contain partially hydrogenated oil (or trans fats), such as margarine and most vegetable shortenings. Consider limiting other artificial ingredients, such as artificial food dyes.
We’re not Scrooges—we know holiday cookies look more festive when decorated with sprinkles or colored frosting—but we like to keep ingredients as “natural” as possible. A little food dye now and then probably isn’t so bad, but if you’d like to avoid artificial ingredients, look for all-natural food dyes, such as red dye made from beets, available in natural foods stores or online. Or try a drizzle of chocolate or a sprinkle of finely chopped nuts to give cookies extra appeal. See more cookie-decorating tips from the EatingWell Test Kitchen.