This healthy chocolate cookie recipe makes thin, sugar-kissed cookies flavored with dried cranberries and hazelnuts. The cookies are drizzled with homemade natural red icing, but if you prefer white icing, omit the natural red dye.
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
1¼ cups chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (about 6 ounces)
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, American-style or Dutch-process
½ cup granulated sugar, plus ½ cup, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil or corn oil
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup white whole-wheat flour (see Tips)
⅔ cup sweetened dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
⅔ cup chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts (see Tips) or chopped almond slivers
Natural Red Icing Drizzle
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon dried egg whites (see Tips)
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
“Holiday” red natural liquid dye (see Tips)
To prepare cookies: Grind chocolate in a food processor using on/off pulses until coarsely ground. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add cocoa, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt; stir until blended. With an electric mixer on low, then medium speed, add eggs, then honey, oil and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, then cranberries and nuts until thoroughly incorporated. (The dough will be stiff.)
Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each quarter into a 9-inch-long "log." Divide the log into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place on a prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until very cold, about 1 hour.
Position a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.
Place the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar on a small plate. One at a time, dip the top of each ball of dough into the sugar; place, sugar-side up, about 2½ inches apart on another prepared baking sheet. Coat the bottom of a wide glass with cooking spray, then dip it into the sugar. Flatten the balls with the glass to make cookies about 2¼ inches in diameter, dipping the glass into the sugar between cookies and spraying it as needed.
Bake the cookies on the center rack, one pan at a time, until just firm to the touch, 8 to 13 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
To prepare icing & decorate cookies: Stir together confectioners' sugar and dried egg whites in a small bowl. Stir in corn syrup, vanilla (or almond) extract and a few drops of red dye to create the desired color. Add a little more water if necessary to achieve a thin consistency for drizzling. Spoon the icing into a small plastic bag with a tiny tip of one corner snipped off. Drizzle over the cooled cookies. Or dip a fork into the icing and quickly wave it over the cookies. Let stand until the icing sets before storing the cookies.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough for up to 1 day. Store baked cookies airtight in a single layer for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
White whole-wheat flour is made from a special variety of white wheat that is lighter in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores and online at bobsredmill.com or kingarthurflour.com. Store it in the freezer.
Pasteurized dried egg whites are a wise choice in recipes that call for uncooked egg whites, like icings or meringues. Look for brands like Just Whites in the baking or natural-foods section of most supermarkets. Reconstitute according to package directions or use according to the recipe.
Find red and other natural liquid dyes plus a rainbow of already-dyed decorating sugars at chocolatecraftkits.com.
75 calories;3 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 11 mcg folate; 8 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 7 g added sugars; 12 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 18 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 36 mg sodium; 52 mg potassium