I'm a Dietitian and This Is My Go-to Dessert
I am a registered dietitian, and I love dessert. Dessert absolutely can have a place in a healthy eating pattern, and I don't know any dietitians who would say otherwise. For me, what's for dessert can change based on the day. Sometimes it's a few slices of cheese (yes, dessert can be savory) or a pint of ice cream with a spoon. Other nights I'm not in the mood for anything post-dinner. Similar to cooking meals, I love variety. When I am making desserts myself, I lean on things that are easy, require minimal cleanup and are quick enough to make on a whim. Note that I did not say anything about it being "healthy," since that is not my top concern when it comes to dessert (I'll never be the dietitian to ask you to choose nice cream when you want the real deal). Though there are plenty of desserts I love to make, this one stands alone as my go-to.
Icebox cookies (also known as refrigerator cookies) are the dessert that I pretty much always have on-hand as an option for dessert. They are quick, budget-friendly and can be adapted to work for pretty much every situation. Simply make the cookie dough, roll it into a log and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap (unfortunately, reusable wraps don't really work for this because they don't preserve the moisture as well). I like to use something like Glad ClingWrap ($4.59, Target.com).
Once you have your log of dough, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the freezer and slice off as many cookies as you need.
We have some delicious recipes that I love, like our Cinnamon Icebox Cookies or Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies. But you can also get creative with your flavors. Most doughs that call for butter and sugar work well as icebox cookies, so you could try our Lemon Sugar Cookies, Orange-Pistachio Cookies or other flavors based on your preference. When I make icebox cookies, I usually make a few batches so that I can keep them in my freezer for a rainy day. They are easy and take basically no active time after you make the dough. Plus, you can cut as few (or as many) cookies from the dough log as you need, depending on the number of people you are feeding or your hunger level.
Dessert can absolutely have a place in a healthy eating pattern and is nothing to feel "guilty" about enjoying. I personally love desserts that are interesting, quick and easy (bonus points for being budget-friendly and requiring minimal cleanup). Icebox cookies check all of my boxes and are perfect for everything from a post-dinner treat for company to a solo night catching up on your show.