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Dec 5, 2005 07:39 PM

Is this Such A Thing as a "Healthy" Cookie Recipe?

  • s

Request from my husband, please find me a healthier cookie! I'm not a baker at all, because I don't personally have a sweet tooth, so I'm totally mystified by this request.

He had heart surgery a few years ago, but still struggles with his love of food and especially all things sweet.

Now, the sugar isn't the real problem, it's that many cookies are made with either Crisco (the evil hydrogenated oils - a big no-no in our home) or, tons of butter (saturated fat - another avoidence when possible).

We both hate using unnatural ingredients, I'm not talking about using fake sweeteners or fats. I'd like to just find a cookie that is a bit more heart healthy. Biscotti would probably be a good choice, but unfortunately, he wants something chewier. He specifically is craving an oatmeal cookie (not my fav but I'm not craving cookies at all).

Of course, I've tried to get him to realize if he could just be satisfied with 1 really good cookie, that wouldn't be so bad but the truth is, that is never going to happen LOL.

Any ideas? Get your thinking caps out!


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  1. I don't have any recipes, but you can sub unsweetened applesauce or lowfat yogurt for part of the fat, esp. in bar cookies or drop cookies. (It's nearly impossible with rolled cookies.)

    You can also sub nut butters if you like them. It won't reduce the fat, but they'll be a healthier kind.

    Also, many cookies (like pie crusts) can be made with oil, assuming you don't have to cream them with sugar for fluffiness.

    1 Reply
    1. re: piccola

      I just made Cinnamon Pumpkin Bars this weekend and the man really likes them (and I added walnuts). Considering we're both trying to slim down for our wedding in 6 months and I have high cholesterol, I am in the same situation as your husband. I like this linked book (and I will have to double check it's the right one tonight)for that very reason. She substitutes a lot of the butter with non-fat sour cream or yougurt and cuts down on the eggs with more egg-whites. I will generally cut down the fat with applesauce in breads and cookies, but not completely. I also will glaze now with 3 tbls. of non-fat vanilla yougurt, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar. It doesn't fully harden, but I keep the goods in the fridge and the icing is delicious.

      Bars are not the same as cookies, but it's a start!


    2. Meringue cookies are relatively healthy, made with just egg whites and sugar. Unsweetened cocoa powder can be added, as can chocolate chips. If they are slightly underbaked, they are satisfyingly chewy.

      1. Do a search for Biscotti--they are usually made w/oil rather than butter and you can add almonds, chocolate, ginger or whatever. I think they are "healthier" than your average cookie.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Rita

          Actually, biscotti recipes generally do not call for any fat.

          1. re: shaebones

            Not true - they usually call for eggs, and the yolk is almost entirely fat. But you're right in the sense that there shouldn't be ay added butter or oil.

            1. re: piccola

              I have 4 biscotti recipes cut out at home - all call for some butter or oil. Not a lot, but some. Do I have bad recipes?

              1. re: danna

                No such thing as a "bad" recipe if it tastes good. :-)

                I hesitate to use the word, but... "Authentic" biscotti recipes use just eggs. But as all other recpies, they evolve with the times and the people who make them.

                I don't think many people can tell the difference once the biscotti are baked.

                1. re: piccola

                  I'm with piccola on this. I hate the word authentic, but, a more authentic recipe doesn't use butter or oil. What's more important is whether it tastes good to you. If so, go with it.

              2. re: piccola

                One egg has only 5 1/2 gms fat (1.7gm saturated fat). Most recipes don't usually call for more that 2 eggs. A recipe yeilding 16 biscotti would provide less than 1 gm fat each....thats pretty much no fat.This one is my favorite. Of course, the chocolate and almonds will add considerably more fat to each cookie. :/


          2. macaroons are typically made with little more than egg whites, nuts, sugar, and a dash of salt. low and slow should make them chewy. good luck.

            1. One of my favorite cookie recipes is an oat crisp that is reasonably healthy -- though more crisp than chewy. Still, it's a super easy recipe full of oats and doesn't have a lot of butter, sugar or corn syrup -- just a little bit of each. I'll paraphrase it here for you:

              Oat Crisps from "Four-Star Desserts" by Emily Luchetti (this is a great book, btw):

              2 1/2 tbls unsalted butter
              1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
              2 tbls granulated sugar
              2 tbls dark corn syrup
              1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

              Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter (I melt in the microwave) in a medium-sized bowl. Then mix the butter, and all other ingredients except the oats together. Finally add in the oats and combine well.

              You will want to line a baking tray with parchment paper (no wax paper for this one!) and place about 1 rounded tbls of the mixture for each cookie, leaving plenty of room between cookies because they spread quite flat when they bake. (Don't worry that the mounds seem messy when you place them on the parchment; they'll pull together and flatten into nice cookies very fast. Bake the cookies until they are golden brown and bubbly. I bake for 15 minutes rotating sheets half way through.

              Let them cool for several minutes, then slide the parchment paper off the tray and onto cooling racks. Let the cookies cool enough that their shape firms up before trying to take them off the sheets if you want them to be flat. With more batches, be sure the cookie sheets are cool before placing more oat mixture on them.

              The crisps will be similar to tuiles, and you can shape them while still warm if you'd like by curling them around the outside of a rolling pin, glass, etc. One of my favorite ways to serve is take the crisp off the parchment still warm and press inside a small cup so that when it cools it is in a bowl shape, turning it into a small bowl for ice cream or my fave, Haagen Dazs lemon sorbet (yum!) Also, the book recommends serving these with creme fraiche and fresh blueberries. This is good, and so is serving them with key lime pie filling to dip in (love the flavor combo), but obviously that won't be as healthy. (The sorbet bowl option might knock your husband's socks off, though!)