Eat Right: Healthy Christmas Cookies

Holiday baking and particularly Christmas cookies is the one food area I go all out on the butter, sugar, chocolate, and any other sweet decedent indulgence you might expect from the most delicious of Christmas cookies.    This year though I thought, we have more time at home and maybe a little more time to enjoy trying some new homemade goodness with a healthier twist.   I'm taking some of my staple seasonal favorites and giving them a new look!

Cranberry Noels - Love these, and who wouldn't love 2 sticks of butter?!

White Chocolate and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies (only a half stick of butter and nutritious oatmeal, wholewheat flour)



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into tablespoon pads
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Optional Toppings

  • white chocolate chips
  • sea salt


    • First, preheat oven to 350ºF and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
    • Next, cut cold butter into 1-tablespoon pads and place into a stand mixer.
    • Add brown sugar and then turn your stand mixer on to low/medium.
      • Cream butter and sugar together until there are no more lumps of butter and the consistency is smooth. This should take around 5 minutes.
      • While the butter is creaming, lightly pulverize rolled oats in a food processor. The goal here is to still have some chunks of oatmeal, but also have some oat flour. Then, transfer into a large bowl.
      • Add white whole wheat flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt to the same large bowl and mix until combined.
      • Once the butter has creamed, add egg and vanilla extract and mix on medium until combined. Make sure not to over mix!
      • Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet and mix on medium until a dough has formed. You may need to stop to scrape the bottom of your mixer. The consistency should be a little bit sticky, but have the ability to form into a ball.
      • Finally, add in white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and mix one final time on medium to combine.
      • Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough into your hands. Roll into a ball and then slightly flatten between your palms. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat. 8 cookies should
      • Optionally add a few more white chocolate chips to the tops of each cookie.
      • Bake at 350ºF for 12-14 minutes.
      • Once the bottoms are golden brown, remove from cookie sheet immediately and transfer to a cooling rack.
      • Top with optional sea salt before serving.

      Thanks to Fit Foodie Finds!


      My favorite Gingerbread Cookies -  Now I will still have to make some of these just for the sake of cutting out gingerbread men and keeping family tradition alive, but I do believe these might be a fun substitute heading into the New Year.

      Ginger Cookies - Soft, chewy, and gingery- what could be bad about that?!  Coconut oil, coconut sugar, and whole wheat flour are healthy stars here. 


      • 3/4 cup coconut oil
      • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
      • 1 large egg
      • 1/4 cup molasses
      • 1 cup flour, whole wheat
      • 1 cup flour, all-purpose
      • 2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon cloves, ground
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 2 teaspoon ginger root, fresh
      • 2 tablespoon sugar


      • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
      • Combine all ingredients (except granulated sugar) and make small dough balls about the size of a golfball.  Roll in granulated sugar and place on baking sheets.
      • Bake for 10 minutes and let cool.

      See more about coconut oil at Super Healthy Kids!


      Sugar cookies.  Is it even Christmas without Sugar Cookies and how in the world do we make a healthier version of something that has "sugar" in the name?   Well, this mom figured it out with less sugar and butter than traditional recipes. 

      A Healthier Sugar Cookie

      If at any point the dough seems too sticky, pop it into the fridge for 5-10 minutes to firm up a bit. Or dust your parchment paper and cookie cutters with flour.



        1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and use your hand to mix together to form a dough. (If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that it’s throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.)
        2. Make a flattened disc of dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate while the oven preheats. 
      1. Roll the dough ¼-inch thick between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper. (The flour will ensure that the cut outs are easy to move.)
      2. Cut out the dough with a cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. (If for some reason the cut outs are hard to transfer, place the rolled out dough with the stamped shapes into the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.)
      3. Remove from the oven, let cool on the baking sheet for a minute, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
      4. Use a small butter knife or paintbrush to spread on the icing or pipe on as desired. If adding sprinkles or other decorations, add them to the iced cookies right away before it dries.


      Easy Icing: Stir together 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2-3 teaspoons milk to make a smooth icing. You want it to be able to spread easily on the cookies and not be too thick. If you place some on the cookies and it runs right off, add a little more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick to spread, add a drop or two of milk. You can color the icing with a drop of food coloring if desired.

      To Make these Gluten-Free: Use this gluten-free flour.

      To Make these Dairy-Free: Use plain unsweetened nondairy milk in place of dairy milk. Use coconut oil, just softened (so not totally liquid, but softer than when it comes out of the jar at room temp). I tested it with about 10 seconds in the microwave in a heat-safe bowl.

      If the dough sticks after you initially chill the dough and roll it out, cut out the shapes and put it back into the fridge without trying to get the shapes out so it firms up more. Let the sheet pan chill for 10 minutes, then use a flat knife to pop up the shapes.

      If the dough is a little crumbly, be sure that it’s throughly combined and then if it’s still crumbly, add 1/2-1 tablespoon additional liquid until it comes together.

      To make this dough ahead: Store it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours. It will need to sit at room temperature for about an hour to soften up, or you can remove it from the plastic, put it onto a plate, and microwave for 5-10 seconds.

      You can use whole-wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat. The cookies will be darker in color, but the results will otherwise be the same.

      Now you can enjoy sugar cookies all year long thanks to Yummy Toddler Food!

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