Making Decadent Cookies Healthy

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The holidays lure even the most reticent cook into the kitchen for baking. When most of us think of the holidays we think of cookies and bar cookies because they are easy to give as a gift. Many of the recipes we reach for are old standbys that most everyone loves, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, peanut butter cookies, just to name a few.

Making Decadent Cookies Healthy

What if you could make those delicious cookies healthy at the same time? Definitely would be a bonus other than extracting calories out of our old favorites. Below we are going to give you some wonderful healthy additions that you can make to almost any cookie or bar cookie recipe. Just remember that if you add a lot more dry ingredients to your cookie recipe to adjust your wet ingredients accordingly.

The key to adding ingredients to cookies is to pair ingredients that would work well with the most common ingredients for that recipe. So, we will not only give you some healthy additions to try out but also suggestions on what type of cookies these ingredient additions might work best with.

Healthy Ingredient Additions for Cookies

  • Use Whole Wheat Flour-Replacing all or half of the flour in your cookie recipe with whole wheat flour gives you a healthy boost. If you want flour that mimics all-purpose flour try whole wheat pastry flour, it’s the lighter version of whole wheat flour that is used for bread baking. I’ve substituted whole wheat flour for years in cookie recipe and with all the other sweet ingredients you don’t usually detect an overly wheaty taste. I would use whole wheat pastry flour if I was making sugar cookies, because they are usually light in color and this time of year many times are decorated.
  • Reduce Sugar-You can easily reduce your sugar in a recipe by 25%, just remember to add a little more liquid to compensate. My favorite substitution is honey for sugar. Honey doesn’t give you such a sugar buzz and it’s an easy substitution to make. If the recipe only calls for a half cup of sugar, you can use a half cup of honey instead. If you go over a cup of sugar, then you need to reduce honey accordingly, with about 2/3-3/4 cup of honey for each cup of sugar. You can also swap out coconut sugar for white sugar and you won’t be able to tell the difference.
  • Add Some Oats-Adding oats to any recipe bumps up the nutrition and the protein at bit. Try replacing some of the flour with oats, start at 20-25% or make your own oat flour in your blender or food processor. Oats are a great addition to peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies brown sugar cookies, and more.
  • Add Chopped Dates to Cookies-Adding chopped dates to cookies lets you reduce sugar a little bit and adds good nutrition allowing you to reduce sugar by a little bit in the recipe. Start out with adding a small amount to oatmeal cookies and dates work well in many bar recipes also.
  • Add Nuts-Nuts are a great substitution for nearly any cookie recipe. Just make sure that no one has a nut allergy. Just pick your favorite nut, walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia, or eve pistachios. Each of these nuts give a different flavor to your cookie recipe. Walnuts are the easiest addition, but macadamia nuts give a wonderful island flavor to your cookie recipe. It’s easy to add nuts to oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, banana cookies, and so many more.
  • Reduce Fat-Substitute olive oil for butter in your cookie recipes. You can also try replace a small portion of butter with peanut butter that will also increase the protein in your cookies.
  • Add Peanut Butter-Who doesn’t like peanut butter? There are a few people, but most people love peanut butter and it’s such an easy addition to so many great cookie recipes while adding extra protein at the same time. Try adding swirls of peanut butter to your next brownie batch, add peanut butter to chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, and many bar recipes.
  • Add Other Healthy Ingredients– You can add flax seed, chia seeds, brewer’s yeast, bee pollen, applesauce, protein powder, hemp seeds, or Greek yogurt. Use your imagination and have fun adding healthy ingredients to your cookie and bar recipes.

Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar Cookies

We couldn’t let our holiday blog go by without giving you a great cookie recipe for the holidays. We love this cookies recipe because it has some of our favorite ingredients; chocolate, balsamic vinegar, and salt!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 2 sticks of butter softened or substitute Tastealotta Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup melted dark chocolate
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Tastealotta Chocolate Di Torino Dark Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoon sea salt flakes for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Stir flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl cream the butter or olive oil with sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and melted chocolate and mix until everything is well mixed.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stir until just combined, don’t over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Add heaping tablespoon balls of dough to prepared cookie sheet, either greased or covered with parchment paper. Make sure each cookie is about a couple of inches apart, they will spread.
  6. Cook about 20 minutes until edges are firm. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Combine the powdered sugar and Tastealotta Chocolate Di Torino Dark Balsamic Vinegar in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add more vinegar if needed to create a slightly runny consistency.
  8. Put the glaze into a resealable plastic bag, cut a small corner off to make a piping bag.
  9. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies and then sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Wishing everyone the very happiest and healthiest holiday seasons. Be sure to come by Tastealotta early for your baking and cooking supplies. We have many great gifts in the store for the foodie in your life. Have fun baking this holiday season and be thankful for the small joys in life!

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