This recipe for Healthier Sugar Cookies makes delicious and healthy cut-out chocolate chip sugar cookies to share with your loved ones on Valentine's Day or anytime your heart desires!
With Valentine's Day quickly coming up I decided to spend some time baking something special for the kids. But with all the sweets we consumed over the holidays, I wanted to give them a treat that would be appealing and delicious as well as healthier.
So I set out to adapt my favourite sugar cookie recipe into a healthier sugar cookie by substituting some of the ingredients with healthier ones.
Baking Healthy Cut-Out Cookies
A couple of things I do when I'm looking to bake healthier is to replace some or all of the all-purpose flour. My preferred choices are whole wheat pastry flour and quinoa flour. I find quinoa flour works well in most baked goods.
Then I look at the amount of sugar and see how much I can reduce without it having a huge effect on the flavour and tenderness of my baked goods. This will vary depending on what you're baking as it's different for cookies and cakes.
It's much easier to use honey or maple syrup to replace some of the sugar that's in cakes and muffins. Since I was working on a cookie recipe and didn't have any coconut sugar, I used half a cup of granulated sugar.
Though granulated sugar isn't a healthy ingredient, I think using a small quantity in what is, after all a treat, is ok.
However, if you don't want to use refined sugar in this healthier cookie recipe, you could try coconut sugar. I haven't tried it myself so if you decide to give it a try let me know how it went in the comments!
Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies
This chocolate chip sugar cookie dough comes together quickly and easily. It's also a very easy dough to work with.
Just a half-hour in the refrigerator was all it took to get these cookies firm enough to roll and cut into shapes without any difficulty. As you can see in the pictures, these healthier sugar cookies maintain their shape beautifully.
- Unsalted butter at room temperature
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Quinoa flour. Can substitute all-purpose flour.
- Whole wheat pastry flour
- Baking powder
- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Tips for Making them:
- When ready to roll the dough out, start by dusting your surface with a little bit of flour. This will make sure the dough doesn't stick to your counter.
- Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness before cutting out the shapes.
- In case you leave the dough in the refrigerator for too long and find the dough hard to roll out, just let it sit at room temperature for a bit and try again in a few minutes.
- If the dough is too soft, put it back in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. If chilling the dough doesn't work, add a bit more flour and test the dough again.
These cookies can be iced but I find the chocolate chips add visual appeal as well as an extra touch of sweetness and therefore make the icing unnecessary.
Serve these Healthier Sugar Cookies with a cup of tea or a glass of milk for the kids.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. You can also make these sugar cookies ahead of time, place them in an airtight container with wax paper between the cookie layers and freeze them for up to three months.
If you try this recipe I hope you'll find that it's still possible to bake healthier cut-out sugar cookies that still taste delicious!
If you have kids, have them join you in the kitchen and help you bake these cookies. Mine always have so much fun cutting out the shapes.
More Valentine's Day Recipes
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Dukkah-Crusted Lamb Chops with Cauliflower and Potato Purée
- Mini Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Cups
- Spicy Chocolate Brownies
- Double Chocolate Coconut Almond Truffles
Healthier Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup quinoa flour or all-purpose flour*
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes more, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl once or twice.
- Add the egg and vanilla, beat well. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until blended. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add the mini chocolate chips and beat until they're just mixed in the cookie dough.
- Remove the dough and shape into 2 disks about an inch thick. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour and up to 2 days maximum.**
- Once the dough is chilled, remove one disk from the refrigerator. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Line two sheet pans with nonstick baking liners (silpat) or parchment paper.
- Dust your surface with a little bit of flour, roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
- With cookie cutter, cut as many shapes as you can, place cookies on the baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and cut out more cookies. Repeat until all the dough is used.
- Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through the baking time. Bake until cookies look set and are slightly golden underneath.
- Let cookies rest on baking sheet for a few minutes and remove to rack to cool completely.
- If you don't have any quinoa flour or don't care for it, you can use all-purpose flour.
- If the dough is refrigerated for much longer than 1/2 hour, and is hard to roll out, let the dough sit on the counter for a bit.
This post was originally published in February 2018. It has been updated with additional content. The recipe remains unchanged.