Healthy Christmas Sugar Cookies
The holiday season is perfect for spending some quality time with your loved ones. One of the most beloved Christmas traditions is baking Christmas cookies. You get to have fun and get messy in the kitchen, sing Christmas carols on top of your lungs while cutting out festive cookie shapes and most importantly, you get some tasty treats for you and your little ones to indulge in along with a hot chocolate once you're done.
Many parents do care about offering their kids a healthy, balanced diet though and the holidays with all of its treats and temptations can be a real challenge to that. But don't worry, Santa came early this year and is here to have your back!
With this healthier version of Sugar Cookies, you can have your favorite Christmas treat without feeling too guilty about it. Even though they're still a dessert and taste just as good as the regular version, they're at least a bit healthier and dairy-free friendly as well!
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your little ones and let the festive baking fun begin!
For the Cookies
- ? cup granulated sugar (I used Turbinado)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour (all purpose/whole wheat)
- ? tsp salt
- ½ tsp + ? tsp baking powder
For the Icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
3-4 tsp of your dairy free milk alternative of choice (or whole milk)
Making the Cookies:
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until it is very light, which usually takes about 5-10 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until they're well combined.
- Put in 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt and gradually add the remaining flour while on low. Mix until the dough is no longer crumbly and starts to stick together nicely.
- Preheat the oven to 375F and line a large cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Then, take the dough from the bowl and wrap it in some plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has cooled down, lightly flour your working surface and place the dough on top of it. Spread some flour on the underside of the dough, so that it is lightly coated. Reuse the same plastic wrap that the dough was wrapped in, unroll it and place it on top.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to either ¼" thick for chewy, thicker, bakery-style cookies or roll it out to ?” thick for traditional sugar cookies.
- Use the cookie cutters to cut your desired Christmas shapes. This is usually the part that your kids will enjoy the most, so feel free to get creative and go all in. Place the formed cookies on the parchment paper and leave about 1” of space between each cookie.
- Gather the scraps together and repeat the previous two steps until all the dough has been used up to avoid waste and get the maximum amount of cookies!
- Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 1-2 minutes more, just until the edges are nice and golden brown. They might seem under baked, but they’re not and you wouldn't want to keep them in for too long either.
- Once they’re done, remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Carefully move the cookies from the pan to the cooling rack to cool completely before adding the icing.
Now it's time to add the icing:
- Mix the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and 3 tsp of milk (dairy or non-dairy) in a small bowl.
- Show off your strength and use your muscles to whisk very well until the icing is smooth and makes thick ribbons when you hold the whisk up from the bowl. This counts as your daily work out for sure!
- If the icing is still too thick, you can add the last teaspoon of milk to liquify it a bit more.
- Now you have several options: Either pipe the icing onto the cookies, use a butter knife to spread it or just go in with a wet finger to gently smooth the icing over the cookies.
- Let your master pieces dry at room temperate for at least 2 hours before stacking them. The wait can be hard, but it's worth it!
- Then you can get together your family and indulge in your festive cookie creations. Secret tip: They go super well with a glass of hot cocoa or steamed milk.
- If you manage to restrain yourself and have some leftovers, or you want to save some cookies for grandma, you can store the sugar cookies in a container with a lid for up to one week.