100 Healthy Cookies
Chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter or biscotti—We have a recipe for you no matter what cookie you're craving.
Few things compare to the aroma of delicious cookies baking away in the oven. No matter what the time of year, time of day, or variety of weather headed your way, there is no better time to bake up a batch. Here you will find 100 reasons to start preheating the oven and prepping your cookie sheets, starting with our indulgent Oatmeal Toffee Cookies.
Brown sugar and butter underscore the tawny sweetness of the almond toffee bits. What's not to love about these crunchy, chewy cookies?
With a double shot of chocolate and hazelnut flavors, kids and adults will rave over these filled cookies. The espresso powder is optional, but it intensifies the chocolate flavor.
Lightly coat your hands with flour to make rolling the dough into balls easier. The dough freezes well. Freeze the dough after step 1, thaw in the refrigerator, then proceed with step 2. The powdered sugar coating gives these cookies an appealing cracked finish. Serve with coffee to echo the espresso.
"The inspiration for these sinfully rich-tasting cookies combines my obsession with shortbread, dulce de leche, and a restaurant cream cheese dessert," said reader and recipe developer Jennifer Brumfield.
When Michaela Rosenthal's daughter moved out, she left behind an unopened jar of almond butter. Unsure of what to do with the butter, Rosenthal was inspired to reproduce almond cookies she'd had at an Asian restaurant. It took several attempts, but the result is a satisfying and healthy version of the treat.
These cookies—bittersweet chocolate that mellows the ground peppers' heat--earned our Test Kitchens' highest rating. They're lovely after dinner with a few last sips of red wine.
Make up to two days ahead, and store in an airtight container at room temperature. The chocolate and hazelnut coating adds textural interest to these airy, sweet treats.
Given that both chocolate and coconut are not as bad as once thought, and given that they taste mighty good together, we made a batch of these toasty, chocolaty treats to celebrate. Like all sweets with few other nutrients, though, they are treats—perfectly healthy every once in a while.
Whether you're welcoming kids home from school, baking a treat for a party, or enjoying an afternoon to yourself, these cookies are the just-right sweet you need. If you want to create colorful cookies, divide the icing into portions and use food coloring to tint it different hues.
This finalist for the Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest was developed by Christine Dohlmar of Valrico, Florida. "I love oatmeal cookies, so I did my best to come up with a low-fat version," she explained.
A mere one-quarter cup of butter yields crispy, light cookies and keeps calories in check. Dried strawberries lend fiber, color, and subtle sweetness. You can find them in larger supermarkets, or substitute raisins or dried cranberries. Because the dough is heavy, we used a sturdy stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar, then stir in the remaining ingredients by hand.
With the honeyed flavor of dried figs, a sweet cream cheese layer, and a buttery, crumbly crust, these bars garnered our Test Kitchens' highest rating. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Originally appearing in our March/April 1993 issue, these gingersnap cookies created by Elizabeth Graubard of Palm Harbor, Florida, have stood the test of time. We swapped flavorful butter for the original's margarine and still love the snappy flavor and crisp texture.
We loved this creative take on the traditional Rice Krispies bar. Green pumpkinseeds are also sometimes sold as pepitas. In humid weather, cool the bars in the refrigerator to keep them from becoming too sticky.
These bar cookies are also known as seven-layer bars. They take less than 30 minutes to make and call for just 8 ingredients, making Hello Dolly Bars the perfect dessert for taking along, well, just about anywhere.
This recipe is an adaptation of Italian amaretti. It calls for macadamias, but hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or pine nuts would also be good. Using nuts in baking allows you to incorporate their heart-healthy fats—and satisfying texture. If you are sensitive to ginger, use the lower end of the called-for range.
"My grandkids love these cookies because they're nice and big, with lots of chocolate chips. They're easy to freeze—just wrap individually in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and store in a zip-top bag," said reader Marie Rizzio.
This decadent-seeming chocolate biscotti recipe is actually pretty healthy and features good-for-you ingredients like whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, and unsalted almonds.
Don't substitute marzipan for the almond paste, because it's a bit too sweet for this buttery, lightly spiced cookie. Look for the almond paste in tubes, such as Odense brand, or in cans, like King Arthur brand.
With nutty, caramel notes from browned butter and a fair bit of salt to balance the flavors, these cookies will become an instant favorite. You can roll out the dough right after combining all the ingredients—no chilling required. Look for pearlized sugar in gourmet markets or craft stores; the coarse crystals reflect light to give the cookies a sparkly, jewel-like appearance.
When shaping these buttery cookies, do not try to form perfectly smooth balls. If the dough is handled too much, the cookies will become heavy and dense.
We love these thick, satisfying cookies as humble as peanut butter cookies but not as crumbly. Dried cranberries provide a slightly tart counterpoint to the macadamia nuts' richness. The dough is somewhat sticky; chilling it briefly makes handling easier.
Store these frosted cookies between layers of parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from sticking together. You can bake and freeze the cookies up to a month in advance; bring the cookies to room temperature before frosting them.
Standing the cookies eliminates the traditional step of flipping them halfway through baking. Chocolate lovers can stir 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into the batter or dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate.
A small square of these rich bars is enough to satisfy a dessert craving. The flour and oats mixture is somewhat dry after combining, but it serves as both a solid base for the soft butterscotch chip layer and a crumbly, streusel-like topping.
These easy chocolate oatmeal drop cookies are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Chocolate minichips disperse better in the batter, but you can use regular chips.
Our Test Kitchens staffers found that using a serrated knife works best for cutting the rolls after the first bake time. If you're a fan of dried cranberries, they make a great substitute for dried cherries.
Bizcochitos are anise-flavored drop cookies that originated in New Mexico. Prepare the dough in advance, and refrigerate up to three days. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to three days. Omit the aniseed if you don't care for its licorice flavor.
A version of this milk-worthy cookie is a perennial best seller at the Winkler Bakery in the preserved Moravian village of Old Salem, North Carolina. Roll the dough as thin as possible to achieve a properly light, crisp texture.
Package these crunchy cookies in a gift box with a pound of your favorite coffee beans. Look for almond paste in your supermarket's baking aisle, and for best results, don't substitute marzipan, which is sweeter and more finely textured, in place of the paste.
The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don't overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead. For a more grown-up taste, you can also use dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.
This is one of the best chocolate-chip cookies you'll ever make—and it doesn't scrimp on chocolate. Making chocolate chip cookies with applesauce is the secret to soft and chewy cookies without a lot of fat.
Macaroons almost always have nuts and egg whites in the ingredient list. This rendition also features intensely sweet dried figs. Be sure to remove and discard the hard stems of the figs before chopping them.
You can make these cookies a day or two before the party and store them in an airtight container. But be warned--these are so good, you should probably stash them somewhere out of sight so you don't eat them all yourself.
These beautiful raspberry cookies are easy to prepare. Cut them into shapes—round, rectangular, or even star-shaped. You can reroll the dough scraps, but chill them first.
"Mashed ripe banana adds sweetness and flavor to these chocolate chip cookies," said reader and recipe developer Cathy Brixen. "I found I could reduce the usual amount of sugar and butter."
The combination of tender cake flour and sturdy all-purpose flour produces delicate cookies. The dough will be crumbly after you've combined all the ingredients but will hold its shape once molded in a tablespoon measure and turned onto a baking sheet. You may need to add one to two additional teaspoons of ice water to the dough to achieve the crumbly consistency.
For your next gathering, bring these delicate, crisp cookies out on a tray at the end of the evening with little to-go cups of coffee—a great send-off from a successful party.
Bake three cookies at a time so they'll be soft enough to shape. Tuck your message into the cookie while shaping. If the cookies become too brittle, return them to the oven for a few seconds to soften.
"I'm originally from the South, and Moon Pies, as they are called, were a special treat," said recipe developer Susan Kwun. "I started looking for a recipe to make my own when I moved to New York, but the closest I could come to them was a recipe in a New England cookbook. My lightened adaptation can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to a month if the cookies are tightly wrapped. Make sure to have the cookies ready when the marshmallow filling is made—the filling firms up quickly as it cools."
Sweet treats made from sesame seeds are common to Makar Sankrat/Pongal celebrations. Traditionally, these cookies are made by encasing the filling in the dough and dropping them into hot oil to fry. This version, similar in concept to a thumbprint cookie, is baked and just as tasty.
"I love chocolate and cherry flavors together, and I found great dried cherries from Maine for this recipe. I also used bittersweet instead of milk chocolate: Not only does it have less sugar, but it has a deeper flavor, too," said reader and recipe developer Marcie Dixon.
Look for almond meal—also known as almond flour—in health-food and specialty stores. Bake the cookies ahead, and freeze up to six months in an airtight container, with wax paper between layers. Thaw and dust the cookies with powdered sugar just before serving.
These no-bake bars come together quickly with common pantry ingredients. Make sure the cereal is well crushed (try packing it in a sealed zip-top plastic bag and using a rolling pin) so it incorporates into the peanut butter mixture.
Coarse-grained sea salt does not melt into the batter, so you experience a crunchy burst with every bite. Use any other nut you like in place of peanuts.
Cutting and stacking the dough creates alternating stripes of vanilla and chocolate pieces. For pinwheel variation, stack the two (12 x 8-inch) dough rectangles on top of each other, and roll up into a 12-inch-long cylinder as if you're making cinnamon rolls. Chill the roll before slicing.
For a variation on this crisp Italian cookie recipe, substitute orange for lemon and semisweet chocolate chips for chopped white chocolate. Take time to chop a white chocolate candy bar for this recipe; white chocolate morsels contain no cocoa butter.
A combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper gives these chai cookies a taste reminiscent of Indian spiced tea. The fine texture of powdered sugar helps them retain the characteristic shortbread crunch.
The light and fresh flavor of these cookies, along with the fantastic texture courtesy of yellow cormeal, make these an interesting and unexpected choice for your dessert spread.
These oversized cookies are more like muffin tops, but calling them cookies makes them seem a bit more indulgent. They're chock-full of exercise-friendly ingredients like dried fruit and nuts. They're ideal with a glass of skim milk for breakfast after a morning workout.
Alfajores, these crisp wafer cookies, are filled with caramelized sweetened condensed milk. Although you often can find a full-fat version of this product at Hispanic markets, we've made our own lower-fat version.
You can mix these incredibly easy, fudge cookies right in the saucepan. When freshly baked, these thin cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers. You can make them with either Dutch process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder; we opted for the latter.