Healthier Options for Holiday Desserts: Sugar Cookies

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Holiday meals come with the unwanted gift of added pounds. Kacie Barnes, dietitian and Mommy Blogger in Dallas, is helping us make those holiday dessert staples, just a little healthier, without sacrificing the taste. Barnes introduced us to: Healthier Sugar Cookies

Healthy Sugar Cookies


  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-½ cups flour (I used all-purpose)
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp + ⅛ tsp baking powder


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 3-4 tsp whole milk

Make the cookies:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until it is very light in color, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Add 1 cup of the flour, the salt and baking powder and turn on low. Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough is no longer crumbly and starts to stick together.
  4. Wrap in the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a large cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  6. When the dough is chilled, lightly flour your working surface and place your dough on top of the flour, and slide it around so the underside is lightly coated. Take the same plastic wrap that it was wrapped in, unroll it and place it on top of the dough.
  7. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to ⅜” thick.
  8. Use the cookie cutters to cut your desired shapes. I used 2-½” round cutters for slightly smaller cookies, and 3” for larger ones. Place on the cookie sheet, leaving 1” of space between each cookie.
  9. Knead the scraps together and repeat the previous two steps until all the dough has been cut.
  10. Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 1-2 minutes more, just until the edges are barely golden brown. They might seem underbaked, but they’re not.
  11. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool the whole sheet on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then move the cookies from the pan to the cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
  12. Ice the Cookies: Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and 3 tsp of whole milk in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. (Add the last teaspoon of milk if the icing is too thick.)
  13. Use a butter knife to spread the icing or use a wet finger to smooth the icing over the cookies.
  14. Let the cookies dry at room temperature for at least 2 hours before stacking
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