Healthy Holiday Treats

Healthy Holiday Treats

by Posted on: December 6, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

The holiday season means time spent with family and friends. A large portion of this time is usually centered around food. No one wants to give up their favorite holiday treats- and you shouldn’t have to! It is easy to indulge without blowing your diet this season. Here are a few healthy recipes you can whip up for your next holiday party!


Gingerbread People Cookies

Per cookie: 99 calories, 2 g fat , 12 mg cholesterol, 88 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate,  1 g protein

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Icing and candies of your choice
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses, egg, vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the flour, ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cloves; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread boy cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps.
  • Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.


Molasses Crackle Cookies

Per cookie: 79 calories, 1 g fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  1. Beat butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and molasses. Mix well.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and ginger in another large bowl until well blended. Stir in crystallized ginger.
  3. Blend the flour mixture into the butter mixture a cup at a time, mixing well, until it is all incorporated. Chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  5. Place the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll in the sugar. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies, in batches, until they crackle on top, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 3 dozen


Rocky Road Brownies

Per brownie: 190 calories; 8 g fat, 22 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein

  • 1 cup less 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 regular-size marshmallows
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/3 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or large chocolate chips


  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray. (Leave enough of an overhang to be able to lift the brownies out of the pan later with the liner.) If you don’t plan to let the batter rest at the end of Step 3 before baking, position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
  2. Thoroughly whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan until sizzling. Remove from the heat and stir in cocoa, then sugar. (The mixture will look like a mass of very dark brown sugar.) Add egg, egg whites and vanilla. Stir briskly until smooth and glossy. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Then stir briskly for about 50 strokes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. The batter will be very shallow in the pan. If you have time, cover the pan and refrigerate for a few hours or up to 12 hours. (This hydrates the cocoa powder and flour and brings all the flavors into sharper focus.) Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking; preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Quarter marshmallows with an oiled knife. Distribute the pieces over the batter, pressing them in. Distribute nuts and chocolate (or chips) around the marshmallows.
  5. Bake the brownies until the marshmallows are golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes. (If you can find a place to test for doneness where there is no melted chocolate or marshmallow, a toothpick should come out with some moist, gooey batter clinging to it. Brownies in a metal pan will bake faster than those in a glass pan; if you’re unsure, bake a few minutes longer to make sure the brownies are done in the middle.) Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Lift the ends of the pan liner and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 brownies. Yield: 16 brownies


connect with us