- Make smaller cookies. I'll usually make mine anywhere from 1/2-oz (~14 grams) to 1 oz (~28 grams).
- Use less fat. I usually find that decreasing the fat anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 the amount called for in a recipe is not noticeable.
- Substitute some of the fat with a fruit puree (such as applesauce, pumpkin puree, or mashed banana), 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, or plain Greek yogurt. You don't want to substitute all of the fat or the cookie will be gummy. So, leave in at least 2 tbsp. butter but you'll be getting less fat overall.
- Use egg substitute instead of whole eggs. You'll see in my recipes I don't normally do this, but 1/4 cup egg substitute (~35 calories) is equal to 1 whole egg (~70 calories) and is only half the calories. You can also use 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg.
- Use less sugar. Just like the fat in the recipe, I can usually decrease the sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 without affecting the texture too much. And you'll notice in recipes that have frosting (as in the Frosted Eggnog Cookies below), you can usually keep the cookie sugar low because you're going to taste most of the sugar in the frosting.
- Substitute 1/3 to 1/2 the flour with whole wheat flour for added whole grain nutrition.
- Decrease the nuts or baking chips by half and use smaller pieces when possible (for example, diced nuts instead of chopped or mini baking chips instead of regular). This allows for the bits to be more widely dispersed throughout the cookie but no one will notice that you're using less. Also, toasting the nuts will provide more flavor.
I'd love to hear if you have any other tips that you use to make your baked goods healthier!
Check out these seasonal cookie recipes from our recipe bank: