Thursday, December 27, 2012

You Can Have Your Cookie and EAT It Too!

Pin It Isn't being home for Christmas great?  I think it is.  You learn to especially appreciate it when you don't live at home anymore. What could possibly be better than spending time with family and friends and holiday baking?  Mmmm just thinking about it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! I'm such a sap when it comes to Christmas.  Haha.

I was FINALLY reunited with my two partners in crime from high school while I was home.  Love those girls!  We decided to have a little fun together by decorating Christmas cookies.  Decorating Christmas cookies is one of my favorite childhood memories. My dad would always help us mix up the dough and cut a bunch of fun shapes out.  Then he would mix every color frosting under the sun for us and my sister and I would go to town decorating the dozens upon dozens of cookies.  As we got older we even started to get pretty detailed and creative in our decorations.  So much fun! 

I really wanted to blog about this tradition, but there was one minor problem... sugar cookies are not exactly the healthiest thing in the world and I mean this is technically a healthy food blog.  I tried to make a healthier whole wheat cookie last year, but they ended up looking like African America gingerbread men.  Not that that is a bad thing, but I have to be honest they tasted like cardboard...even with a thick layer of frosting on the top. 
This year I was ready to take the sugar cookie makeover challenge head on.  A little substitution here, a little less of this, a little more of that, a pinch of this here, and a blob of this there.  Perfection!  I was on a bit of a time crunch so I couldn't take the time to roll out the dough and cut out fun shapes, but this dough definitely could be rolled out if you so desire. 
Adapted from Enlightened Cooking
 Never mind the three frosted graham crackers... we were just trying to use up the frosting.
3/4 cup White whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Unbleached white flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Unsalted butter (The real stuff! No chemicals please!)
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Sift together the first four ingredients (flours, baking powder, and salt).  If you don't have a sifter you can just use a whisk.
3. In a small pan brown the butter over low heat until golden.  Make sure to keep stirring to avoid burning the butter.
4. In a medium glass bowl combine the browned butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer. 
3. After about a minute, add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium-high for another two minutes.
4. Turn the mixer down to a low speed and slowly add the flour mixture until combined.
5. At this point you can either refrigerate the dough to make rolling it out easier or you can scoop small evenly sized balls onto a cookie sheet.  Make sure to flatten them out with the bottom of a cup before baking.  I made sure to dip the bottom of my cup in some flour before pressing on the dough to avoid sticking. 
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Be careful not to over bake! 
7. Let cool completely before frosting.
8. You can use whatever frosting and candy decorations you would like for these cookies.  We choose to make a simple frosting out of some milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. 
Makes about 15 cookies.
Isn't my little reindeer cute?  I used walnuts for the antlers. :)
Nutrition Facts:
*Does not include frosting or decorations
Calories: 100
Total Fat: 3.5g
     Sat. Fat: 1.5g
     Mono. Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 18mg
Sodium: 47mg
Total Carbs: 24g
     Dietary Fiber: 1g
     Sugars: 6.5g
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A: 2%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 1%
Iron: 3%

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