We've all been tempted by those buttery-good 300- or 400-calorie cookies that seem more like a meal replacement than an after-dinner treat. Dessert doesn't have to be so decadent, however: We've compiled 10 recipes for cookies that are just as delicious as those diet-busting doozies, but have some health benefits or less fat than other cookies that are like them.
See also: How to cook with ancient grains
by Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex
These cookies are festive, colorful and surprisingly healthful. Half the usual white flour is replaced by whole-wheat flour, the shortening is replaced with canola oil, and ground flaxseed is added for fiber.
Per serving: 90 calories, 0g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 1g fiber, 105mg sodium
by Joseph Hall and Elaine Sullivan
The signature ginger cookies from the famous Black Dog Bakery on Martha's Vineyard are spiced up with fresh cinnamon and cloves, and molasses adds an even deeper richness. Ginger, believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, is an immune booster: perfect for cold season.
Per serving: 218 calories, 1g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 0g fiber, 217mg sodium
by Dorie Greenspan
These delectable almond cookies, also called amandines, are a specialty of Arnaud Larher's Montmartre patisserie. They're low-fat (there's no butter or oil), sophisticated and versatile — the ideal accompaniment for coffee, tea, hot chocolate or ice cream.
Per serving: 96 calories, 0g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber, 7mg sodium
by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner
These twice-baked, biscotti-style almond cookies are native to Tuscany and excellent with postmeal coffee or dessert wine. They have only 3 grams of fat per cookie, because, like the amandines, they are made without butter or oil.
Per serving: 88 calories, 1g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber, 38mg sodium
by Maria Filice
Try another Italian dessert staple, this one a sweet flourless treat — with 5 grams of protein, thanks to the nuts. You can substitute hazelnuts for the almonds in these cookies, which freeze well, so make a big batch.
Per serving: 153 calories, 1g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 2g fiber, 4mg sodium