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Healthy Cookie Recipes for Sweet Cravings

10 low-guilt cookies that are tasty, tempting treats

Amaretti on a baking pan cooling off, Cookstr recipes for healthy cookies (Veronique Leplat/Grand Tour/Corbis)

Veronique Leplat/Grand Tour/Corbis

An Italian dessert, flourless amaretti cookies have protein-packing almonds as a healthy ingredient.

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

1. Ginger Drizzle Cookies

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

2. Black Dog Ginger Cookies

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

3. Old-Fashioned Almond Cookies

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

4. Cantucci

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

5. Amaretti Cookies

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

Next page: 5 more healthy cookie recipes, including oatmeal cookies and ladyfingers. »

6. Oatmeal Cookies

by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

It's hard to go wrong with this classic cookie, and this recipe is especially easy — just five ingredients, including sunflower oil instead of butter, which means less saturated fat. Oatmeal may help lower cholesterol and is full of antioxidants.

Per serving: 89 calories, 1g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 4mg sodium

7. Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

by Jan Main

This delicious variation of the oatmeal cookie is also simple and tasty, using a mix of wheat bran and flour. And the cranberries add some seasonal spice (in addition to being full of antioxidants and other nutrients).

Per serving: 72 calories, 1g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 1g fiber, 39mg sodium

8. Ladyfingers

by Joey Altman

There's no need to reserve ladyfingers for tiramisu: These sweet sponge cakes are a delicious treat that can be eaten by hand, as you'd eat a cookie. They're surprisingly light, and low in fat, without oil or butter.

Per serving: 45 calories, 0g saturated fat, 7g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 0g fiber, 16mg sodium

9. Pretend Peanut Butter Cookies

by Elizabeth Gordon

This innovative recipe replaces peanut butter with sunflower seed butter. It also includes ground flaxseed meal — a source of fiber and "good" fats — and gluten-free baking flour.

Per serving: 150 calories, 1g saturated fat, 16g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber, 121mg sodium

10. Raisin and Apricot Breakfast Cookies

by Debra Ponzek

A healthful cookie for breakfast? Sign us up! Orange juice and prunes or applesauce, rather than butter, play the major role in moistening these cookies, which have enough fiber to be satisfying. And enough flavor to disappear fast.

Per serving: 177 calories, 2g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 2g fiber, 165mg sodium

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