Bake Cookies Day

Can you smell what the dietitian is cooking? It’s National Bake Cookies Day! What could be a better stress reliever than baking? Okay, I hear you, exercise and bath bombs are pretty great as well, but sweater season and cookie season go hand in hand. With Christmas around the corner, it’s a great time to whip up your favorite recipes or explore new ones. Whether you have that Christmas party to attend or are stumped on what to get your secret Santa, holiday cookies are always a win. A super fun addition to any holiday party is to include a cookie exchange (a sweet, money-saving alternative to gift exchanges).

Contributing your cookie dish to a Christmas (or Hanukkah) meal with family and friends can also be a great opportunity to wow others with delicious ‘healthy’ cookies. These days your family and friends need those allergy-friendly or lower in sugar options and what better way to introduce some great ingredients they may not be familiar with like dates, almond flour, or pureed avocado than with inviting holiday cookies?

Aside from the boost in holiday spirit that comes with baking up a batch of cookies in December, baking can reduce stress and improve moods. Baking is a unique combination of self-expression, creativity, and productivity with measured outcomes that result in a delicious, indulgent treat. For many of us, eating a dessert subconsciously provides a feeling of being rewarded. Even if we do not indulge, baking for other people can be just as rewarding. Food connects us; food is a huge part of our social culture.

Take some time today to bake with your kids, siblings, parents, roommates, or even your colleagues! Baking is an enjoyable activity that allows flow of conversation. If you need to reset and refresh, take some ‘me’ time and bake on your own. You can treat yourself or share your cookies in a pleasant surprise at work the following day. Need some cookie inspiration? Search for recipes ranging from peppermint chocolate to vegan sugar cookies to maple ginger.

Try out these great cookie recipes that my friends and I absolutely love!

Kick-Ass Chocolate Chip Cookies
(gluten-free/vegan)

¼ cup peanut butter (gluten-free labeled brand)
1/3 cup pitted dates
2 bananas (mashed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water
1 cup almond flour
1 cup oats (gluten-free)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup Nestle chocolate chips (gluten free) or optional dairy-free chocolate chips (vegan)

  1. In a food processor, mix dates, banana, vanilla extract, water and peanut butter.
  2. Add the oats and almond flour to the food processor and mix.
  3. Add 2 tbsp at a time of both oats and almond flour if the dough is too sticky, until cookie-dough consistency.
  4. With a spatula, mix in the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Chill the dough for 10 min as you preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  5. Form cookies onto parchment paper on cookie sheet, making sure there is space between all cookies.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. 

Sneaky Snickerdoodles

Cookie dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup white cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp skim milk
1/3 cup butter

Cookie topping:
¼ cup white cane sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Combine all dry ingredients, the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, brown sugar, and white sugar in a bowl.
  2. Soften or melt the butter and add it to the dry ingredients, mix. Add the vanilla and milk to the ingredients and mix. Form dough balls.
  3. In a separate bowl, make the toppings for cookies by mixing the sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough balls into this sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  4. Chill the dough balls for 10 minutes as the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes, less for softer cookies, or until golden brown.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Cookie dough:
1 cup coconut oil
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp water
4 tbsp rum (optional. if excluding, then do 2 ¼ cup flour and not 2 ½ cups)
2 1/2 all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans or mix)

Cookie topping:
1/2 cup powdered sugar

  1. With a mixer, cream the softened coconut oil and sugar together. Add the vanilla, rum, and water, mix. Add the all-purpose flour and nuts. Mix all ingredients until blended.
  2. Chill the dough for 3 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Shape the dough into balls on parchment paper on cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Coat the cookies with more powdered sugar when they are cool for additional topping.
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