With all the office potlucks, holiday parties and DIY edible presents, you’ll inevitably end up in the kitchen baking cookies at some point this holiday season. We’re not exactly mad about the endless supply of chocolate chip and sugar cookies, but the dessert table could definitely use a little healthy makeover. Check out these 15 Christmas cookie recipes for a healthier option that’s just as delicious as the original. And don’t worry — your secret’s safe with us.
1. Gluten-Free Chocolate Turtle Thumbprint Cookies: If you’re making a list of cookies to bake for the holidays, don’t forget these. Chocolate, caramel and nuts make up a traditional turtle cookie — but these are a deliciously gluten-free version. (via The Skinny Fork)
2. Paleo Caramel Apple Gingersnaps: Gingerbread cookies are a mainstay of the holiday cookie table. This recipe is made healthier with dried apples, then drizzled with a paleo-friendly caramel sauce. (via Food Faith Fitness)
3. Low-Fat Gingerbread Cookies: The holidays aren’t complete without gingerbread men. You won’t miss the butter in the original version while you’re decorating them with the family. (via Skinny Taste)
4. Chocolate Chip Pomegranate Cookies: Want a boost of immunity with your cookies this cold and flu season? Pomegranates are full of nutrients like vitamin C and anti-oxidants to help keep you healthy enough to eat more cookies. (via Kiip Fit)
5. Chocolate Orange Spritz Cookies: Store-bought spritz cookies can often be a little bland and flavorless, but this recipe for a spritz cookie will change your whole perspective. They look fancy but only take an hour to make, start to finish, and your friends will be super impressed at your baking skills. (via All Day I Dream About Food)
6. Chewy Spiced Molasses Cookies: Blackstrap molasses contains a variety of minerals and is a wonderful substitution for sugar in holiday cookies. This is the perfect molasses cookie: The outer crust stays perfectly crisp, but they’re soft and chewy on the inside for a days, which is great for gifting. (via Uproot Kitchen)
7. Fudgy White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies: This cookie is made with wholegrain flour, which makes it healthier than it looks. It’s also sure to become the most requested cookie of the holiday season, so stock up on peppermint Kisses for the chocolatey, melty interior. (via Samantha’s Kitchen Table)
8. Old-Fashioned Almond Gingerbread Cookies: Grab those cookie cutters, because this recipe will put them to good use. It doesn’t hurt that you only need three ingredients for this gluten-free and vegan cookie — even more of a reason to get baking tonight. (via The Clean Dish)
9. Cinnamon Spiced Almond Sugar Cookies: These cookies are made with healthy fats (like coconut sugar, cinnamon and almonds) and are also grain-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, so you can gift them to pretty much everyone on your list. (via Cotter Crunch)
11. Paleo Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: Grain-free cookies have never tasted better. Peppermint chocolate is a go-to holiday staple, and these healthified cookies won’t disappoint. (via The Healthy Maven)
12. I Can’t Believe These Are Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies: Santa won’t know these cookies aren’t from Tollhouse, and your friends won’t know (or care) that they’re made from chickpeas. (via Brit + Co)
13. Gluten-Free Almond Butter Kiss Cookies: Sometimes cookies need to be good for the body and the soul. You’ll get nostalgic eating this healthier version of a peanut butter kiss cookie. Plus, it’s packed with protein from the almond butter and flax meal. (via Spinach for Breakfast)
14. Roasted Cashew Butter Cookies: What’s the most delicious alternative to a peanut butter cookie for someone following the Paleo diet or who has a peanut allergy? These roasted cashew cookies are sure to top your list. (via The Healthy Foodie)
15. Vegan Snickerdoodles: Snickerdoodles usually call for a ton of butter and eggs, but you’ll only use a small amount of coconut oil and flaxseed to make this classic a new vegan favorite. (via Sweet Cannela)
What’s your favorite holiday cookie? Leave us the recipe in the comments below!