BEST Healthy Sugar Cookies

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These are the ultimate Healthy Sugar Cookies—a delicious twist on the beloved classic! Melding the nutty wholesome goodness of almond flour with the deep sweetness of maple syrup, complemented by a touch of vanilla, these cookies pack a flavorful punch while prioritizing nutritious ingredients. 

Overhead image of the Healthy Sugar Cookies

Healthy Sugar Cookies

I’m so excited for you to give this recipe a try! Throwback to when my good friend Lindsay Cotter from Cotter Crunch dropped her stunning cookbook, which I thoroughly raved about. Many of you adored the Mojo Salmon recipe I shared from it. Guess what? She’s outdone herself once more!

Lindsay’s latest cookbook is nothing short of amazing, especially for those navigating the maze of allergies or intolerances. She’s crafted a cookbook that’s family-friendly while delivering recipes that cater to diverse dietary needs–without compromising on flavor. After leafing through its pages, I tagged a plethora of recipes to test out. Yet, it was her healthy sugar cookies that had me dashing to the kitchen. Lucky for me, my pantry was already stocked for it, but honestly, even a trip to the store would’ve been worth it for these!

These cookies? Absolute game changers. They’ve got the perfect blend of sweetness, nuttiness, and vanilla flavor. They’ve become such a staple in our home lately that we’ve taken to experimenting – incorporating crushed freeze-dried strawberries (delish!) and slathering them with our go-to cream cheese frosting. Oh, and for a real treat? Frosting plus a sprinkle of freeze-dried strawberries on top. We’re head over heels for this treat! Major kudos and gratitude to Lindsay for gifting us with this cookie magic!

Process shots-- images of the oats being blended and added to a bowl along with all the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients being added on top

Healthy Sugar Cookies Ingredients

  • Old-fashioned oats: Concerned about pesticides? Opt for organic oats. And for those managing gluten sensitivities, make sure you’re picking up certified gluten-free oats to keep things safe.
  • Almond flour: Aim for blanched almond flour (with the skins removed) to achieve that fine, smooth texture in your cookies. Fun fact: Lindsay’s book has a nifty guide on DIY-ing almond flour if you’re feeling ambitious!
  • Baking powder: Don’t forget to check that expiration date: old baking powder can sabotage the rise of your cookies. If you’re looking to avoid aluminum, look for brands that highlight this in their labeling.
  • Fine sea salt: A smidge of salt goes a long way in balancing the sweetness and amplifying all the flavors in these Healthy Sugar Cookies.

Process shots of Healthy Sugar Cookies-- images of the dough being chilled and rolled into balls

Ingredients, continued

  • Vanilla bean paste: It might lean on the pricier side compared to vanilla extract, but oh…! The depth of flavor and those gorgeous vanilla specks are unparalleled! That said, if you’re in a pinch, good old vanilla extract will still keep these cookies tasting great.
  • Melted coconut oil: Virgin coconut oil will introduce a subtle, tropical hint, while refined coconut oil keeps things flavor-neutral. Just a heads-up: ensure it’s fully melted for a smooth blend, but let it sit for a moment to cool before mixing in to avoid “cooking” the other ingredients.
  • Pure maple syrup: More on this ingredient below! Just remember, to preserve its natural goodness, stash your opened maple syrup in the fridge.
  • Sparkling cane sugar (optional, for rolling): Add a sparkling finish to your cookies with this decorative sugar. Can’t find it? Regular granulated sugar will deliver a similar, though less sparkly, effect.

Process shots-- images of the cookies being baked

Let’s Chat Pure Maple Syrup

This natural sweetener is a world apart from corn syrup or pancake syrup. Harvested from maple trees, pure maple syrup is essentially sap that’s boiled down to a rich consistency. And yes, it’s just one ingredient in its purest form!

In contrast, pancake syrup typically combines corn syrup with maple extract. While pure maple syrup tends to be pricier than its pancake counterpart (due to its labor-intensive production process), its authentic flavor and nutritional benefits are worth the investment.

QUICK TIP

Being married to a Vermont native has given me a deep dive into the world of maple syrup. And here’s the scoop: not all maple syrups are created equal. There are different grades– primarily Grade A and Grade B. Grade B is harvested later in the season, and boasts a deeper flavor and darker hue. While it might be a bit costlier and harder to find, it’s a treat for those seeking an intense maple punch. That said, I gravitate towards Grade A for these cookies, aiming for a classic sugar cookie taste rather than a pronounced maple cookie flavor.  

Overhead image of the Healthy Sugar Cookies ready to be enjoyed

How To Make Healthy Sugar Cookies (Tips)

  • Consistency is key: Be sure your wet ingredients, like melted coconut oil and maple syrup, are measured accurately. Too much liquid can lead to a flatter, crisper cookie, while too little might result in a dry texture.
  • Chill the dough: Chilling the dough, as mentioned in the recipe, is crucial. It helps to prevent the cookies from spreading too much and keeps the texture right.
  • Scoop and roll: Use a cookie scoop or a tablespoon to ensure each cookie is the same size. This will lead to even baking.
  • Baking time: Keep an eye on your cookies while they’re in the oven. Since every oven varies slightly, it’s best to start checking a minute or two before the recommended baking time. They should be slightly golden around the edges.
  • Cooling: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. This helps them set and prevents them from breaking.

Image of the cookies stacked on top of each other.

VARIATIONS

Make These Healthy Sugar Cookies Your Own!

While we’re smitten with the original recipe for these Healthy Sugar Cookies, part of the fun is making them uniquely yours. Here are some suggestions:

  • Frost ’em up: Our go-to choice is this incredible Cream Cheese Frosting, but if you’re keeping things on the healthier side, here’s a fantastic Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting that pairs perfectly.
  • Tasty toppings: Once you’ve laid on that luscious frosting, consider crushing some freeze-dried fruits like raspberries, mangoes, or strawberries right on top. Not only does it elevate the presentation, but it also infuses the cookies with a burst of fruity sweetness.
  • Sprinkle some joy: Nothing says celebration like sprinkles! Jazz up your cookies with some festive sprinkles!
  • Add citrus zest, extracts, or spices: The zests of citrus fruits like lemon, orange, and lime bring a fun citrusy note to these cookies. If you’re leaning towards extracts, almond, orange, and coconut are delicious picks. Or add some spice! A hint of cardamom or cinnamon is delicious, or try a spice blend like pumpkin pie or apple pie spice

Image of the Healthy Sugar Cookies with frosting and freeze-dried fruit on top

More Nutritious Dessert Options

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Healthy Sugar Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These are the ultimate Healthy Sugar Cookies—a delicious twist on the beloved classic! Melding the nutty wholesome goodness of almond flour with the deep sweetness of maple syrup, complemented by a touch of vanilla--these cookies pack a flavorful punch while prioritizing nutritious ingredients. 
Print Recipe

Healthy Sugar Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These are the ultimate Healthy Sugar Cookies—a delicious twist on the beloved classic! Melding the nutty wholesome goodness of almond flour with the deep sweetness of maple syrup, complemented by a touch of vanilla--these cookies pack a flavorful punch while prioritizing nutritious ingredients. 
Course Dessert, Snack, treat
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Healthy Sugar Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 22 cookies
Chelsea Lords
Calories 127kcal
Cost $5.12

Ingredients

Instructions

  • MAKE OAT FLOUR: Measure 1⅓ cups of oats and add to a small blender jar or food processor. Blend/pulse until oats resemble flour. Stir the oats around to be sure all the oats are finely ground and there aren’t any full oats left. Add to a large bowl.
  • COMBINE: Top oat flour with the next six ingredients (almond flour through maple syrup). Use an electric hand mixer to beat until thoroughly combined, about one minute. Cover bowl and place in the fridge to chill until firm enough to roll, about 30-40 minutes.
  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
  • BAKE: Remove chilled dough from the fridge and use a tablespoon measuring spoon to portion out dough (22 grams per cookie). Roll cookie dough balls in sparkling cane sugar (optional) and place on prepared cookie sheet, 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes and then remove; let cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • OPTIONAL: If desired, frost completely cooled cookies; then crush freeze-dried strawberries right on top. Enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Almond flour: For the best results, opt for superfine, blanched almond flour. This ensures a smooth and refined texture in your cookies. Though it might be tempting to swap in other flours, they vary in how much moisture they absorb. So, to nail this recipe, it's best to stick with almond flour!
Note 2: Pure maple syrup: Don't mistake pure maple syrup for its counterparts: corn syrup or pancake syrup. Pure maple syrup contains just one ingredient--maple sap! I personally recommend Grade A pure maple syrup. When shopping, you'll typically find it with pancake syrups in your local grocery store.
Nutrition information is for the cookies without any optional ingredients (rolling sugar and frosting).

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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