How to Tweak Your Favorite Recipes for Healthier Holiday Cookies

We took our favorite holiday cookies recipes and sent them to our Healthy Test Kitchen for a makeover. The challenge: Keep each cookie's yummy taste while lowering fat and calories. The result: sweet success! Here's how we did it.

Christmas Wreaths

Test-Kitchen Fixes:
Reduced butter by a third, added cream cheese as a butter substitute, replaced half of flour with white whole wheat flour.
Healthy Savings:
We cut 18 calories and 3g fat; added 1g protein and 1g fiber.
New Nutrition Facts: 184 calories, 2g protein, 18g carbohydrate, 11g fat (7g saturated) 1g fiber

Get the full recipe for these Christmas Wreaths >>

Buckeyes

Test-Kitchen Fixes: Used low-fat, low-sodium peanut butter, reduced butter, added shortening as butter substitute.
Healthy Savings: We cut 46 calories and 6g fat (2g saturated).
New Nutrition Facts: 120 calories, 1g protein, 21g carbohydrate, 3g fat (2g saturated), 0g fiber

Get the full recipe for these Buckeyes >>


Snickerdoodles

Test-Kitchen Fixes: Replaced half of flour with white whole-wheat flour, reduced butter by half, added yogurt or cream cheese as butter substitute, reduced sugar in the dough by one-fourth, reduced sugar in coating by one-fourth.
Healthy Savings: We cut 22 calories, 2g carbohydrate, and 2g saturated fat; added 1g protein, 0.5g fiber.
New Nutrition Facts: 70 calories, 1g protein, 11g carbohydrate, 2g fat (1g saturated), 0.5g fiber

Get the full recipe for these Snickerdoodles >>


Magic Cookie Bars


Test-Kitchen Fixes: Replaced sweetened condensed milk with fat-free kind, halved butter.
Healthy Savings: We cut 24 calories and 4g fat (3 g saturated).
New Nutrition Facts: 170 calories, 3g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 9g fat (4g saturated), 1g fiber

Get the full recipe for these Magic Cookie Bars >>


Sand Tarts


Test-Kitchen Fixes: Replaced about one-third of flour with white whole wheat flour, reduced butter by a third, used cream cheese as butter substitute.
Healthy Savings: We cut 11 calories and 1g saturated fat; added 0.5 g fiber.
New Nutrition Facts: 111 calories, 1g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 5g fat (3g saturated), 0.5g fiber

Get the full recipe for these Sand Tarts >>


Chocolate Chip Christmas Balls

Test-Kitchen Fixes: Reduced butter by one-third, used cream cheese as butter substitute, reduced granulated sugar by one-third, replaced half of flour with white whole wheat flour, replaced chocolate chips with mini ones and reduced by one-fourth.
Healthy Savings: We cut 29 calories, 3g carbohydrate, and 1g saturated fat.
New Nutrition Facts: 124 calories, 1g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 6g fat (3g saturated), 1g fiber

Get the full recipe for these Chocolate Chip Christmas Balls >>


More from FITNESS: Get 16 more holiday cookie recipe makeovers here!




Get more holiday eating strategies and festive recipes for party foods in the Nov/Dec issue of FITNESS Magazine -- on newsstands now!