Healthier dark chocolate chip cookies

I’ve been attempting to curb my chocolate habit. Not that it’s gotten out of hand. I’m just trying out this strange concept called self-control. It’s been working for the most part. In order to make myself feel less guilty about partaking in chocolate desserts, I came up with a healthier chocolate chip cookie recipe. The result was delicious and less fattening than regular chocolate chip cookies!

Healthier dark chocolate chip cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe
Makes three dozen cookies (which makes this recipe great for sharing cookies with friends & coworkers)
Prep time: about 10 minutes
Baking time: 10-12 minutes per dozen

Healthier dark chocolate chip cookies.

Healthier dark chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients & supplies

  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • wire rack (for cooling cookies)
  • small bowl
  • large mixing bowl
  • spatula
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used the jumbo kind)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda and set aside.
  2. In the large mixing bowl, combine the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sea, vanilla, and egg whites.
  3. Add flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the dark chocolate chips.
  4. Drop tablespoon-size dough balls about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake until cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, so the cookies are golden around the edges, but soft in the center.
  6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Chocolate chip cookie pie with Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce & sea salt

Amanda often jokes that while she doesn’t like to bake, she will gladly provide ingredients for friends who do. (Lucky me!) Earlier this year, she gifted me with a jar of delicious Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce. The port wine adds a dimension of decadence that’s missing from regular caramel sauce. Since it pairs well with chocolate, I decided to fold it into the recipe I usually use for chocolate chip cookie pie.

Chocolate chip cookie pie with Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce & sea salt
Adapted from this recipe
Makes one pie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 20 – 30 minutes

Ingredients & supplies:

  • one glass pie dish
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • good spatula
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus a few pinches to top pie
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus butter to grease pan
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •  3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • several tablespoons of Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce
Chocolate chip cookie pie with Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce & sea salt.

Chocolate chip cookie pie with Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce & sea salt.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Generously grease pie plate with butter.
  2. In large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and sea salt together.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar and beat until smooth with a good spatula. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until blended.
  4. Add the butter to the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips and Sweeteeth port wine caramel sauce.
  5. Spread cookie dough into the greased pie plate.
  6. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with extra sea salt, cut, and enjoy!

Fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust

During summers in college, Athens was a ghost town. When we weren’t taking summer classes, working, or taking advantage of the discounted drink prices downtown, my friends and I would bake delicious desserts. This one is easy to make and is relatively healthy, since it’s topped with fruit. Normally, I make cookie dough from scratch, but for simplicity’s sake, I use pre-made dough for this recipe. Note: you can use whatever fruits you like, if you don’t like the ones in my recipe.

Fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust
Adapted from this Pillsbury recipe
Makes one pizza, between 8-12 slices, depending on how large you make each slice
Prep time: about 20 minutes
Baking time: 12-18 minutes; Cooling time: 10 minutes
Decorating time: 5-10 minutes
Chilling time: 15 minutes to an hour (we were never able to wait longer than 15 minutes before digging in, but it didn’t taste less awesome)

Fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust.

Fruit pizza with a sugar cookie crust.

Ingredients & supplies:

  • 1 roll of sugar cookie dough (I use Pillsbury)
  • 1 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat Philadelphia cream cheese)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 of a kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 10 strawberries, hulled & halved
  • 1/2 cup of blackberries
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 pizza pan
  • plain cooking spray or butter to grease pan
  • small bowl to mix cream cheese “sauce” in and spatula to do mixing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease pizza pan with cooking spray. Spread sugar cookie dough evenly onto pan. Bake for 12-18 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While the sugar cookie crust is baking, mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a bowl until fully incorporated. (I use a spatula, not a whisk when mixing this, as cream cheese tends to get stuck in a whisk.)
  4. After the sugar cookie crust has cooled, spread the cream cheese onto crust.
  5. Decorate the pizza with the banana, strawberries, kiwi, and blackberries. Enjoy!

Vanilla caramel almond cookies

I’m a chocolate fanatic. The only chocolate desserts I won’t enjoy are poorly executed ones. My boyfriend isn’t a fellow chocoholic, so I came up with a cookie recipe that included three of his favorite things: vanilla, caramel, and almonds. (Note: if you’re not confident in your caramel sauce-making skills, then you can use pre-made caramel sauce instead and skip step 4.)

Vanilla caramel almond cookies
Makes 24 cookies
Prep time: about 20 minutes
Dough-cooling time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 8-12 minutes

Vanilla caramel almond cookies.

Vanilla caramel almond cookies.

Ingredients & supplies:
• 1 stick of butter + an extra thin slice of butter (about 1/4 tbsp)
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 3 tbsps vanilla extract
• pinch of sea salt
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup caramels
• 1 cup sliced almonds (which I just smashed in the bag, so I wouldn’t have to chop them further)
• 2 medium-sized bowls
• 1 saucepan
• 1 sturdy spatula
• 1 cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, melt butter, then cream white sugar, brown sugar, egg, & vanilla extract into it.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk salt, baking powder, & flour together. combine with butter mixture to make dough.
4. In a saucepan, melt thin slice of butter on medium-high heat and slowly start adding caramels, stirring vigorously with a sturdy spatula.
5. Once caramels are melted, quickly fold into the cookie dough. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to cool.
6. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, form cookie dough balls and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Andes mint chip cookies

I have an annoyingly persistent sweet tooth. To justify eating dessert, I try to incorporate healthy(ish) elements into the ones I make. During college, I was on a quest to make an oatmeal cookie that didn’t have raisins (you might as well be eating a bowl of oatmeal, if your cookies have raisins).

It was a few weeks before Christmas, so Kroger was selling all kinds of festive foods. While browsing the candy aisle, I was inspired — Andes mint baking chips. It was the perfect minty chocolate solution to my oatmeal cookie conundrum. I’ve made these cookies numerous times over the years. When Kroger (or other groceries) aren’t selling Andes mint baking chips, I just buy a pack of Andes mints and chop them myself.

Oatmeal Andes mint chip cookies
Adapted from this Betty Crocker recipe
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10-12 minutes

Oatmeal Andes mint chip cookies.

Oatmeal Andes mint chip cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Andes mint baking chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine softened butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a good spatula. Add vanilla extract and egg, so mixture is fluffy and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, and sea salt together so that the baking soda and sea salt are evenly distributed.
  4. Fold the oats, flour, baking soda, and sea salt into the butter mixture.
  5. Fold the Andes mint baking chips into the dough.
  6. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  8. Let cookies cool on a wire rack and enjoy!