Healthified Iced Sugar Cookies

Do you ever find yourself wondering why the heck desserts can’t be good for you, rather than vegetables? I know I’m not the only one who dreams of a life where cupcakes and brownies for dinner are not only perfectly acceptable, but actually provide your body with all the nutrition it needs. Well, maybe not all the nutrition. You may have to eat pizza. And soft, chewy bread dipped in olive oil, mixed with Italian herbs and spices to supplement your diet as well.

Well, I can keep dreaming, huh? Because I know I’ll be stuck eating giant salads for dinner the rest of my life to offset the cookies, cake and ice cream I eat for dessert. I guess it’s worth it. Besides, salads can be delicious too, right?

I often see recipes for “healthy” desserts and wonder what that exactly means. In some rare cases, desserts can actually be healthful and provide valuable nutrients to your diet. But the recipes I usually see titled “healthy” when it comes to baked goods, really just means lower in calories. Obviously, lower calorie options are healthier in some ways. But to me, healthy means providing nutritional value rather than empty calories.

So, instead of calling these cookies “healthy,” I am calling them “healthified.” Weighing in a just about 100 calories each, eating a couple for dessert (or snack) won’t do you too much harm. I will warn you, if you follow the recipe and make about 10 cookies with the dough, they will turn out fairly small. So you probably are going to want to eat two or three…or four.

The good news is that they are low in fat, relatively low in sugar, and made with part whole wheat flour. They are even almost vegan, minus one measly tablespoon of butter (but you could use vegan butter, which apparently they make, I just don’t have any).

I am always looking for lower calorie options for desserts since I just cannot get away without eating something sweet every single night. Finding ways to make desserts healthful, not just lower calorie, has become a fun challenge as well. 
I am happy to report that this cookie satisfies both my sweet tooth and my attempt at a balanced diet. Even Greg, who stared at them for a minute, questioning what I had just made, ended up finishing off the batch himself- a rare occurrence around here. But with a thick, soft, chewy cookie like this, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Healthified Iced Sugar Cookies
Makes about 10 small cookies
For the cookies-
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk
For the icing-
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Sprinkles as desired
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
3. In a separate smaller bowl, combine applesauce, melted butter, vanilla and milk. Whisk well to combine.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Whisk until well-combined. 
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and set on greased cookie sheet. Place in fridge for about 15-20 minutes to chill. 
6. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack. 
7. Prepare the icing by whisking powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread over cooled cookies and top with sprinkles.

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