One of the things children love most about the holiday season is all the treats they get to indulge in. They don’t want to be spoilsports, but health conscious parents can’t help but worry about all the sugar and fat children consume over the holidays. What’s the solution? Combine play with healthy food by making these healthy holiday whole wheat sugar cookies with your children this holiday season.

healthy whole wheat sugar cookiesThe beauty of these whole wheat sugar cookies is that they are easy to prepare and children love using Christmas themed cookie cutters to make the cookies and then get to decorate the cookies with icing after they’ve baked. While still containing fat and sugar, these whole wheat sugar cookies are much healthier than store bought cookies:

Ingredients:

Cookies
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg white
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Icing
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Method:
Whisk flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda together in a medium-sized bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars together. When light and fluffy, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, add egg white, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until combined.

Add flour mixture to the second bowl and mix ingredients together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or more.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325F). While oven warms, line 2 baking trays.

Dust your working surface with flour. Turn chilled dough on to the surface and roll out to a thickness of about 6mm. Cut cookies with cookie cutters. You can reuse the leftover dough, but it’s best to chill it again before reusing.

Bake cookies for 12 minutes or until set. Do not brown. Set trays aside to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool to room temperature.

Icing:
Whisk together icing ingredients until completely smooth. If icing is too thin, add a little sugar and whisk again. If too thick, add a touch more lemon juice and whisk.

To make faces or designs with the icing, place the icing in a ziplock bag. Poke a small hole in the bottom of the bag and squeeze the icing out on to the cookies.

Recipe and image source: Health Magazine