7 Holiday Cookie Recipes To Bake With Your Loved Ones This Season

Photo: Stocksy / Rebecca Rockwood
My mom insists that we make Christmas cookies together each year. It's hilarious because both of us loathe baking, but there's something soothing about the tradition of making delicious seasonal foods. So this year, we might try our hand at one of Well+Good's healthy holiday cookie recipes.

There are plenty of standards being reinvented in the cookie world, and these desserts definitely intrigue me. And regardless of what you celebrate (since my religion is "astrology and witch stuff," it'll be the Great Conjunction for me), bonding over a warm, fresh-baked novelty might just make your spirits bright. If you're in the baking mood as well, these are our best recommendations.

Experts In This Article
  • Jenny Dorsey, chef, activist, and the founder of Studio ATAO
  • Mia Rigden, chef, nutritionist, and the founder of RASA, a company specializing in individualized nutrition programs
  • Rachelle Robinett, registered herbalist, educator, and founder of Supernatural
  • Sashah Handal, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor certified in personal training, HIIT, indoor cycling, and TRX

Healthy and delicious holiday cookies to bake this season

1. Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

A classic! If Santa has any dietary restrictions, then he will very much appreciate these vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of chefs Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey. Pair with your favorite alt-milk and festive film. (Pro tip: I always find that Elf pairs best with a fresh-out-of-the-oven batch.)

2 cups almond flour (256 grams)
1/2 cup coconut flour (64 grams)
1 cup coconut oil (or ghee) (227 grams)
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax seed + 6 Tbsp warm water)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (150 grams)
1 tsp baking soda (6 grams)
1 tsp vanilla extract (4.2 grams)
2 cups vegan chocolate chips (175 grams)
1 tsp fine sea salt (5.69 grams)
1 tsp flaky sea salt (~3 grams)

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Combine 2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds with 6 Tbsp of warm water, and give it a good stir.
3. Set this aside for 10 - 15 minutes.
4. In a medium mixing bowl add 2 cups almond flour, a half cup of coconut flour, one teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of baking soda.
5. Mix thoroughly to combine, making sure there are no lumps.
6. In a separate mixing bowl combine wet ingredients, starting with one soft cup of coconut oil, the coconut sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and the flax egg. Mix thoroughly!
7. Mix the dry ingredients in with the wet, and add in chocolate chips.
8. Use your hands to roll the dough into little disks.
9. Sprinkle sea salt on top.
10. Pop in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, and cool on a cooling rack before you eat them.

2. Gluten-Free, Five Spice Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

It doesn't get any more seasonal than gingerbread, so get your fill in now with these delicious gluten-free ginger snap cookies!

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp of flax mixed with 3 Tbsp warm water)
1/4 cup almond butter
3 Tbsp molasses
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp five spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Start by making the flax egg, and set aside.
2. Next add together almond butter, molasses, ghee and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once combined, add flax egg.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together coconut sugar, flours, spices, salt and baking soda. If you don’t have Chinese five spice, use a full teaspoon of cinnamon instead of just a half.
4. Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until fully incorporated.
5. Place in the fridge and cool for 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
7. Remove dough from the fridge, and use a spoon to create golf ball-sized cookies. Using the palm of your hand, flatten them slightly and place on baking sheet.
8. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
10. Allow to cool completely so they don’t crumble.
11. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

3. 4-Ingredient Easy Chocolate-dipped Almond Butter Cookie Recipe

You had me at "easy." And then you had me at "Chocolate-dipped Almond Butter Cookies" because, uh, that sounds delightful. The sea salt flavor-enhancing garnish is particularly calling for you, so fans of chocolate covered pretzels might want to go for this one.

1 cup coconut sugar
1 cup coconut flour
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy almond butter
Pinch of salt (I know, I know, that's five, don't @ us)

1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
2. Combine coconut flour, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, egg, almond butter, and kosher salt.
3. Mix until a dough forms.
4. Using a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop, measure out about 14 cookie balls, placing them about an inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If they don't all fit, use an additional cookie sheet. You should be able to fit at least 12 cookies on one sheet.)
5. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the cookies into disks.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, turning the tray after 5 minutes.
7. Let the cookies cool completely.
8. Melt one cup of chocolate in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring in between until melted.
9. Once cookies are cool, dip one half of each cookie into the melted chocolate.
10. Lay back down on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and immediately top with sea salt.
11. Allow the chocolate to harden completely before serving. If you want to speed up the process, carefully place the cookies in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

4. Vegan Protein Cookie Recipe

Welp, these protein cookies should help with that New Year's intention to get stronger. I prefer something a little (read: a lot) more sugary, but I support your journey.

1/2 cup (120g) coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup (125g) honey
4 flax eggs
1 tsp baking powder
4 scoops (60g) protein powder of your choice
1/3 cup (47g) coconut flour
1/3 cup (40g) almond flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp carob powder (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Combine coconut oil, honey, flax eggs and whisk together.
3. Add baking powder and whisk to combine.
4. Add protein powder and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
5. Add flours, baking powder and salt.
6. Stir until thoroughly combined.
7. Add carob powder and walnuts if using, and stir until thoroughly combined.
8. Shape cookie dough into round balls, then flatten in approx. 2” wide and 1/2” tall discs.
9. Bake at 350°F for ~10 minutes or until browned at bottom and some soft cracks appear on the surface.
10. Let rest 2-3 minutes before consuming.

5. Zero-Waste Almond Cookies

Again, I've got a major sweet spot for almond, and there's something really feel-good about this particular recipe from baker and fitness instructor Sashah Handal. Not only are these cookies gluten-free, but Handal shows us how to make almond milk, almond meal in a completely no-waste way. Good for the environment, good for your next baking swap-off.

Ingredients for Almond Flour
Almond Milk
1.5 cups raw almonds
3 cups water
2 dates (pitted)
Pinch of salt

1. Place all ingredients in jar, stir, and soak for a minimum of 10 minutes (longer if using not-so-strong of a blender).
2. Place all ingredients in hi-speed blender and blend for 2-4 minutes.
3. A creamy milk-like color should be achieved.
4. Make sure nut bag fits into bowl with room enough for straining.
5. Pour 1/3 of almond mixture into nut bag and squeeze gently until all liquid has been strained into mixing bowl.
6. Carefully empty residual almond meal from nut bag onto greased sheet tray.
7. Pour milk from mixing bowl into a storage container (or directly into your glass for tasting!)
8. Repeat Steps 5-7 until blender is empty.
9. Spread almond meal into a thin even layer and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes to ensure even heat distribution.
10. Once all moisture has evaporated from the almond meal, allow to cool.
11. Pulse in processor until desired fineness is achieved.

You should have almond flour! Can be used for grain-free baking, on top of oatmeal, or in your favorite smoothies.

Ingredients for Almond Shortbread Cookies
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/8 cup arrowroot starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
3 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 Tbsp almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
3. Add in wet ingredients.
4. Mixture should resemble wet sand and adhere to itself when squished together (if this texture hasn’t been reached, add up to 1/4 cup almond milk, 1 Tsbp at a time).
6. Form 1 inch balls and place on parchment-lined sheet tray.
7. Use a fork to press cookie balls into a flat round shape.
8. Bake for 7 mins, rotate, bake for another 5 mins or until golden brown.
9. Allow to cool for 10 mins.
10. Store in fridge up to a week.

6. Superfood Holiday Bark

Look, I'm not stupid—I know these aren't cookies, but it's holiday bark, and I'm a sucker with anything that involves rose petals. Herbalist and holistic health coach Rachelle Robinett's delish dark chocolate recipe is perfect for something a little unique this holiday season.

4 cups of dark chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rose extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup dried, chopped mulberries
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp matcha powder
Pinch of rose petals

1. Warm a pot on the stove.
2. Add chocolate, coconut oil, vanilla, rose extract, and salt to bowl and melt.
3. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. On the baking sheet dump mulberries and coat with melted chocolate.
5. Once the chocolate is uniform on the baking sheet, add goji berries,pumpkin seeds, matcha, and rose petals.
6. Finish with one pinch of salt.
7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
8. Serve!

7. Healthy, Edible (No Bake) Cookie Dough Recipe

I've been told multiple times that you shouldn't eat raw, pre-baked mix because of salmonella. WHATEVER, MOM. Luckily we live in the golden age of edible cookie dough. Mix it up and go for it.

1⁄4 cup coconut flour
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp nut butter of choice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1⁄4 cup nut milk
Chocolate chips to top

1. In a small mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and set them aside.
2. In a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop, melt your nut butter with the maple syrup until they're combined.
3. Pour the nut butter mixture into the dry mixture and mix until a crumbly batter remains.
4. Add the nut milk a tablespoon at a time until a cookie dough remains.
5. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate to thicken up.


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