During childhood, a warm cup of hot chocolate and a helping of sugar cookies capped off the perfect snow day. Our small hands, frozen from snowball fights and sleigh rides, would grasp the steaming mug, as we gently blew on the cocoa waiting for it to cool to an appropriate temperature.
The cookies, sitting quietly on a plate, beckoned to be dunked and devoured.
It’s OK for the occasional snack to be a bit more indulgent than a selection of carrot sticks, but if it’s possible to make a smarter, healthier treat and keep the taste, why not?
A Healthier Hot Chocolate
2 c. powdered milk
2/3 c. natural or low-calorie sweetener (powdered variety)
2/3 c. unsweetened 70 percent cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 t. cinnamon (if desired)
Depending on the age of your little chef, they can measure out the ingredients into a large bowl. Let them mix until combined.
Once they’re ready for a cup of cocoa, adults can bring water to a gentle boil and add to mixture. Let it cool until reaches the perfect temperature for little mouths.
Low-Sugar Sugar Cookies (adapted from fitsugar.com)
¾ c. granulated sugar
1 c. Earth Balance
½ T. vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. kosher salt
½ t. cream of tartar
¼ c. granulated sugar (for dusting)
Young pastry chefs will need help using the oven and electric mixer.
Adults, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the Earth Balance, sugar, vanilla and egg together.
Depending on their age and ability, let kids mix the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a separate bowl. Adults can slowly add the dry mixture into wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Using plastic cookie cutters, kids can cut out fun holiday shapes and top each one with a light dusting of sugar.
Adults, cook the cookies for about 18 minutes until the edges are brown and centers are soft.
A Healthier Hot Chocolate eliminates some sugar and other unnecessary additives found in pre-packaged varieties, but will still keep those tiny tastebuds happy and satisfied. Feel free to double or triple the recipe in order to make it through the cold season.
The recipe for Low-Sugar Sugar Cookies only uses about half of the sugar found in regular sugar cookie concoctions.