How can we celebrate the Season without them! They’re the Holiday Staple, right? And… I’ve just realized that although you can find many other healthy desserts recipes on this site… There seems to be a major lack of Cookie Recipes! Well… what a shame!After feeling all the burden of all that shame I just knew that I HAD to get to cooking those cookies ASAP to be able to share a few of my favorite cookie recipes with you before Christmas! So… today let it be…
The Healthy White Chocolate Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies!
Oh, yeah! Bringing in yet another Christmas staple: the cranberry and white chocolate matched together in these pretty little treats! (Ummm… well, I’ll be honest with you, my friend: I also happened to have an excess of cranberry sauce in my pantry… And as much as I love my healthy cranberries… And how they make a beautifully colorful accompaniment to my dinners… At a certain point I began feeling like switching it to some good-old ketchup 🙂
And the Cranberry Sauce… It can always be saved for a delicious&nutritious winter dessert! One of the most beautiful and most Wintery desserts ever! 🙂And indeed… aren’t these cookies pretty?! 🙂 …And aren’t they super-wintery-Christmassy-little ones?!
…Their crunchy, white chocolaty base is flavorful and luscious… At the same time (of course!) these cookies are lower in fat and calories compare to your “usual” classic thumbprint cookies recipe 🙂 …They’re also (of course they are, if you found them on this site!) made with the healthy whole wheat flour! 🙂But wait! That Cranberry Jelly in the middle of each cookie is also healthy: home-made with the real cranberries… it’s beautifully red and full of healthy vitamins!
Did I brag enough? Maybe too much? 🙂 But… one more thing: they’re also SUPER-YUMMY! Oh yeah! That white chocolate in them tastes so REALLY GOOD!
…I topped my cookies with some additional melted white chocolate. (Which is a completely optional thing to do!) And I’ll be honest again here: they just look so much more impressive when they’re drizzled with some white chocolate! 🙂 If you’re baking them to contribute to a cookie exchange, that white chocolate drizzle will definitely produce a couple of “Ah'”-s! 🙂…My kids loved both kinds: the chocolate-topped and the “naked” ones as soon as they came out of the oven. I had the “naked” ones. Because I wanted to eat them for breakfast. Because it’s OK to have cookies for breakfast. Yes. Especially if it’s almost Christmas. And especially if the cookies are healthy!:)The final note here: I haven’t tried making these cookies with my Vegan Caramel in the middle instead of the Cranberry Sauce. 🙂 But I’m definitely putting it on my “to-do” list. 🙂 It’d be especially nice to use the “Ginger-Spiced Caramel”!
Healthy White Chocolate Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Cranberry Sauce or Vegan Caramel
- 2 oz white chocolate
For the Cranberry Sauce:
- 6 oz cranberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp natural pectin
To make the Cranberry Jelly: in a saucepan dissolve the sugar and the pectin in the 1/4 cup of water (you can also use orange juice if you like) over the medium heat. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries begin to pop (about 10 minutes). To make the jelly put the cool sauce in the blender and blend until smooth.
To make the cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Combine the butter, cream cheese and sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg, the egg white and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
Add the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture, and stir until combined. Melt 1 oz of white chocolate (reserving another 1 oz for drizzling) to the batter and stir again to incorporate.
Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill at least 1 hour or overnight. (Note: this dough is stickier than your usual thumbprint cookie dough since it's lower in fat without it being too doughy. So the longer it'll sit in the fridge - the easier it will be to work with it!)
5 minutes before taking the dough out of the fridge preheat the oven to 350F and line your baking sheets with some parchment paper.
Scoop the dough with a cookie scoop and roll each piece into 1-inch ball. Arrange the balls on the baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. To the best of your ability with the tip of your thumb or with tip of a wooden spoon make a well in the center of each cookie (don't worry about making these wells deep enough for now).
Bake for 7 minutes. Take the cookies out of the oven.
Using the tip of a wooden spoon (the cookies will be hot!) press down on the well in the middle of each cookie making it bigger and all ready to be filled with the jelly.
Fill each cookie with the jelly. (Note: I used both the tip of a teaspoon and the tip of a knife to fill my cookies up: the spoon to scoop out the bits of the jelly and the knife to help the jelly neatly slide right into the wells of the cookies instead of all over the place.)
Bake the cookies for another 12 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for about 10-15 minutes before transferring them to the wire rack. Optionally drizzle the cookies with the reserved 1 oz of melted white chocolate.
*If you aren't planning on drizzling the cookies with the additional white chocolate, all you need is just 1 oz of white chocolate for your dough.
**The cookies can be baked about 3 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Merry upcoming Christmas, my friends!