15 dietitian-recommended Christmas cookies to make this holiday season

15 dietitian-recommended Christmas cookies to make this holiday season

(Andrea Mathis)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Baking cookies during the Christmas season is a tradition for many, but have you ever wondered how this tradition started?

According to History.com, baking cookies during the winter season began before the Middle Ages when people would gather to celebrate the winter solstice. Along with the celebration came a feast, of course, and with the feast came plenty of delicious baked goods. As the years went on, the desserts evolved into including delicious little pastries, or cookies, which were easily shared with friends and neighbors.

In the U.S. and around the world, many people join in the tradition of getting in the kitchen for some holiday baking, spreading cheer (and plenty of flour) along the way.

If you don't already have a favorite family cookie recipe, here are 15 registered dietitian-recommend Christmas cookie recipes to make this holiday season. So get your aprons on and your mixing bowls out, and get baking.

1. Classic Sugar Cookies via registered dietitian Sarah Pflugradt

Classic Sugar Cookies
Classic Sugar Cookies (Photo: Sarah Pflugradt)

These classic sugar cookies make for a perfect family activity. You can gather the kids in the kitchen to help add the ingredients to the bowl, then let them help roll out the dough. They'll love cutting out the different shapes and decorating them after they're baked, too.

2. Maamoul Cookies (Date Filled Cookies) via registered dietitian Roxana Begum of The Delicious Crescent

Maamoul are traditional middle eastern shortbread pastries usually filled with dates or nuts. Begum's recipe yields soft, buttery cookies with a sweet date filling when you bite inside. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and they're ready.

3. Cranberry White Chocolate Walnut Cookies via registered dietitian Jenny Shea Rawn of My Cape Cod Kitchen

White chocolate and cranberry belong together like peanut butter and jelly. Add in some crunch with walnuts, and you've got a scrumptious Christmas cookie. You can bake them all at once or freeze some of the dough in balls for later.

4. Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies via registered dietitian Anne Mauney of FANNEtastic Food

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Chewy Chocolate Cherry Cookies (Photo: Anne Mauney)

If you are a cherry lover, then this is the Christmas cookie recipe for you. Plump, juicy cherries are surrounded by decadent chocolate in this recipe, making them perfect for holiday baking.

5. Chocolate Almond Cookies via registered dietitian Liz Weiss of Liz's Healthy Table

These cookies are not only delicious, but they're also made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Bake them for yourself at home, or you can do as Liz suggests and layer the dry ingredients in a mason jar and give them as a gift this holiday season.

6. Mom's Nut Cups via registered dietitian Peggy Korody of RD 4 Health

These cute little nut cups are made using a mini muffin tin and make for a special treat during the holiday season. Pick whichever nuts you prefer to make the filling with, but Peggy suggests walnuts or pecans.

7. Holiday Sprinkle Cookies via registered dietitian Maggie Farley of Meals with Maggie

Holiday Sprinkle Cookies
Holiday Sprinkle Cookies (Photo: Maggie Farley)

Kids (and adults) will love these fun and festive sprinkle cookies. With a sugar cookie base, these cookies are wrapped in red and green sprinkles to get everyone in the holiday mood.

8. Chocolate Dipped Oreos via registered dietitian Rebecca Clyde of Nourish Nutrition Co.

Okay, so you're not really baking cookies with this recipe, but these fun cookie treats make for super easy and delicious holiday gifts.

9. Chocolate Cherry Almond Biscotti via registered dietitian Judy Barbe of LiveBest

What better type of cookie to dunk into some milk than a crispy biscotti? This twice-baked cookie hits all the right notes of sweet and crunchy, and it will have your kitchen smelling like a Christmas bakery.

10. Sugar Crunch Cookies via registered dietitian Nina Mills of Feel Good Eating

Sugar Crunch Cookies
Sugar Crunch Cookies (Photo: Nina Mills)

If you aren't into the traditional Christmas sugar cookies, give these sugar crunch cookies a try. All the same great flavor of the classic — but crispy and light. There's no need to decorate these, either. They're ready to go after they're baked and cooled.

11. Oatmeal Cookie Cups with Chocolate Mousse Filling via registered dietitian Abbey Sharp of Abbey's Kitchen

Take your oatmeal cookies to the next level with chocolate mousse-filled cookies. If you don't have a piping bag at home, you can use Abbey's tip of using a plastic sandwich bag and cutting off the tip of the corner. Just like that, you've got a DIY piping bag ready to fill your cookies.

12. Oatmeal Raisin Peppermint Cookies via registered dietitian Sarah Schlichter of Bucket List Tummy

This recipe takes traditional oatmeal raisin cookies and gives them a Christmas twist with a dose of peppermint. Along with some peppermint extract, Schlichter sneaks in some chopped chocolate mints to the dough.

13. Irresistible Chewy Gingerbread Cookies via registered dietitian Andrea Mathis of Beautiful Eats & Things

Irresistible Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
Irresistible Chewy Gingerbread Cookies (Photo: Andrea Mathis)

Gingerbread cookies are a must on every holiday baking list. Mathis says the trick to making these cookies perfectly chewy is the baking time, which depends on how thin the cookies are. Be sure to keep an eye on them in the oven so they won't turn out too crunchy.

14. Brown Butter Cardamom Cookies via registered dietitian Dixya Bhattarai of Food, Pleasure and Health

With only six ingredients, these perfectly spiced cookies are simple to make, and they taste delicious. The browned butter takes the flavor of these cookies to the next level, leaving them melting in your mouth and asking for more.

15. 5 Ingredient M&M Christmas Cookies via Mary Ellen Phipps of Milk & Honey Nutrition

The kids would love to leave Santa a plate of these fun peanut butter cookies. Make sure to use red and green M&Ms for extra festive cheer.

Brittany Poulson

About the Author: Brittany Poulson

Brittany Poulson is a Utah registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She shares her passion for health, food and nutrition on her blog, www.yourchoicenutrition.com, where she encourages you to live a healthy life in your unique way.

Editor's Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.


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Brittany Poulson is a Utah registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She shares her passion for health, food and nutrition on her blog, www.yourchoicenutrition.com, where she encourages people to live a healthy life in an unique way.


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