Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies



Sorry. I’m so excited! Little Guy and I had tons of fun making and decorating cookies today. It may just be my favorite part of the holiday season. I loved it when I was a kid and now I get to do it with my own kids. Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Of course I couldn’t just follow one of the billion sugar cookie recipes in the world. Nope. I had to research them, study the ingredient lists, and then make up my own. I know. I know. I’m a dork, but a happy dork! My experiments resulted in an amazing time with my son and yummy cookies.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - plate

I’m not sure how they compare to traditional sugar cookies because, honestly, I haven’t had one in a looong time. The ones I made were crunchy with slightly crumbly texture that makes you want a nice cold glass of milk. The first time I used vanilla but I like the almond extract better. I even added a little of the extract to frosting.

My version made just over 2 dozen. I purposely wanted a smaller amount. Why does every Christmas cookie recipe make a billion cookies? If I make that many, I’ll eat that many. I wanted a more manageable amount. I also wanted to use whole grain flour, less sugar, and reduce the fat. All of which I accomplished AND the 6 year old loved them…

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - eating

He actually crowned me “The Cookie Queen” after taking his first bite. lol I’m not sure I accept that crown but I’ll continue to bake healthy for us. It’s FUN! Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies

Be warned, I went a little picture happy….

  • 1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (180g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter (28g)
  • 2 tbsp low fat Cream cheese (28g)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (66g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 tbsp skim milk
  • food coloring (optional)
  • Decorating Glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Weigh out the flour.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - the flour

Combine the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - dry ingredients

Mixing with a whisker is an easy way to combine dry ingredients.

Add the butter, cream cheese, sugar and extract to another bowl.

Using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar and extract.

Beat the egg to the sugar mixture for 1 minute extract

Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the bowl.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - 1/3 flour

Mix on low speed until just combined the add another 1/3.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies - next 1/3

Finally add the last 1/3 and 1 tbsp of milk to help incorporate everything. It will be thick.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - done beating

My poor $10 beater got a workout!

At this point you can add some food color if you like. We went with green since we were making mostly trees.

Gather all the dough and form a flat ball.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - add color

Cover in saran wrap and refrigerate while you make the glazes.

Decorating Glaze

  • 2 tbsp powder sugar
  • 1 tsp water (or 1/4 tsp extract + 3/4 tsp water)
  • squirt of food coloring

Place everything in a small bowl.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies - glaze step 1

Mix well.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - finished glaze

Now let the fun begin!

I created a little cookie decorating station.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies - decorating station

Sprinkle a little flour on the counter to help the dough not stick. Let the kids roll!

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - roll the dough

Shoot for about 1/8 of an inch thick.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies - dough thickness

Have fun with your favorite cookie cutters.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies - cookie cutters

Lay on a cookie sheet. They shouldn’t stick but a little non-stick spray never hurt anyone. ;)

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - cookie on sheet

Bake for around 10 minutes until the bottom just starts to brown. Remove them from the cookie sheet and let them cool on some wax paper.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies - cooling

This will make clean up from the decorating a cinch!

Have fun!

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - decorating!

Don’t forget sprinkles they stick wonderfully to the glaze.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - drying

Let dry.

Less-Sugar Sugar Cookies  - all done!

Then enjoy all your hard work!

Then enjoy all your hard work!  - FUN!

Both times I’ve made this receipe I ended up with 31 cooking but it will depend on the size of you cookie cutters. One of ours was small so I’m estimating the recipe to make 2 dozen. That makes 12 servings of 2 cookies each at normal size.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
12 2-3 cookies (not including glaze)
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
100 2g 2g old: 2 new: 2
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
6g 1g 17g 3g
Posted in: 2 WWP, 2 WWPP, Cookie Ideas, Dessert Ideas, Toddler Approved
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21 Comments and 1 Replies

  1. Brenda

    Oh, my Roni!
    You rock!!! Now we can have sugar cookies on Weight Watchers!! Wow!! Can you tell I’m a little enthusiastic about this recipe? haha…
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Pamela

    I always make the cream cheese sugar cookies at Christmas time. So glad you made a lighter version of these. Can’t wait to try!

  3. Barbara

    I will try soo. I did read where you said you were hoping it would make less.
    Can you freeze half the dough? I think I would try that because like you, I would enjoy eating them.

  4. Christine

    Just made these with my son, he is still decorating. They are really yummy! They came out kind of puffy with the baking powder. I think next time I will try baking soda instead. Thanks for sharing this recipe! :-)

  5. Jzbell79

    Roni, you’re the best! I was debating whether or not to make cookies with my boys this year… I’m keeping them at home for their entire winter break, and I always LOVED making them with my grandma when I was a kid. But I sadly do not have her recipe (she died many years ago), and for some reason just had a block on picking one from a random site. Then lo, here you are! One of my favorite and most trusted gals posting about the very thing. I’m sold! I’ll be adding this to my list of fun things to do on vacation!

  6. kanga

    These came out awesome. very good recipe for my kids since they are so low on sugar ,but surprising they have just the right sweetness with the glaze and sprinkles. thanks so much for the good recipes.I make green smoothies and banana ice cream all the time for us too. Merry Christmas!

    I can share an awesome recipe that I make for my kids that you may like. They are called Pumpkin Sippers. I got the recipe from the farm chicks website.
    They love them!

    Pumpkin Sippers
    I modified it to be healthier.
    4 cups of plain soymilk
    1/2 c.canned plain pumpkin
    1/3 c brown sugar
    some cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
    dash of seasalt

    Whisk this all together in a pot on the stove and serve it warm with a bit of whip cream and sprinkle of cinnamon ,it is as good as pumpkin pie. They suggest making it in a crockpot for parties and serving with a ladle .
    It seemed like something you might like looking at your other recipes.

  7. Denise

    Thanks for the recipe. Been looking for a cookie recipe with less sugar and this seems like it will be a hit. Appreciate you doing all the research!

  8. espngirl24

    This recipe looks great! I was wondering, though, how drastically different would the recipe taste if I use Almond Milk (45 calorie, original flavor) instead of the low-fat milk? Any thoughts or has anyone tried this?

    Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Desiree

    I just made these in non-holiday form! We made rainbow stars!! I used whole wheat flour and I didn’t have any cream cheese so just used all butter. They are yummy! They do not taste as sweet as a regular ole sugar cookie, but that is ok because I looking for a healthy low sugar alternative so I could do some baking with my 4 yr old. She had a blast painting on the glaze. Thank you for this recipe, we will use it often. =)

  10. Leisa

    Just wondering what ‘white whole wheat ‘ flour was, WWflour is not white and when it is it has been refined. I have a wheat grinder to make flour, is using freshly ground WWflour going to work ok?

  11. martha@ simple-nourished-living

    I loved this post and can’t wait to try your cookies. Your dorky approach to recipes sounds a lot like mine, which made me laugh out loud. So glad to know I’m not the only recipe geek around!! Thanks for taking the time to figure this all out so I can go right to making, baking and enjoying them without all the research :-)

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