I used to think Valentine's Day was great. My mom always gave me and my siblings little Russel Stover boxes of candy which we'd squirrel away and nibble for weeks. She'd bake a heart shaped cake and let us stuff our faves. As boyfriend-less teenager I used to host "Lonely Hearts Club" parties at my house for all my single friends. I thought it was really great when I actually had a boyfriend to spend it with, but honestly, Valentine's Day is so much more fun with a toddler. Pretty much everything is so much more fun than a toddler.
Except maybe Whole Foods. I still really like Whole Foods alone.
Jude thinks all holidays are fun, especially the food. We just had to host a party for his buddies from class. I am all for little treats for kiddos once in a while, but I'm not about to offer up a sugar coma as a party favor to all of the kids who come to our craft classes. Jude really wanted to decorate cookies with his friends, and he was googly eyed over t
he vast selection of candies and sprinkles in the grocery store (he has a thing for sprinkles, just like his mama). To assuage a bit of my guilt about the oncoming candy head rush, I made this healthier version of my favorite rolled sugar cookie recipe. It cuts the sugar, replaces white flour with whole wheat, and the cream cheese keeps it soft and buttery. The dough is really great for detailed cut cookies since it won't spread at all, but we stuck with simple hearts. I kept them small, and whipped up a bowl of cream cheese with a little homemade strawberry syrup for frosting. The bowls of sprinkles, pink candy corn, and conversation hearts were plenty of sugar without using real frosting! Of course, I used a little royal icing for the leftover cookies later, just because I can't resist that glossy look:)
- Healthier Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup raw cane sugar (organic if you can!)
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Dash salt
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 egg
- 2-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour flour
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter Beat in almond extract and egg. Add sugars, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Beat mixture until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half, press into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using 3-inch cookie cutters, cut out dough. Place cookies on prepped cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Keep an eye on them as they cook very quickly! Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool before decorating.