When you think of the terms skinny and cookie, you don’t typically associate them together. For those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, however, it is imperative to find recipes that do just that. In a constant battle to avoid unhealthy foods yet allow the occasional sweet treat, sometimes we have to get creative. These cookies are a product of that creativity.
Inspired by a classic, the old-fashioned peanut butter cookie, these treats replace peanuts with a Hawaiian favorite, macadamias. To make these cookies not only unique but also healthy, I began by completely eliminating butter from the recipe. That’s right, no butter, no oil. The base of the dough is actually created by pureeing the macadamias into a nut butter, similar to the role peanut butter plays in a peanut butter cookie. The natural oil from the macadamias is enough to hold the dough together and keep it moist, allowing butter to be left out of the equation entirely. So don’t be fooled into thinking I forgot to add it to the ingredient list just because the title has the word “butter” in it (and yes…this conversation has happened before).
Although removing butter from the recipe will drastically cut the calorie and fat content of the cookies, it doesn’t necessarily make them healthy. To boost the nutrition content of the cookies, I elected to swap out all-purpose flour and replace it with white whole-wheat flour. Lastly, I added some dried cranberries to provide a boost of antioxidant power and chewy texture. The bits of cranberries not only provide a nutritional boost to each cookie, but a tartness that really complements the sweet and subtle flavor of the macadamias. These cookies are thick, satisfying, taste fantastic, and they’re far more nutritionally balanced than a traditional cookie (74 calories, 2 g. fat, 1 g. protein, 1 g. fiber per serving). If you love peanut butter cookies and want to taste a more exotic take on the original, give these delightful little bundles a try!
*NOTE: This recipe should yield approximately 30 cookies. Each serving consists of 1 cookie.
Skinny Cranberry Macadamia Butter Cookies
- 2/3 cup Macadamia Nuts
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1 large Egg
- 1 ¼ cups White Whole-Wheat Flour
- ½ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place macadamias in a food processor and pulse until smooth, approximately 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. DO NOT move on to step three until the texture is smooth like creamy peanut butter, otherwise the dough will be dry and crumbly.
- Combine macadamia butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl). Beat with a stand (or hand) mixer on medium speed until combined. Add vanilla and egg and beat well.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until combined. Stir in cranberries. Chill dough for 10 minutes.
- Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Place remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl. Lightly roll the top of each cookie ball in the sugar and place, sugar side up, on the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch between each cookie. Gently press down on the top of each dough ball to flatten.
- Bake cookies, 1 sheet pan at a time, for 9 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pan and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining cookies & enjoy.
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS