The holiday season is the baking season. And that means cookies, cakes and pies will soon be popping out of ovens and gracing the tables.
And of all of the sweet treats that bring people together this time of year, none are quite as fun to make (or able keep little hands as busy) as the classic sugar cookie.
With a few cookie cutters and a jar of sprinkles, you can transform your kitchen into Mrs. Claus’s bakeshop and create wonderful memories as you cut, decorate and bake.
Of course, sugar cookies are not the healthiest foods on your holiday table. As their name implies, they’re packed with sugar, not to mention refined wheat flour. These fun foods that target children are also packed with heart-stopping trans fats (in the form of partially hydrogenated oils) and artificial colors. Take a look at the ingredients in Pillsbury Snowman Shape Cookies:
Enriched Flour Bleached, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Water. Contains 2% or less of: Eggs, Baking Powder (sodium aluminum phosphate, baking soda), Salt, Red 40, Artificial Flavor, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Sodium Benzoate (preservative).
Even if you choose an organic slice and bake cookie – made without trans fat and fake colors – you’re still getting a hefty 10 grams of sugar per serving (and 20 grams of grain-based carbohydrates). And who eats just one of these cookies?
Gluten Free Sugar Cookies: Naughty or Nice?
Unfortunately, most gluten-free sugar cookies are not much better. While they are free of inflammatory gluten, most manufacturers replace the wheat with high-glycemic rice flour (which has also been shown to contain arsenic) and other ingredients (like potato starch) that can send your blood sugar soaring.
And whether you’re a big kid or a little kid, this is bad news for your health. As blood sugar rises, so does insulin, triggering the storage of fat around your belly. And this “visceral” fat is far more dangerous to your health than the “extra padding” you may have on your thighs or bottom that’s a bit dimpled or jiggly.
The reason? Visceral fat goes deep and can surround your liver, heart and other vital organs. And it doesn’t just sit there. Belly fat is highly metabolically active, producing inflammatory compounds called cytokines that promote a wide range of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other chronic illness.
Experts agree that the best way to reduce belly fat is by reducing carbohydrates, sugars and starches in the diet (especially from grains) as well as engaging in vigorous exercise several times a week.
Does that mean there’s no room in your diet for a good ole fashioned sugar cookie?
Of course not! Using intelligent ingredients, you can make gluten-free sugar cookies that contain NO grains, NO starches – and produce very little impact on your blood sugar.
And that’s exactly what we did when we created our “Sugar” Cookies Mix.
Super Simple, (Almost) Sugar-Free & Gluten-Free “Sugar” Cookies in 20 Minutes Flat
Made from wholesome, high-protein almond flour and sweetened with a perfect combination of zero glycemic non-GMO erythritol, stevia, and a touch of coconut sugar, our sugar cookie mix will help you make the pillowy soft sugar cookies you know and love. And with less than one gram of sugar per serving, these are sweet treats you won’t feel guilty about eating or sharing with family and friends.
By adding just a few ingredients (coconut oil, eggs and vanilla) to our “Sugar” Cookies Mix, you’ll turn out beautiful golden holiday cookies that will delight kids of all ages.
For cut-out cookies, follow the instructions on the package, chill the dough, roll to desired thickness on wax paper or parchment paper, then cut your shapes. Of course, you’ll want to roll the leftover dough flat again and repeat. Use a spatula to transfer the cut outs to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F just until the edges begin to turn a nice golden brown (time will vary depending on thickness of your dough).
For a soft cookie that puffs and falls, producing a nice crackly top, add ½ tsp. cream of tartar, mixing with other ingredients as directed. Chill, then roll into golf-ball sized balls, place on cookies sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 F for 9-12 minutes to a buttery golden and just beginning to brown around the edges.
If you want to make the most beautifully decorated cookies this year – without the harmful artificial colors that accompany traditional sprinkles – try India Tree All Natural Nature’s Colors Decorating Sugars.
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Looking for the perfect treat for Santa this year? Grab our Santa’s Sampler including 1 Drinking Chocolate, 1 Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, 1 Sugar Cookie Mix, 1 Ginger Spice Cookie Mix for just $42.95. That’s 6 dozen cookies and 35 cups of rich and steamy hot cocoa!
And don’t forget… as always, all orders over $100 ship free!