Chewy or chunky, gooey or crisp, cookies come in infinite varieties. Everyone has a personal favorite, but few people are picky when offered a plateful of homemade cookies.

Many traditional recipes feature a basic cookie base such as chocolate chip, oatmeal or peanut butter. Today’s best bakers and pastry chefs are putting a modern twist on these recipes—they’re making cookies healthier, which makes us feel less guilty when we have a major Cookie Monster moment.

While everyone deserves to splurge and enjoy a classic treat, why not try these healthier alternatives? From Paleo chocolate chip cookies to vegan thin mints, here are four cookie recipes that won’t do damage to your healthy habits.

Paleo Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Did cavemen eat chocolate chip cookies? No, probably not. Our stone-age ancestors were too busy hunting and gathering to indulge their sweet tooth. The Paleo diet, a strict regimen centered on fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and pasture-raised meat, mirrors the eating habits of our cave-dwelling forebears. The most basic Paleo rules require a recipe that contains no grains, gluten, soy or dairy, and these chocolate chip cookies contain none of those ingredients.
Paleo Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Did cavemen eat chocolate chip cookies? No, probably not. Our stone-age ancestors were too busy hunting and gathering to indulge their sweet tooth. The Paleo diet, a strict regimen centered on fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and pasture-raised meat, mirrors the eating habits of our cave-dwelling forebears. The most basic Paleo rules require a recipe that contains no grains, gluten, soy or dairy, and these chocolate chip cookies contain none of those ingredients.
Servings
9cookies
Servings
9cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Chunky Sunflower Seed Butter
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • Salt to taste
Servings: cookies
Units:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Chunky Sunflower Seed Butter
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • Salt to taste
Servings: cookies
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a big bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. Use a spoon to form dough balls, scoop batter onto a well-greased cookie sheet, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
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Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
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Gluten is one of the most heavily consumed proteins on Earth. People have been eating it for over 10,000 years; however, today, gluten has become a culinary villain on par with sugar and saturated fat. According to the New Yorker, nearly 20 million people say that they experience distress after eating products containing gluten. Still, a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you have to swear off baked goods, and with this cookie recipe, gluten-free doesn’t mean flavor free, either.
Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
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Gluten is one of the most heavily consumed proteins on Earth. People have been eating it for over 10,000 years; however, today, gluten has become a culinary villain on par with sugar and saturated fat. According to the New Yorker, nearly 20 million people say that they experience distress after eating products containing gluten. Still, a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you have to swear off baked goods, and with this cookie recipe, gluten-free doesn’t mean flavor free, either.
Servings
14cookies
Servings
14cookies
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cups Gluten Free Oats
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 6 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Servings: cookies
Units:
Ingredients
  • 2/3 cups Gluten Free Oats
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • 6 tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Servings: cookies
Units:
Instructions
  1. Mix nuts, cinnamon and baking soda in a medium bowl. Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat an egg, then use a large rubber spatula to mix in peanut butter and brown sugar. Pour the dry ingredients into the mix and stir thoroughly (depending on how thick or cold the peanut butter is, you may have to use some elbow grease). Once the ingredients are mixed and combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
  2. Place the cookie dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Scoop the dough onto the baking sheets. Each cookie dough ball should be roughly 1.5 tablespoons. Bake 9 to 10 minutes for soft cookies. For crispier cookies, bake 11 to 12 minutes. Cool cookies for 15 minutes before eating.
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No-Bake Crispy Chocolate Marshmallow Treats
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Is there anything better than a cookie recipe that doesn’t require any baking? No-bake recipes are simple and easy, which is a good thing because with kids running around the house and errands to run, who has time to be an award-winning pastry chef? Don't worry. You can create a delicious and eye-popping dessert without even turning on the oven.
No-Bake Crispy Chocolate Marshmallow Treats
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Is there anything better than a cookie recipe that doesn’t require any baking? No-bake recipes are simple and easy, which is a good thing because with kids running around the house and errands to run, who has time to be an award-winning pastry chef? Don't worry. You can create a delicious and eye-popping dessert without even turning on the oven.
Servings
16bars
Servings
16bars
Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 bag Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 6 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 2 oz Bittersweet Chocolate melted
Servings: bars
Units:
Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 bag Mini Marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 6 cups Crispy Rice Cereal
  • 2 oz Bittersweet Chocolate melted
Servings: bars
Units:
Instructions
  1. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan after with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both sides.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine butter, marshmallows and cocoa and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Stir in rice cereal.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan, drizzle with melted chocolate and let cool to room temperature. Cut into bars.
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Vegan Thin Mint Cookies
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Today, vegan desserts are staples at bakeries and cafes. But replicating that healthy, vegan goodness at home can be difficult. How do you eliminate dairy? What do you substitute for eggs? Inspired by the classic Girl Scout cookie, this thin mint cookie recipe is both vegan and gluten-free (Image via FeastingOnFruit.com).
Vegan Thin Mint Cookies
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Today, vegan desserts are staples at bakeries and cafes. But replicating that healthy, vegan goodness at home can be difficult. How do you eliminate dairy? What do you substitute for eggs? Inspired by the classic Girl Scout cookie, this thin mint cookie recipe is both vegan and gluten-free (Image via FeastingOnFruit.com).
Servings
10cookies
Servings
10cookies
Ingredients
  • For the Cookies
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/3 cup Cacao Powder
  • 1 1/4 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Mint Extract
  • For the Chocolate Coating
  • 8 Medjool Dates pitted
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Mint Extract
  • 2 tbsp Cacao Powder
Servings: cookies
Units:
Ingredients
  • For the Cookies
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/3 cup Cacao Powder
  • 1 1/4 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Mint Extract
  • For the Chocolate Coating
  • 8 Medjool Dates pitted
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Mint Extract
  • 2 tbsp Cacao Powder
Servings: cookies
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix together all the cookie ingredients to create a thick dough. Roll the dough into balls and arrange them on a parchment-lined pan. Make sure to flatten the cookies with a jar and a piece of wax paper to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan.
  3. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then let cool before coating.
  4. Blend all the chocolate coating ingredients until smooth, then transfer to a medium-sized bowl.
  5. Place the cooled cookie into the bowl and flip the cookie to evenly coat each side. Remove excess chocolate, then place onto a wax paper lined pan or plate. Repeat with all the cookies.
  6. Freeze the cookies for at least four hours, then serve.
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