Delicious 2-ingredient healthy sugar cookies that are made with two healthy whole foods and high in protein. Incredible? It's true! The cookie batter can be cut out into shapes or just rolled into balls and baked. And recipe is so customizable with flavors and toppings. Vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free. And even a nut-free option. Decorate them with my snowy vegan royal icing !
2-ingredient Healthy Sugar Cookies
These incredible 2-ingredient healthy sugar cookies taste like shortbread but are snappy like traditional sugar cookies. And they really are so easy to make. And don't provide a sugar-rush as do traditional sugar cookies, and instead are high in protein and thus provide you with an energy boost and a feeling of fullness - depending on how many you eat, haha.
Ingredients in Easy Healthy Sugar Cookies
Let's start by saying what is NOT in these cookies. These healthy sugar cookies have no eggs or milk. They are also oil free sugar cookies. And they don't have butter. Not even vegan butter. And they don 't have bananas. These are banana-free vegan cookies.
These cookies are only made of two ingredients - almond flour and maple syrup. And they are incredible.
They bake beautifully as cut out cookies, pressed cookies, slice and bake cookies, chocolate covered cookies, shortbread cookies, sandwich cookies. SO many ways to use these babies!
What Do Healthy Sugar Cookies Taste Like?
Incredibly, these cookies taste just like the sugar cookies of my youth, all crunchy and buttery. Especially when you sprinkle them with a coarse sparkling sugar.
How does this work, making cookies with only two ingredients? It's all in the flour. You need a high protein, high fat flour that tastes great, like almond flour.
How Do You Make Healthy Sugar Cookies From Scratch?
Making my 2-ingredient healthy sugar cookies could not be easier!
Step 1. Simply mix up dough, and chill.
Step 2. Roll flat between floured parchment, cut shapes, and pick away the excess dough around the shapes.
Step 3. Refrigerate those cut out shapes, and re-roll the excess dough, cut out, chill and repeat until all dough is used up.
Step 4. Sprinkle chilled cookies before baking (or after baking) and bake for 20-25 minutes at 250 F. Did you catch that lower temperature? It's lower because these are only 2 ingredients and you are really drying them out more than baking them. Sprinkle after baking if you choose, then cool and coat.
Do These Easy Vegan Sugar Cookies Puff Up?
Well, they aren't flat, and basically stay the height and width that you roll them out as. When you bake them at such a low temperature, you are really dehydrating them. So they come out snappy.
Healthy Sugar Cookies That Are Full of Protein
A quarter cup of almond flour contains 6 grams of protein. Since this cookie is primarily almond flour, you are getting a mouthful of protein!
This awesome flour is also high in fiber, calcium and iron. Specifically, ¼ cup contains 3gms of fiber, 60mg of calcium and 2 mg or iron. Pretty good for a sugar cookie!
Substitutions for Healthy Sugar Cookie Ingredients
One reason this recipe works so well is almond flour is so high in fat. So if my nut-free friends want an option, they can probably swap the almond flour for sunflower seed flour or tiger nut flour, although I haven't tried it.
Aren't alternative flours like almond flour and sunflower seed flour amazing? I have even seen banana flour recently. (Read Whole Food's article here on how alternative flours are a big trend)
Q & A About Healthy Sugar Cookies
Do These Sugar Cookies have Eggs?
No, they have no milk, eggs or butter. They are egg-free, dairy-free, oil-free, even refined sugar free.
What Can I Use Instead of a Cookie Cutter?
You can use a round glass or even jar cover instead of a cookie cutter. With these cookies, I rolled out the dough between two sheets of parchment, peeled off the top, cut out shapes, and picked away the excess dough around the cut out cookies instead of trying to lift the cut out cookies. This method works especially well with this dough because it is a bit sticky.
How Do You Get Sugar to Stick to Sugar Cookies?
I just dab the tops of these cookies with a bit of water before baking. Then I immediately sprinkle on the sugar. I use a chunky sparkling sugar and it does not dissolve. A fine granular sugar might dissolve and disappear into the dough. Or, just sprinkle the sugar on after they come out of the oven. The heat will help the sugar stick.
Watch My Youtube Video Making These Easy Sugar Cookies
I put together a video of the steps if you want to pop over to YouTube video of the recipe here. This is my first recipe video so be kind, lol..
This Recipe First Debuted in My Cookbook
My first cookbook, released last year, first revealed this recipe. In the book, I use it to make sandwich cookies with superfood cream centers. Read that recipe in the my vegan cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients.
Regardless, I realized this recipe is golden, and needs to be shared wider. I figure others must feel like me: intimidated by holiday cookie baking, especially sugar cookies and with this recipe, that stress is over! A miraculous game-changer for holiday cookie baking!
Can These Easy Sugar Cookies Be Less Sweet?
They actually don't taste overly sweet. The amount of liquid sweetener is essential to bind and melt the cookie together. You can limit the coatings and toppings though. I used a dark chocolate on my coating, 85% cacao.
More FAQs About These 2-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
1. Do they store?
Yes, feel free to store them 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature, or freeze them covered for 3 months.
2. Can you swap out the flours?
I answered that in detail above, you need a high-fat flour so hazelnut flour might also work although I have not tried it. To use a nut-free flour like chickpea, you'll need to add fat, maybe coconut butter.
3. Can I use a different sweetener?
Yes, if you are not vegan, I am sure honey would work. I can guess that monkfruit syrup might also work for my keto friends.
4. Can I add flavors?
Great question! Here are some ideas I have tried:
Spice Sugar Cookies - add tsp of spices, maybe pumpkin spice or chai.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies - add ½ tsp of cacao powder or melted chocolate.
Gingerbread Sugar Cookies - remove 1 tsp of maple syrup, and replace it with a tsp of molasses, and gingerbread spice mix.
Lemon Sugar Cookies - add 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp rind.
If you want to try, add new ingredients a little at a time and taste-test the batter. So many options, so little time!
5. Does the dough take a cookie press imprint well?
Yes! I used a Nordic cookie press. I chilled a few cut-out cookies in the freezer about 15 minutes. Then placed them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet that I intended to bake them on, and pressed the mold on top of the chilled cookie.
I did not grease the mold. The cookie stuck a little, but tapping and prying gently did the trick. As you can see, the imprint stayed through baking. Next time I will press harder to get a crisper imprint.
If you like my desserts, you also might want to try these recipes:
Chocolate Marzipan Cups. Marzipan, also known as Almond Paste, is a delicious creamy center perfect for using as a filling for sandwich cookies.
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2-Ingredient Healthy Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup almond flour (see blog post for nut-free option)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
Make 2-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
- Preheat oven 250 F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.Mix the almond flour and maple syrup together into a dough. I used a spoon.
- Wrap the dough in parchment paper and freeze 15 minutes
- Roll the dough out on a cookie sheet, between two sheets of parchment paper, to about ¼ inch-to ½ inch in height. Peel the top parchment paper layer off. No chilling necessary.
- Cut shapes with a cookie cutter, and pick away the dough between the dough shapes, leaving the cut out cookies on the parchment paper. Don't dust with flour to roll; depend on the parchment paper layers to keep dough from sticking.
- Bake at 250 F for 20-25 minutes. Let cookies cool.
- Sprinkle cut out cookies before baking.
- Or sprinkle after the cookies come out of the oven when they are still warm.
- To dip them in chocolate, allow the cookies to cool. Then microwave ½ cup of chocolate chips for 60 seconds, stir until smooth, and dip each cookie into the melted chocolate halfway. Allow chocolate to set.
- Store the cookies for 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature. Or freeze them for 3 months or longer.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.