Frosted sugar cookies are a fun treat to make with kids. The cookie itself has a high sugar content. When you combine that with traditional powdered sugar frosting, kids become overloaded with too much sugar. Using healthy frosting alternatives helps reduce the inevitable sugar high while adding some nutrition to a sweet treat.
Traditional cream cheese frosting uses just as much powdered sugar as regular buttercream frosting so it doesn’t have much nutritional value. Make a healthy cream cheese frosting by mixing 2 parts cream cheese, 1 part butter and a splash of vanilla extract. You can add a teaspoon or two of sugar if desired to sweeten the frosting. Another option is to simply beat cream cheese until it is smooth and add a little cinnamon or fruit puree. Spread the cream cheese on the cookies just before serving.
Peanut butter and other nut butters are easy to spread and go well with sugar cookies. You can use the nut butter straight from the jar or mix 2 parts peanut butter with 1 part honey. The honey will add extra sweetness and is a healthier alternative to refined sugar. Chocolate nut spreads, such as chocolate hazelnut and chocolate peanut butter, are also available in most supermarkets and are a healthy alternative to chocolate frosting.
Carob chips are used in much the same way as chocolate chips and are healthier. They contain less sugar and more protein per serving. Melt the carob chips in a microwave or double boiler. Spread the melted chips over the cookies and let harden before serving. Alternatively, dip half the cookie in the melted carob and place it on wax paper to harden.
Yogurt is a healthy alternative to frosting and the versatility of plain or vanilla yogurt allows you to combine a number of different ingredients to include your child’s favorite flavors. Spread a layer of vanilla flavored yogurt on the cookies and top with granola for added crunchiness. Plain vanilla tends to have a more sour taste but works well when it is mixed with a little fruit puree. Spread the yogurt frosting on the cookies just before serving to prevent the cookies from getting soggy.
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