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45 Lightened-Up Cookies That Curb Snack Attacks

Just because you're watching what you eat doesn't mean you can't nosh on classic cookies, buttery biscotti and chocolate chip faves. Check out these low-calorie bites and say goodbye to snack-time boredom.

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Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Want to learn how to make meringues? This meringue cookie is light, airy morsels and the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Homemade Honey Grahams Exps Hca18 173086 D08 29 4b 2

Homemade Honey Grahams

The way my boys eat them, I would spend a fortune on honey graham crackers at the grocery store. So I decided to make a homemade version that is less processed—and less expensive. These are wonderful, although they still don't last long. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Cinnamon Roll Macarons

These macarons are a winter/fall staple for me—inspired by the classic cinnamon roll, they are a delicious treat for a cold or snowy day. These pair well with a mug of tea, and can be eaten as a dessert or just a snack. Try custard, mousse, ganache, or any other buttercream as fillings, too. —Elizabeth Ding, El Cerrito, California
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Raspberry Coconut Balls

My family loves Hostess Zingers, especially the raspberry flavor coated with coconut, inspiring this treat to make for school bake sales. We can make about four dozen in 30 minutes, and they sell out fast! —Pam Clark, Wheaton, Illinois
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Flourless Peanut Butter Thumbprints

I had been searching for a dessert to make for my brother's girlfriend (who is gluten intolerant), and I came across a naturally gluten-free dessert—a flourless peanut butter cookie. After tweaking the recipe a bit and adding Nutella and a sprinkling of sea salt, I finally found the perfect cookie for her. —Dana Hinck, Pensacola, Florida
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Oatmeal Molasses Crisps Exps Cwfm18 12921 B10 13 8b 5

Oatmeal Molasses Crisps

In Amish and Mennonite homes, home cooking is guaranteed delicious. So when I found this recipe in an Amish cookbook, I knew I had to try it. It's become a favorite of our family as well as the folks at our church fellowship. —Jori Schellenberger, Everett, Washington
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Cardamom Spritz

As far back as I remember, I have loved cardamom. My grandmother often added the spice to her baked goods. I usually make these cookies with a spritz press—and camel disk—that I found at a thrift shop. It reminds me of a time when I rode a camel in the desert while deployed with the Navy. Of course, any design will do! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Orange Pistachio Cookies

I had never tried pistachios until I visited a friend who served me these cookies. I was in love! I made the recipe my own, and now my family can't get enough of them. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Low-Fat Peanut Butter Cookies

When you bite into one of these yummy cookies, you'll never guess it's low in fat. This is my family's favorite healthy peanut butter cookie recipe. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts
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Carrot Cookie Bites

This recipe is a longtime family favorite. The cookies are soft and delicious, and the aroma while baking is absolutely irresistible! I'm always being asked for the recipe. —Jeanie Petrik, Greensburg, Kentucky
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Snow-Puffed Meringues

My family and friends like a nice pick-me-up dessert after a big holiday meal. These feather-light morsels fit the bill perfectly. To make six dozen cookies, or to make them easier to ship, skip the Nutella and dust with cocoa instead. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

These soft banana cookies have a cakelike texture and lots of flavor that everyone seem to love. It's one of the best banana cookie recipes I've found. —Vicki Raatz, Waterloo, Wisconsin
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Citrus Gingerbread Cookies

Orange and lemon zest give gingerbread cutouts a refreshing twist. Brushing a honey glaze over the top adds a subtle shine and an extra touch of sweetness. —Monique Hooker, DeSoto, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

When I baked this moist, fudgy chocolate crinkle cookie recipe for the first time, my three preschool children went wild over them! But I like them because they're lower in fat and easy to mix and bake. —Maria Groff, Ephrata, Pennsylvania
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Slice & Bake Coconut Shortbread Cookies

Light and buttery, these delicate shortbread cookies are melt-in-your-mouth good. The coconut flavor makes them extra special. —Roberta Otto, Duluth, Minnesota
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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Guests will stand in line to kiss the cook when these treats are served! For a change of pace, try them with chunky peanut butter, too. —Canada60, Tasteofhome.com Community
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Chocolate Gingersnaps

When my daughter, Jennifer, was 15 years old, she created this recipe as a way to combine two of her favorite flavors. They're great with a glass of milk. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah
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Mocha Meringue Sandwich Cookies

These crisp, chewy cookies can be made any size you choose. They're also great with a variety of fillings—try making them with fruit preserves. —Marie Valdes, Brandon, FL
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Chewy Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

My cookies get coated with sugar, spice and everything nice! They turn out soft on the inside and a little crunchy on the outside, the dough is easy to work with, and they taste fantastic. What more could you ask for in a cookie? —Ashley Wisniewski, Champaign, Illinois
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Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti Exps Hca17 41633 B10 20 8b 7

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate, pistachios and cranberries make a dramatic, delicious trio. Introducing the cranberries to this recipe added tartness, texture and color, too. —Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These big, soft spice cookies created by our staff have a sweet frosting that makes them an extra-special treat. Enjoy! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Ice Cream Kolachkes

These sweet pastries have Polish and Czech roots and can also be spelled "kolaches." They are usually filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture. The ice cream is a unique twist on traditional kolachkes, and it's simplest to use a square cookie cutter to cut the dough. —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio
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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these pretty treats as is or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea.—Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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Soft Honey Cookies

These old-fashioned honey cookies have a subtle honey-cinnamon flavor and a tender texture. This recipe has been a favorite in my family for years and now it can be one at your house, too. —Rochelle Friedman, Brooklyn, New York
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Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks

I wanted to impress my husband's family with something you'd expect to find in a European bakery, and these chocolaty treats are what I came up with. The flaky pastry melts in your mouth. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Polka-Dot Macaroons

Macaroons studded with M&M's are easy to mix up in a hurry. That's good, because believe me, they never last long. —Janice Lass, Dorr, Michigan
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Lime Coconut Biscotti

My family loves this recipe! It’s great with that morning cup of coffee, delicious as an afternoon snack or after-dinner dessert. Citrusy and crunchy, not too sweet, it always hits the spot. —Diana Burrink, Crete, Illinois
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Ginger Thins

I like to serve these special treats with lemon curd or lemon sherbet, either of which it complements the ginger flavor. —Eleanor Senske, Rock Island, Illinois
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Lara's Tender Gingersnaps

Soft gingersnaps embody the tastes and smells of the Christmas season, but they are perfect for any fall or winter gathering. I enjoy the blend of cloves, ginger and cinnamon in this delicious cookie. —Lara Pennell, Mauldin, South Carolina
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Cherry-Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

My kids love making these home-style cookies. They're so wonderful when warm. —Jaye Beeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

This soft and chewy low-carb cookie recipe, developed by our Test Kitchen, calls for canola oil instead of butter to reduce the saturated fat. It's hard to eat just one!
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Mint Twist Meringues

Light and airy, these delicate meringues give you a refreshing burst of peppermint. I sprinkle them with crushed mint candies and baking cocoa. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina
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Chewy Coconut Macaroons Exps Wrsm17 27356 C03 24 1b 2

Chewy Coconut Macaroons

These chewy cookies are my husband's favorite, so he requests them often. I like to make the macaroons on cold winter days and keep them in an airtight bowl on the kitchen counter. They never last long! —Peggy Key, Grant, Alabama
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Toasted Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are almost anyone's favorites and these are sure to please! —Bethany Thayer, Troutville, Virginia
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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a competitive figure skater, I need high-energy snacks to keep me going. These cookies are loaded with nuts, chips and fabulous flavor. Coaches at my skating rink are always sneaking two or three when I bring them in! —Cassandra Brzycki, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Mint-Mallow Sandwich Cookies

A lightened version of Whoopie Pies, with a peppermint twist to make them Christmas-y. Kids love them! Instead of adding peppermint extract and red food coloring, you can add 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies to the marshmallow fluff. $mdash;Dion Frscher, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Molasses Cookies with a Kick

Here’s my go-to combination of ingredients for the best spice cookies. They’re a natural for fall, but I make them all year long. My mom says they’re her favorite! —Tamara Rau, Medina, North Dakota
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Sweet Potato Spice Cookies

Shredded sweet potatoes, butterscotch chips, pecans, coconut and spices are creatively combined in a one-of-a-kind cookie that always brings rave reviews. —Ruth Shaffer, Elizabethville, Pennsylvania
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Swirled Mint Cookies

No one will believe that these rich and buttery cookies are light, but they are! With their colorful swirls, each one of these minty, sugary bites has its own look. —Lois Hill, Thomasville, North Carolina
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Triple-Ginger Gingersnaps

Triple-Ginger Gingersnaps

Ginger cookies are holiday hits. Tuck them into clean, recycled coffee cans wrapped in decorative paper. With a glue gun, add ribbon or trim. —Jessica Follen, Waunakee, Wisconsin
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Orange Spritz Cookies

Brown sugar gives these spritz cookies a lovely light caramel tint. This variation has a rich buttery shortbread taste and texture with a hint of orange flavor. They are a delightful addition to my holiday cookie tray. -Sean Fleming, St. Charles, Illinois
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Molasses Crackle Cookies

You can treat yourself to one or two of my crackle cookies without guilt. Most molasses cookies are loaded with butter and have way too much sugar, but not mine. You would never know these are so low in fat.— Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin
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Walnut-Filled Pillows

Walnut-Filled Pillows

These tender cookie pillows, filled with a delicious walnut mixture, are my husband's favorite. He says it wouldn't be Christmas without them. —Nancy Kostrej, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
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Chipotle Crackle Cookies

I usually bake these special cookies for the holidays, but my family loves them so I bake them for their birthdays. The addition of ground chipotle chile pepper gives these cookies a little zing. The dough may be sticky, so I dip my hands in confectioners' sugar for easier handling. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Lemon Tea Cookies

These sandwich cookies taste rich and buttery and have a lovely lemon filling. The recipe has been in our family since the 1950s, when my mother got it from a French friend in her club. —Phyllis Dietz, Westland, Michigan

Mark Hagen
The former owner of his own catering business, Mark’s been part of the Taste of Home team for the past 20 years. His work has also appeared in Quick Cooking, Light & Tasty and Country Woman magazines as well as in various Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cookbooks. When he’s not spending time in the kitchen with his Westie, Rocco, he’s working in his yard, doing stand-up comedy or devouring a platter of nachos. (Most likely the latter.)
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