Disclosure: For this post, I’ve teamed up with Madhava Natural Sweeteners. I received 2 bags of their Better Baking Blend to try, and I am being compensated for my recipe development and photography; all opinions are 100% mine.

madhava giveaway image

This is going to be a jam-packed post! Madhava asked me to discuss how I stay healthy during the holiday season so I’ll be talking about that below, and I’m going to share a recipe I created featuring Madhava’s Organic Better Baking Blend. I’m also going to tell you about Madhava’s Healthier Holidays social media contest, and I am giving away a bunch of Madhava products, too!

I don’t really approach the holidays any differently than I do “regular” days when it comes to food, exercise, and other healthy habits. I am consistent about eating well and getting regular exercise all the time, including during the holiday season. While the holidays are definitely busier, and there are more opportunities for overindulging in treats and skipping the exercise, I just try not to do too much of either one of these. I work treats into my regular diet on a daily basis so I have no reason to overconsume these at parties, on vacation, etc., and I get to the gym and walk as much as I can. That said, if I do overeat now and then, I don’t stress about it…I just go back to my “regularly scheduled programming” the next day. (I also make sure I get plenty of sleep!)

Cookies are one of my favorite treats. To keep them healthier I like to make my own (I included many of my favorites in my new Holiday Treats eBook!), and when I eat them, I do so in moderation. For me, this generally means 2 homemade cookies, usually after dinner when I am in the mood for something sweet.

unrefined sugar cookies

These sugar cookies that I made with the Madhava’s Better Baking Blend are delicious. Their thickness (and not overbaking them) results in a delightfully chewy cookie. Use the bottom of a patterned glass jar to give them a distictive design, if you like.

unrefined sugar cookies

If you don’t have access to Madhava’s Better Baking Blend, you can use coconut sugar or dark brown sugar in these cookies.

cookies top_

To enter Madhava’s Healthier Holidays contest, please visit this link, where you’ll find information on how you can share recipes on Pinterest and possibly win one of Madhava’s gift packs or grand prize.

mixandmatch

And to enter my giveaway for A Mix and Match Package from Madhava Sweeteners, please leave a comment on this post about your favority holiday treat (I want to know what it is!). For extra entries, you can “like” Madhava on Facebook, follow Madhava on Pinterest, follow Madhava on twitter, or follow Madhava on Instagram. For each extra entry, please leave an additional comment letting me know.

Official Rules: This giveaway ends on Monday December 29, 2014 at midnight EST. I will choose a winner via random.com and I’ll email the winner on that day. The winner will have 48 hours to provide me with their shipping address. If no shipping address is furnished, I will choose another winner. You must be 18 years or older to enter this giveaway. No purchase is necessary to enter or win this giveaway.

Recipe for Chewy Sugar Cookies

Yield: Makes 14 cookies

Ingredients:

*1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
*3/4 cup Madhava Better Baking Blend (or coconut sugar or dark brown sugar)
*1 egg yolk
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 1/2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
*1/4 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla and mix well.

3. Combine the flour with the baking powder and the salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well blended.

4. At this point, if you want to make rolled/cut-out cookies, you should wrap the dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is thoroughly chilled. You could also make a "log" out of the dough, freeze it, and then make "slice and bake" cookies. The third option (and what I did for the cookies you see in this post) is to shape the dough into balls, which you can flatten a bit with a metal spatula or the bottom of a glass (use a glass with a pattern and you'll end up with patterned cookies). I weighed each dough ball before baking to ensure they ended up the same size- each ball weighted 1 ounce. Don't flatten them too much, because a bit of thickness helps them keep their shape/ensures they stay chewy, and place on a parchment paper or silpat-lined cookie sheet.

5. Bake for until slightly brown on the bottoms and around the edges. In my oven, this takes 14-15 minutes.

unrefined sugar cookies

 

48 Comments

  1. 1

    Jersey Girl Cooks — December 16, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

    Love the thicker cookies. I just used Madhava syrup for waffles that I made. Great product!

  2. 2

    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — December 16, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

    Winnie, I love what you said. . and totally agree! that you are consistent about eating well and getting regular exercise all the time, including during the holiday season. I do this as well!! love these cookies and the Madhava’s Better Baking Blend!! Happy Holidays to you and your family! :)

  3. 3

    Marlene Baird — December 16, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    My all time classic love is biscotti.

  4. 4

    Sam — December 16, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

    My favorite holiday dessert are ginger cookies!

  5. 5

    cat — December 17, 2014 @ 1:12 am

    my favorite holiday dessert is cheesecake, made with my grandmothers receipe.

  6. 6

    Jessica T — December 17, 2014 @ 2:20 am

    We love gingerbread cookies!

  7. 7

    Jessica T — December 17, 2014 @ 2:20 am

    I “like” Madhava on Facebook.

  8. 8

    Jessica T — December 17, 2014 @ 2:21 am

    I follow Madhava on twitter. (@jtalstein)

  9. 9

    Daniela — December 17, 2014 @ 3:25 am

    I love all kinds of cookies for Christmas, especially those with cinnamon and warm spices.

  10. 10

    YJ — December 17, 2014 @ 5:47 am

    For holiday treats, I love gingerbread men!

  11. 11

    Janet T — December 17, 2014 @ 8:12 am

    My favorite holiday treat is sugar cookies.

  12. 12

    Janet T — December 17, 2014 @ 8:14 am

    I follow Madhava on twitter. @Janberet

  13. 13

    Mason — December 17, 2014 @ 8:23 am

    Date Roll Cookies! The recipe is a family tradition and they are so delicious! I would love to remake them with wholesome sweeteners!

  14. 14

    Mason — December 17, 2014 @ 8:24 am

    Just liked Madhava of Facebook!

  15. 15

    Mason — December 17, 2014 @ 8:31 am

    Following Madhava on Twitter!

  16. 16

    Mason — December 17, 2014 @ 8:31 am

    Following Madhava on Pinterest!

  17. 17

    Mason — December 17, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    Following Madhava on Instagram!

  18. 18

    Veronique Daoust — December 17, 2014 @ 8:44 am

    My favorite treat is gingerbread! Love those cookies :).
    following on Pinterest, twitter and instagram and liked on Facebook,

  19. 19

    christopher sorel — December 17, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    snowballs and pecan tarts

  20. 20

    christopher sorel — December 17, 2014 @ 8:56 am

    like” Madhava on Facebook

  21. 21

    christopher sorel — December 17, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    follow Madhava on Pinterest

  22. 22

    christopher sorel — December 17, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    follow Madhava on twitter

  23. 23

    christopher sorel — December 17, 2014 @ 8:58 am

    follow Madhava on Instagram

  24. 24

    Kim — December 17, 2014 @ 9:07 am

    My favorite all time holiday treat is a black walnut poundcake! It is so yummy!
    I do agree with everything in moderation so you can enjoy the holidays without gaining weight!

  25. 25

    itzia — December 17, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

    my favorite holiday treat is molasses cookies.

  26. 26

    itzia — December 17, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

    i follow madhava on pinterest (hichicha)

  27. 27

    itzia — December 17, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    i follow madhava on instagram (tiachicha)

  28. 28

    itzia — December 17, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    i follow madhava on twitter (itzia)

  29. 29

    Edamommy — December 17, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

    Besides homemade spicy glazed nuts, I can’t go through the winter holidays without making one good old fashioned apple pie, served a la mode.

  30. 30

    Cheri — December 17, 2014 @ 2:14 pm

    Fruitcake, believe it or not! My sister has taken up Mom’s art of making the only edible (in my estimation) fruit cake and memorable baked goods. It’s actually very traditional made with quality ingredients.

  31. 31

    Amanda — December 18, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

    Peppernuts/pfefferneuse!

  32. 32

    Renata Lavach-Savy — December 19, 2014 @ 9:59 am

    I really love a rich yule log! High in calories, but good!

  33. 33

    Brenda Haines — December 21, 2014 @ 6:31 pm

    My favorite holiday treat is cranberry orange bread, that my mom makes the best lol :)

  34. 34

    Brenda Haines — December 21, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

    I follow on Facebook Brenda Haines

  35. 35

    Brenda Haines — December 21, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

    I follow on twitter @TheHippieHut

  36. 36

    Brenda Haines — December 21, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

    I follow on pinterest hippiehut

  37. 37

    Brenda Haines — December 21, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

    I follow on instagram thehippiehut32

  38. 38

    Rana Durham — December 21, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

    I love coconut cake

  39. 39

    Rana Durham — December 21, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Followed you on Instagram @ranajdurham

  40. 40

    Rana Durham — December 21, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Followedvon twitter @ranadurham

  41. 41

    Rana Durham — December 21, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Followed on pinterest rana31287

  42. 42

    Rana Durham — December 21, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

    Followed on Facebook rana durham

  43. 43

    Daraya — December 23, 2014 @ 10:41 am

    My favorite holiday treat is ginger-molasses cookies! :)

  44. 44

    Daraya — December 23, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    I followed Madhava Sweeteners on Pinterest (DarayaJ)!

  45. 45

    Daraya — December 23, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    I followed Madhava Sweeteners on Instagram (@darayaj)!

  46. 46

    Daraya — December 23, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    I followed Madhava Sweeteners on Twitter (@DarayaJ)!

  47. 47

    Rosalind — December 27, 2014 @ 9:55 am

    My all time fave is Paintbrush Cookies my mom & I made every holiday season. They’re a mostly honey based soft cookie that is “painted” with egg whites and food colouring! Endless possibilities.

  48. 48

    Suzie — December 29, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

    My favorite is my Grandma’s orange slice cake. I can’t make it like she used to though :)