Make your holiday cookie exchange party even healthier

Holly Clegg's Holiday Bars There’s nothing more challenging for someone trying to eat healthy and lose weight than holiday cookie exchanges. If it’s too hard to avoid cookies this time of year, plan your indulgence!

  • Decide how many cookies you're going to allow yourself to eat. Maybe you have them on the day you use up all your extra Weight Watcher POINTS.
  • Wash down those cookies with something healthy and low calorie like green tea or skim milk.
  • Put in an extra exercise session before you indulge so you've already burned up all those calories. Or go for a walk with your friends before or after the cookie exchange party.
  • If you’re baking your own cookies, use healthier substitutes like stevia instead of sugar.
  • When you bring your cookies home, share them with neighbors and friends. Or bring them to work to share with coworkers. No one said you have to eat them all yourself!
  • Encourage your cookie exchange friends to make healthier cookies. Meringues are a good choice as are breakfast cookies.

Today’s guest post from Holly Clegg features a recipe for her Holiday Bars from her cookbook, Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets To Sizzle At Any Age. Believe it or not, her delicious Holiday Bars are only ONE Weight Watchers POINT per serving!

An Easy Favorite Holiday Cookie

Looking for an easy holiday treat to bring to work, a party or a cookie swap? Holiday Bars, a fantastic layered bar pick-up, highlight holiday ingredients. Easy to make with a gingersnap crust layered with white chocolate chips, pecans, and cranberries gives you the perfect combination of tart, sweet, spice, and crunchy. You will want to make this recipe year round, and you can, as this quick recipe uses dried cranberries. So, no stress when asked to bring a treat as you can whip up these amazing bar cookies in a matter of minutes.

For more healthy holiday recipes, visit Holly’s website or  The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Holiday Bars

48 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup of (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven 350° F. Coat 13x9x2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In prepared pan, mix gingersnaps, butter, and vanilla; press into pan.
  3. Sprinkle cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pecans evenly over gingersnap crust. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top. Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly and light brown.

Nutritional information

Calories 57 Calories from fat 42% Fat 3g Saturated Fat 1g Cholesterol 4mg Sodium 34mg Carbohydrate 8g Dietary Fiber 0g Sugars 6g Protein 1g

Dietary Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1/2 fat

Weight Watchers POINTS = 1 per cookie

This Mama’s tips

  • Instead of butter, use a low saturated fat soft spread like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
  • Instead of white chocolate chips, use dark chocolate chips instead. Dark chocolate contains anti-oxidants and may have some heart health benefits as well.
  • If you have a nut allergy, use pine nuts (a seed) or sunflower seeds instead of pecans.
  • If you eat gluten free, substitute crumbs from gluten free gingersnap or graham crackers instead.


Picture courtesy of Holly Clegg

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