Whole-Wheat Snickerdoodles (and How I Handle Holiday Parties)

8 Reviews / 4.9 Average
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
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It’s that time of year with parties and cookies and treats galore! I shared a picture on Instagram of the crazy amount of cookies that ended up at my neighbor’s cookie exchange over the weekend, and one commenter asked how I handle parties this time of year. So here’s the answer: I often eat at least a little before I go so I don’t show up too hungry. And then I follow the same advice I give my girls all the time…

At Holiday Parties: Eat a lot of what you know is good and only a little of what you know is bad (or aren’t sure about).

Avoiding highly processed food doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun because, let’s face it, it is fun to sample all the goods at a cookie party! But when I say sample, I mean SAMPLE. I probably only ate half-inch sized pieces of two thirds of the cookies there. The hostess also had bags available for taking cookies home, and I carefully selected about 8 or 10 cookies (avoiding any that obviously had artificial dyes or didn’t look homemade). And when I got home, I cut more half-inch sized pieces for my girls to try. It was fun for all! And while sugar is not a regular part of our diets we do think it’s okay in TRUE moderation. As a family, we usually indulge in about one sugary treat a week so last weekend’s cookie party was a fun way to do that!

Recipe: Whole-Wheat Snickerdoodles (and How I Handle Holiday Parties) on 100 Days of #Real Food

The cookies I took to my neighbor’s cookie exchange were one of my all-time favorites – Snickerdoodles! I even used half whole-wheat flour to make them a little better, and I honestly don’t even think you could tell, because the outcome was deeelicious. Like melt in your mouth good. So I hope this recipe and the advice above helps with any holiday parties you have coming up. Enjoy! :)

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58 thoughts on “Whole-Wheat Snickerdoodles (and How I Handle Holiday Parties)”

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Ok, these are awesome. I made them exactly as written, with half King Arthur AP flour and half King Arthur white whole wheat. They’re still soft on day two, and I’m not sure they’ll make it many days past that. Only word of advice, they spread a LOT, so my half batch on one cookie sheet was a bit of a jumbo cookie at the end.

  2. Yum! Just made these, left them in for 10 minutes and they almost burned. Next two batches I did about 7-8 mins. Much better. Nice and chewy instead of crispy. Both sooooooooo good! Thx for the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    These were a hit at work. I used all whole wheat flour and they turned out great – although next time I will chill the dough before cooking so they turn out thicker and chewier.

  4. Made these the other night for our work Christmas party. Used all whole wheat flour. Next time I will take the time to chill the dough as they turned out flat but they were still delicious. My son said they were awesome and my coworkers sought me out to tell me how good they were.

  5. I believe it fits into a real food life style because ins tree ad of buying sweets from the store, full of preservatives and other such badness, you can make your own sweets with just sugar flour eggs, etc. The point being you know exactly what’s in the sweets yours eating. Sugar and flour are considered real foods compared to what’s in store bought cookies. Hope that helps, thinking of this is one of the only things stopping me from feeling guilty when I over indulge.

  6. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE cookies, so I am all for finding recipes that allow me to enjoy treats but also nourish my body. I am a bit surprised and also confused…how does sugar (and even white flour?) fit into a real food “lifestyle”?

  7. I am going to try to make these this weekend but will be using only whole wheat flour as that is all I buy now. I like to make peanut brittle and toffee during the holidays. Have you ever tried to redo these recipes? I would like a better version without the corn syrup.

    1. Have you tried honey instead of corn syrup? I’ve been using it instead for awhile and everything seems to turn out well.

  8. 5 stars
    My husband loved these!! I halved the recipe and I got 12 big sized cookies. I had a little bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture left so next time I might measure out less of that. I kept them in the ball shape going into the oven and they came out the perfect flat shaped cookie…looked like something from a bakery. :) Also, I used all white whole wheat flour. Thanks for a great recipe!! :)

  9. These were a hit at my house today! I don’t use white whole wheat flour at home (more expensive than the organic whole wheat I get at our local co-op) so used my regular ww and a cup of whole wheat pastry flour. They turned out really well and many are gone already!

  10. I always love your advice, and take it to heart. For me, eating “real food” means taking as few “cheats” as possible since my body does not react well to the fake stuff out there. So, when I went to my In-laws for dinner for an “after Thanksgiving Thanksgiving” I stayed strong: I piled my plate with salad and turkey, with a dollop of fresh cranberry sauce… avoiding the jarred gravy and box-made stuffing and potatoes. for me, the real thing is always better, I don’t even like to eat the fake stuff.

    And, for the record, your chestnut prosciutto stuffing is to DIE FOR!!! My husband and I have made it for the past 3 years :)

    I just finished making your choc chip cookies and biscuits for tonight’s dinner party we were invited to. Thanks, as always, for changing the way I eat and live!

  11. I would like to share a recipe for Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles (without cream of tartar)This is my adaption of a recipe from joyofbaking.com Please note that I add the cinnamon to the dry ingredients instead of rolling the cookie balls in a sugar & cinnamon mixture. They are sweet enough without the extra sugar & it saves time! These are delicious! Enjoy!
    Snickerdoodles (Whole Wheat)
    Adapted from: http://joyofbaking.com/Snickerdoodles.html


    • 2 ¾ cups of white whole wheat flour
    • 2 teas. baking powder
    • 2 teas. cinnamon
    • 2 sticks of salted butter, softened (if using unsalted butter, add ½ teas. salt)
    • 1 1/3 cups sugar (or 1 ¼ cups sugar if preferred)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teas. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F & place rack in center of oven.

    In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder & cinnamon, set aside.

    In large bowl, beat butter & sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

    Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients & beat until dough is smooth.

    Shape into 1” balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart & gently flatten each cookie a little with bottom of glass.

    Bake 8-10 minutes or until they are light golden brown & firm around edges.

    Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

    1. Thanks, Tina, for this recipe. I didn’t have any cream of tartar on hand so I made this one. They are great! They taste just like a snickerdoodle should, sweet and cinnamon-y. For me, though, I think my taste buds expect snickerdoodles to have the cinnamon/sugar coating on the outside, so next time I’ll take the extra time to do that.

    1. I haven’t tried this recipe, but I use a recipe that my mom passed down to me. I substitute white whole wheat flour for all of the all purpose. It turns out great every time.

  12. What great advice. We attended a Christmas party this weekend. The counters and tables were overflowing with processed delicacies. I realized two notable differences.

    1. I had very little desire to even taste the buffalo flavored dips, and casseroles made with cream of chemical soups. and
    2. I have found that since my body has become accustomed to eating real food it will turn on me if I eat a bunch of junk. So, it’s just not worth the pain and suffering. :-)

    Thanks for the great post!

  13. made these for dessert tonight and they were awesome!!! I think I will try using white wheat altogether next time and see how they turn out but my whole family loved them. thank you for sharing :)

  14. Lisa, I love your idea about having half inch pieces of the things you want to try! I always try to focus on what I “really want” at a party, but I hadn’t thought of trying less than a whole piece. Thank you!! As other commenters said, I find that the flour swap wheat for white can be easily subbed. I love Snickerdoodles! I make a no-bake 3-ingredient cookie ball, that I ended up calling No Bake Pecan Pie Bites, BUT I nearly called them Snickerdoodle bites! The taste of these healthy treats reminds me of both favorite desserts! http://fresh-you.blogspot.com/2014/10/3-ingredient-pecan-pie-bites.html Enjoy! Colleen :)

  15. How do you soften your butter? I have trouble remembering to leave mine out to soften naturally. I never know when it when be ready to use when I do set it out. Thanks!

    1. I always forget to put mine out ahead of time also. What I do that works for me is to microwave the butter BUT on low power like 20 or 30% for a short time like 20 seconds. If it doesn’t soften it enough the first time I just repeat for a shorter amount of time.
      The softening is just so that the butter is able to be beaten with a mixer, but not so soft that it’s melted.

    2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Deborah. During this time of year, I always have butter softening on my counter. :) It should be soft enough after a half hour or so.

  16. I second those who bake with only whole wheat pastry flour. Especially for things like cookies and cakes I never use all purpose and everything turns out fine!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Lisa. Lisa has not tried to adapt this one with a different sweetener. I am sure it can be done, however. :)

  17. Lisa, how do you handle eating at other’s houses? How do you approach dinner at friend’s and family’s houses when you know their food quality and ingredients don’t meet the real food standards? I doubt you eat half an inch of someone’s dinner and dessert… This is particularly hard when spending the night at someone’s home.

    Thanks in advance, I could really use some help navigating this. Some family members think the real food standards are “nonsense.”

    1. Hi Cyn! I know you’re asking Lisa how she handles it (I, too, would love to know), but I’ve been faced with the same situation many times and wanted to share what’s worked for me.

      We all know that hosting people is at least a little stressful, so I take the approach of “how can I help you?” So, I offer to bring a side dish or a big salad. If I’m spending the night, I’ll offer to take care of breakfast the next morning or bring a large fruit salad.

      I’ve also taken the approach of– “I had this great recipe I wanted to try and thought we could all taste test it.” Or– “I saw this box of clementines and thought they’d make a good snack.” Or– “I just couldn’t pass up this xyz. I got some for us to share.”

      Also, if it’s a processed meal, I’ll eat a little and try to remember that it’s just one or two meals.

      Good luck, Cyn!!!

  18. This is fantastic! I’m not a brave enough baker to just substitute whole wheat flour in my old recipes that call for white flour. So I love sites like yours that have already figured out the recipe modifications for us!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing! I always love to hear how you and your family balance eating real food with enjoying the company of family and friends in situations that, more often than not, involve food that isn’t “real.” In fact, my favorite part of the blog is hearing about what works for you and your family…so so helpful! Also, snickerdoodles are my all time favorite cookie, so I can’t wait to make these this year!

  20. I rarely bake traditional goodies. Considering pastry chefs abound in our extended family and I’m considered the expert on decadent baking this boggles the families collective brains. I’ve been substituting whole grain flour for over a decade in much of my baking. No one noticed. Well, someone did comment that the chocolate chip cookies were to die for. They had ground oatmeal and whole wheat flour. And raw sugar.

    While we enjoy treats we tend to not stock them in the home. To get them involves going somewhere which is often the reason we don’t indulge.

    During the holidays we indulge at the few parties we go to. I bring my signature snack mix and a decadent dessert because that’s what is asked of me. I bake decadent delights 5-6 times a year. For family birthdays, Xmas day and if asked for an event.

  21. When I make cookies I use white whole wheat flour only. I don’t keep all purpose flour in the house. My cookies still turn out fine. We eat more treats than we should, but at least they’re whole grain ;)