cherry-almond-cookies-threeThe holidays may be over, but cookies are one of those little treats that are good throughout the year. The new year may have you watching the number of sweets you eat, but we can make these cookies a little healthier by adding dried fruit and nuts. The nuts in the recipe provide Vitamin E, and the dried cherries provide a good dose of Vitamin C, both helpful in promoting eye health.


What you’ll need to make about 2 dozen cookies:

Either one (16-ounce ) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough or a bagged sugar cookie mix (Betty Crocker)

½ cup slivered almonds

½ cup dried cherries

½ cup white chocolate chips


What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place refrigerated cookie dough in a large bowl or if using the bagged sugar cookie mix, prepare according to directions in a large bowl. Add the almonds, dried cherries and white chocolate chips to the dough and thoroughly mix.

Using a small ice cream scooper (tablespoon size) or a spoon, drop the cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. (About 12 cookies per sheet.) This dough should yield about 2 dozen cookies.

Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, or until golden around the edges. If baking two sheets at once, rotate sheets halfway through cooking time (turn sheets around and exchange positions in oven).

Thoughts and variations: Make your own sugar cookie recipe and add the above ingredients. Change out the nuts and dried fruits – try almonds and dried blueberries, dried cranberries and pistachios, pecans and chopped dried apricots. Adding ½ teaspoon almond extract or ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest to the dough will also add a bit of flavor change. Add some sweetened shredded coconut. Instead of adding chips to the dough, melt chocolate and drizzle over the baked cookie.