Non-Sugary Cookies
January 2, 2010 7:33 AM   Subscribe

I like cookies, but I don't care for sweet and sugary. Is there something for me?

I love oatmeal raisin cookies because they aren't overly loaded with sugar. Chocolate chip cookies are okay, but chocolate doesn't get along well in my stomach. Not much of a fan of peanut butter, and you can totally forget sugar cookies. Blech!

What is out there with the non-sweet goodness of oatmeal raisin that can satisfy my palate?
posted by netbros to Food & Drink (36 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Savoury shortbreads. Rosemary is a good start, but there are all sorts of options. Just look around.
posted by sunshinesky at 7:36 AM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

Ginger snaps?
posted by bunny hugger at 7:36 AM on January 2, 2010

If you like walnuts, Russian tea cakes minus the sprinkling of powdered sugar, might work (though they are not exactly healthy - lots of butter in that recipe).

Also fig newtons (the real ones, nabisco is a little too sweet).
posted by marimeko at 7:42 AM on January 2, 2010

I like cookies, but I don't care for sweet and sugary.

What is it that you like about cookies, but that you don't like about every cookie that you've tried besides oatmeal raisin cookies? If we knew more about what you were actually looking for in a snack (single serving? pop in your mouth? shareable with friends?), we'll probably be better able to make suggestions that fit your criteria.
posted by scarykarrey at 7:46 AM on January 2, 2010

These cheese crackers are a bit like a savory shortbread cookie, as sunshinesky suggests above.
posted by katie at 7:50 AM on January 2, 2010

Why not just play around with oatmeal cookies? I LOVE oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but if you can't do chocolate, then why not oatmeal/dried cranberry or something like that?
posted by oinopaponton at 7:55 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: If we knew more about what you were actually looking for in a snack... we'll probably be better able to make suggestions

Thanks scarykerry. Not to be snarky, but if I knew what I wanted I wouldn't be asking the question. Taking a stab at your question: I'm not looking to serve at parties. These are for me, for enjoying alone as a snack or dessert. I realize most people aren't as picky as me. I simply lost my taste for sugary foods 40 years ago. I know that isn't much to go on, but I'm also not a gourmet, so I don't really know what's available in the cookie marketplace. Thanks for your assistance.
posted by netbros at 7:57 AM on January 2, 2010

Biscotti! And strong coffee. (And moving to Italy.)
posted by mdonley at 7:57 AM on January 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

Savory biscotti are wonderful. There are recipes online for sundried tomato/basil and (my favorite) parmesan peppercorn.
posted by rhartong at 7:57 AM on January 2, 2010

I was going to come back to suggest biscotti, too. This recipe has very little sugar, and I bet you could even cut it down a bit more to avoid too much sweetness.
posted by katie at 7:58 AM on January 2, 2010

Best answer: 1. molasses

2. snickerdoodles

3. danish butter cookies

4. try a chocolate chip recipe with macadamia nuts or white chocolate chips instead; double the salt and add a bit of extra vanilla to make them more savory (white chocolate may be better for your stomach since it isn't "real" chocolate)

5. macaroons

6. surprisingly, sugar roll-out cookies (i.e. christmas cutouts) are actually pretty salty, and not that sugary:
0.75 cups margarine
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
--beat margarine until creamy, add wet ingredients, separately mix dry ingredients, incorporate into wet ingredients slowly, chill 1 hr, roll out, cut into shapes, bake at 350 for 12 minutes or so; if you don't put frosting on top they aren't very sweet at all.

Also, Joy of Baking has a bunch of cookie recipes.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:01 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have a good recipe for peppernuts I could post later when I get home. They are my go-to for not-so-sweet cookie goodness. But they can do a number on your teeth they are so hard.

I have also had Early Grey shortbread cookies that were amazing.
posted by Tchad at 8:06 AM on January 2, 2010

Carrot cookies.
Or, go to your nearest healthfood store and grab up some vegan cookies. They tend to be not as sweet and have less candy-like ingredients, though oftentimes they have a different texture.
posted by greta simone at 8:08 AM on January 2, 2010

Would cheese straws count?
posted by dilettante at 8:21 AM on January 2, 2010

Trader Joe's offers "Thousand Layer Cookies" (very sesame) and "Meyer Lemon Cookies" and both of them are very tasty without being overly sweet.
posted by effluvia at 8:40 AM on January 2, 2010

Granola bars/cookies are nutritious and tasty, if you get the right kind. You probably already know that some taste like cardboard others like a variation on an oatmeal cookie.
I see you live in Hendersonville, NC. That isn't far from Greenville, SC where I used to live. There is a Whole Foods Grocery there that has an incredible selection of really good stuff, as well as a bakery. It's worth the trip, and they are very generous with samples.
posted by srbrunson at 8:43 AM on January 2, 2010

Tahini (sesame paste) has similar qualities to peanut butter, and can be used to make not-very-sweet cookies. Its flavor is different than peanut butter, so you might like it. Also check out halva.
posted by wyzewoman at 8:45 AM on January 2, 2010

I haven't tried these not-too-sweet tangy cranberry cookies yet, but they sound promising.
posted by redfoxtail at 8:54 AM on January 2, 2010

Like sunshinesky, I was going to suggest shortbreads... I just made these rosemary brown butter shortbreads and they were amazing.
posted by supramarginal at 9:11 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

i assume you enjoy the mouthfeel of cookies and perhaps the buttery taste. you could use basic recipes for oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies (without the chocolate, and maybe less sugar), and add:
- fruit, dried or fresh like blueberry cookies
- LOTS of finely chopped nuts. think granola bar
- pretzel or potato chip crumbs (these appear in the 'compost cookie' at the restaurant milk bar). use chex party mix variations as inspiration-- you could even try using chili powder or something similar
- carrot, zucchini, pumpkin, banana (anything you would put in the corresponding bread)

doritos-and-zucchini cookies? it could work!
posted by acidic at 9:28 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love scones, for the very reason that they aren't very sweet.
posted by jayder at 9:41 AM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have a book called Cookie and Biscuit Bible, and it has several good recipes along those lines. There was a crumbly chocolate cookie with black pepper and pistachios that was amazing. There's also a savory sundried tomato cookie which I have yet to try, but it looks fabulous as well.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:43 AM on January 2, 2010

Asian cookies tend not to be as sweet as American and European ones. I'm a big fan of Pocky, a Japanese stick-like cookie-thing. The chocolate flavor is the most widely available (in my local mainstream grocery store, for example), but you can find non-chocolate versions in Asian food stores.

At Asian stores, you'll also find bagged snacks that are slightly sweet without being gross, like slightly sweet corn-things (like Cheetos, only definitely not). And if chewy is what you like, get some daifuku, which are mochi buns with sweetish bean filling. You'll find the best varieties in the refrigerated section.
posted by PatoPata at 11:29 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Crispy Salted Oatmeal Cookies are awesome. I also stumbled across this thread on salty cookie recipes on chowhound when I was trying to find that salted oatmeal cookie recipe.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 11:29 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm 2nding molasses cookies. They remind me of gingerbread. Spice cookies are good but
I'm not sure if you can find them ready made.

You might want to expand your search into coffee cakes and such. They don't tend to be as sweet. We have an old Better Homes and Garden cook book from the 60's that has an applesauce cake recipe that's gone over really well. It's dense and almost bread like but not overly sweet but you'd probably prefer it without the glaze.

Local coffee shops or bakeries/cafes (the more fru fru kind) might be a good place to go into and ask for something that's not overly sweet. Also try asking older people for suggestions. My grandmother and a lot of her friends liked cookies/cake that weren't too sugary. She had the same complaint as you. Good luck in your cookie hunt!
posted by stray thoughts at 11:32 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cardamom cookies!

Note: I have not actually tried this recipe, so I can't vouch for its excellence; however, cardamom cookies tend toward the savory side and are awesome!
posted by nosila at 11:47 AM on January 2, 2010

PatoPata raises an interesting point. You might check out minamoto. They will ship. Not cheap, but damned interesting.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:02 PM on January 2, 2010

Here is my mom's recipe for cheese cookies. They're awesome!
posted by trip and a half at 12:17 PM on January 2, 2010

Pfeffernusse! At least, my friend's recipe is not particularly sweet, evidently there's quite a variety.
posted by timepiece at 12:41 PM on January 2, 2010

This holiday I made several of the recipes from Lottie + Doof's 12 days of cookies. Here are two that I loved and that were a hit with the gift recipients as well: mexican chocolate, cardamom pistachio
Here's another suggestion Anzacs? not tried these, but everything from 101 cookbooks is amazing so.... she also has a semi-savory shortbread and some other oatmeal type etc. etc. Just check out her blog and you'll find several to try, I think.
posted by purpletangerine at 12:59 PM on January 2, 2010

I love European-style digestive biscuits with dark chocolate -- satisfying but not overly sugary sweet at all. For extra bliss, dunk into a cup of hot tea or coffee to get the chocolate to melt a bit. McVities is the classic brand, which you can order online or get in specialty British food shops; I also occasionally see Lu digestives in my local grocery store.
posted by scody at 1:32 PM on January 2, 2010

I haven't made these (yet!) but your question reminded me of these Italian Cornmeal Cookies.
posted by apricot at 2:24 PM on January 2, 2010

Sorry for the double post, but I just thought of these too: Le Petit Ecolier with Extra Dark Chocolate. The extra dark ones are a little hard to find, but I have seen them at the grocery store. They are a thick, cracker-like cookie topped with a hunk of super dark chocolate. They're great if you like chocolate. Not too sweet at all.
posted by apricot at 2:27 PM on January 2, 2010

This was on Metafilter the other day. When Gourmet magazine shut down, they posted the best cookies from their history.

A lot of them seem like they'd fit your needs, especially the earlier ones.
posted by chris p at 10:28 AM on January 3, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I now know a lot better what to look for.
posted by netbros at 4:57 PM on January 3, 2010

Earl Grey tea cookies.
posted by littleflowers at 6:15 PM on January 12, 2010

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