What Are Yogurt Cookies?

H. Bliss

Yogurt cookies can refer to either an alternative, health-conscious cookie recipe or a traditional Bulgarian nut cookie. The most common type of cookie is the low-fat yogurt cookie, which is made by cutting some of the butter in the recipe and replacing it with yogurt. Since yogurt is a common fat-cutting substitution, types of yogurt cookies can vary widely, limited only by the baker's imagination. Another type of yogurt cookie is the Bulgarian yogurt cookie, a nutty treat with a hint of citrus. This type of cookie can also be called a yogurt nut ball.

Yogurt may be used to make a delicious, low-fat cookie.
Yogurt may be used to make a delicious, low-fat cookie.

Low-fat yogurt cookies are generally just like other common cookies, but they are prepared with less butter or oil and with added yogurt. The yogurt serves to lower the calories and saturated fat in the dish without sacrificing the moistness and mouth feel of the full-fat cookie. In some types of cookies, yogurt substitution produces a somewhat different texture from cookies made with all of the butter. Low-fat yogurt is the most common type of yogurt used in baking, but non-fat yogurt is also an available option.

Baking soda is an ingredient in yogurt cookies.
Baking soda is an ingredient in yogurt cookies.

Varieties of yogurt cookies are many, but can include sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal cookies. These types of cookies can be made with regular yogurt or the thicker, more protein-laden Greek yogurt. Using Greek style yogurt generally imparts a more dense, chewier texture to the baked goods, which can be advantageous for baked goods like brownies. Some recipes call for flavored yogurt, like blueberry or strawberry, to add fruit and sweetness.

Bulgarian nut cookies are sweet, citrus-flavored, spicy holiday cookies that are shaped like balls and covered in powdered sugar. These cookies are made by combining yogurt with baking soda, cinnamon, and flour. These ingredients are added to lard, nuts, and orange zest. Bulgarian yogurt cookies are baked on a greased pan, then cooled, rolled in powdered sugar and stored in a tin. Bulgarian yogurt cookies are sweet treats usually served around Christmas in Bulgaria, a Southeast European country near Turkey, Greece, and Romania.

Though it may seem surprising to find yogurt used in baked goods, this ingredient is used to make many sweet treats besides yogurt cookies. It is used in lieu of part of the butter used in some cakes, pastries, and crusts. When substituting yogurt for butter, bakers can use roughly two tablespoons of yogurt for every standard stick of butter omitted.

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