Calorie Counting Your Favourite Cookies

3 years ago I could be found wandering in the chip aisle of the grocery store with a lopsided grin and a wad of cash scrunched up in my fist.

I’d gaze around dreamily, deciding which lucky chip would get to come home with me. To the car with me. To the cash register with me. O.K., mainly the bag would make it to the end of the aisle with me.

Once I made a man nearly pee himself in terror when he saw me freebasing a bag of corn chips while spinning in circles like the Tasmanian Devil.

It was the growling noises that alarmed him. And me quite frankly.

But those days are gone. Not because I’m a better person now, but because now you can find me in the cookie aisle.

I’ve always had cookies in the house, but they were more like the orange creme filled chocolate in the Black Magic chocolate box. I’d eat it eventually, but only after all the better stuff was gone.

Then I got into the habit of having a cookie before I went to bed. Then two cookies. Then two cookies and a glass of milk.

It was all downhill from there. Chocolate chip, chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, shortbread, something weird I found at the back of the cupboard. I didn’t worry too much about my newfound romance until I spoke with my sister in the pink toolbelt.

For some reason, I can’t even remember why anymore, we were discussing cookies. I knew she liked cookies because whenever she came here she needed to have one with her coffee. That’s why I first started buying cookies, by the way. So there’d be some here for when she came.

She mentioned in an offhand sort of way how many cookie she ate in a day. 9. 9 cookies. Only she corrected herself and said, no not 9, probably 12. Around 12 cookies a day.

A DAY!!!

I heard this information and turned it all around on her. I deflected all those cookies onto her while I screamed BAD PERSON, BAD COOKIE EATING PERSON. But really I was screaming at me. I was a cookie eater too. A tyrannical cookie eating monster.

Not as monstrous as her, but still.

So at that moment I vowed never to eat a cookie again. Unless I could justify it with a lowish calorie count. So the search began for a cookie I would still love but that had lower calories.

Enter the gingersnap! Gingersnaps are among the lowest calories cookies you can eat. Which of course means, you don’t necessarily eat less calories … you just get to eat more cookies. Grrrrr, GROWLLL, SNARF.

I know my sister and I can’t be alone in this so I’ve put together a list of your favourite cookies and the calories in them. If you only eat cookies every once in a while, don’t worry about it. Eat what you want.

But if you eat them every day (which you shouldn’t and I’m totally judging you as I expect and accept that you are judging me) you should take a quick look at this list to see what your best options in the cookie world are.


I had no idea what those Milano cookies were until I asked everyone who was a fan of my Facebook page what their favourite cookie was. The majority said Milanos. It took all the effort I had in me not to get up that very moment and run to the store in my pink flannel pajamas covered in body builders.

Whirling and squealing and growling all the way.

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  1. Angela says:

    Gotta find those Tim Tams! They look luscious!

  2. Vicky says:

    Those Tim Tams look lovely. Are they available in the States?

    • Kitten Caboodle says:

      @ Vicky, Angela and cbblue,

      Tim Tams were recently (within past few years) available in the United States. But now I’m not sure. Pepperidge Farms distributed them in the winter months but not a lot of stores stocked them. I had the most success finding them at Target. I just checked and they are no longer listed on Pepperidge Farm’s product page. :(

      They are an Australian creation, produced by a company called Arnott’s and they are AMAZING. Way more than just a cookie – it’s a treat – a chocolate covered bite of heaven. Think European chocolate, so not as sweet. My husband, who spent two semesters in Oz, introduced me to them and still laments not being able to have them whenever he wants. He routinely sends a friend a pile money to send over a supply.

      I see you can get them on Amazon here but they’re pricey:

      They might be worth it though.

      • Abby says:

        World Market in the US sells them under the name Arnotts. Certain Targets sell them as well but only in the winter months. I became hooked on them while pregnant with my first child. We then moved to Australia and I ate them daily (don’t judge me)! Recently returning to the US, I have to say the ones we get here are not the same as the Australian version-the chocolate is different and not as thick!

  3. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    I just started Weight Watchers this week…thanks. BTW, this is off topic but I love the way you write!!! You start my day off with a smile or a laugh out loud. Thank you, Karen. Hope the kitchen is coming along without hitches.

  4. Susan S says:

    I love ginger snaps too and have found a very low calorie one in Anna’s cookies. They originated in Sweden, can be bought at Ikea but grocery stores often sell them and if you are near a Big Lots in the USA they have them at a great price (even Costco sometimes). SIX cookies have 133 calories and 9 g sugar so ONE cookie, well the math is easy in this one! Hard to eat just one but two go great with tea or coffee. Anna’s cookies used to be made near where my mom lives in High River, Alberta but not any more. Loved buying the broken ones there.

  5. Stacie says:

    OMG…they don’t have them all the time, but if you see a box of dark chocolate covered Milanos, buy them immediately! You bite the end off, soak it in milk ,and cram the whole thing in your mouth. OOOOOOOHHHHHHHH….insert Homer Simpson drooling here….

  6. Jody says:

    First off Arrowroots are NOT cookies. Anything with such a low calorie count cannot be considered a cookie. My niece, who learned this in NZ, introduced me to the Tim Tam Slam. Basically nibble off both ends of the cookie, dip one end into hot Milo, or better yet, Tim Horton’s double double, and suck up the hot liquid before the cookie implodes. Pure Heaven. Go ahead–try it–I dare you!

    • Susan S says:

      The first cookie we bought when we lived in Australia was a tim tam. Love em and so glad we can get them in Canada now. Hard to eat just one though! They are really good right out of the freezer too!

  7. Sally says:

    Well, this was worrisome. Your sister and I should have a cookie eat-off. I could win hands down. Who knew that a Fig Newton had more calories than an Oreo?!?

  8. Reg says:

    I know what will put you off the cookie binging. Vegan cookies. I have no idea how many calories are in one of those concoctions, but you’ll only eat one. Dear sis-in-law gives me a jar full for Christmas. I still have some left…..but I do say thank you. :)

  9. karol says:

    I try and stay away from all cookies because it’s worse than opening a bag of chips. I believe that the “sleeve” of Girl Scout Thin Mints is a single serving, otherwise, why would they go to the trouble of packaging them that way. I’ve never hid them in a lingerie drawer, but do eat them frozen.

  10. Susan Preston says:

    You need to come to the Village Bakery and have a good cookie! If you have one of our cookies you won’t care about the calories and you would probably satisfy your craving so you’d only need one! Gingersofts, chocolate chip, smartie cookies, peanut butter to die for, oatmeal raisin, Belgians, sugar cookies …we got ’em all. Oh and we don’t add any extra calories….they’re all naturally occurring! Hope to see you soon!

  11. Sally A. says:

    Yes! Girl Scout Thin Mints!! I can eat half a box in one sitting easily. Ironic than Thin is in the name. I have a box sitting on my counter taunting me at this moment. Do they have Girl Scouts in Canada?

    • Susan Preston says:

      Yes we call them Girl Guides and their cookies are just as good!

    • toekneetoni says:

      Just had my Girl Scout order delivered last night. I ordered 4 boxes (2 thin mints & 2 of the shortbread). Gave away 1 of each and still ate almost half a box of the shortbread, just because.
      I claim to buy them just to support the girls, but really I am an incorrigible sugar whore.
      *hangs head in shame*

  12. Mary Kay says:

    Tuesday I picked up my Girl Scout Troop’s cookies. As of right now no seals have been cracked on those little boxes full of love, cause once that happens…game over.

  13. Ruth says:

    Fig Newtons = fruit so I’m good.

    I don’t mind the crumbly texture of Digestives but I suspect there is more fibre in there than I want to experience in a cookie. There is a brand (not sure of the geographical roots… they don’t last long enough) called ‘Devon’ that puts puts some rectangular cream-filled cookies in tightly-sealed rectangular packages of about 12 or so…. Do you get those there? (I like the coconut cream, chocolate cream and custard cream… Oh! Strawberry cream too.)

    I have never seen the other cookies you listed (and I hate Oreos, so they get the boot), but now I have this strange feeling that I need to hunt down Milanos…. *sigh*

  14. Well, huh. Just today (well, yesterday actually as it’s 2:40 am) I broke my vow to eat well and scarfed down a pint(!) of B&J ice cream and later like 12 cookies – I think that’s technically called a binge?

    Then I passed out in a glorious, fat-induced coma with technicolor dreams. Just woke up and saw this post….Now I feel even MORE guilty! Satisfied, yes. But a little guilty. Just a tad…OK, I’m properly chastised and am renewing my vow to eat well!

    Thanks for the kick-in-the-ass post! :D

    BTW, isn’t a twoony that little $2 coin in Canada?

  15. Mary says:

    Seriously? Dad’s have 85 calories? Thanks for ruining cookie dunking for me.

  16. Suzan says:

    I may have been known to actually hide Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies in my lingerie drawer when my sons were still living at home. Since I started eating “clean”, I avoid the cookie aisle all together. I have a fear that I will grab a package of Mint Milanos off the shelf and lose my mind. You go all Tasmanian devil – I go all moaning and gasping and it sounds like the soundtrack of a porn movie…not that I have had any experience with that or anything.

  17. Valerie says:

    Three comments about cookies.
    First regarding ginger snaps; did you know that can make a super sandwich cookie from two ginger snaps and a sour cream icing? You probably did not need that information.
    Secondly, I began making my chocolate chip cookies really really small, ending up with the cookie approximately the size of a twoony. You will only eat about 3 of them that way.
    Lastly, my favourite cookie is unobtainable where I live thank God. I could only locate them in Ontario. They are lemon sandwich cookie but the cookie portion is a flakey type…. they exist as a foggy memory but I am happy they are gone from my reality as it allows me to continue to fit into my clothing.

  18. Laura Bee says:

    Of course my favourites on your list are the ones with the most calories. Dammit Karen. Oh wait – I don’t eat them every day! Ha!
    And Beth says homemade are calorie free. I feel like baking all of a sudden.

  19. andrea meyers says:

    have you tried the orange milano? cause those are sublime!

    • Karen says:

      I actually just discovered them (through the whole Facebook thing). In Canada (at least Ontario) they’re called Monacos. Same package, same cookie, different name. So of course, yesterday I bought a package. The only ones they had were mint or double chocolate and since I’d just made myself sick on mint something or other, I got the double chocolate. But what I really wanted to try was the orange! ~ karen

  20. Jill says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Fig Newtons are mostly figs, which are a fruit. Therefore, they are by association a fruit, and so you are eating 55 calories of fruit, not cookie. Makes all the difference!

  21. Barbie says:

    NONE of them like me back!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Maybe you could make a homemade version of the very low calorie arrowroot cookie. Bleh. Even I think that sounds gross. Nevermind. ~ karen!

      • Doanie says:

        I didn’t know Arrowroot were cookies. I thought they were teething thingies for babies…

  22. Barbie says:

    I’m a cookie snob…don’t like store bought….I KNOW I KNOW….such a snob! I love oatmeal raisin and scottish shortbread. Macaroons….peanut butter….yummmmm

  23. beth says:

    home made cookies are calorie free!

  24. Terri says:

    Darn!!! I wish you would have done the grams of sugar instead of the calories. That’s what I watch. :)

  25. Amber says:

    hmmm, I’ve always been told (by much better and wiser and older-so-they-know-better people than I) that if the cookie is broken when you pull it out of the box, then it doesn’t have any calories at all and shouldn’t be counted.

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