December 17, 2014

Skinny Recipe: Peppermint Brownie Cookies

These fudgy, cakey cookies are perfect for sharing with family and friends. You can make a big batch and then divide into pretty tins for holiday gifts or you can bring the whole lot along to a party. Everyone will ask for your recipe- and they’ll never know you made them healthier by cutting out some of the sugar with Monk Fruit.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies 500 Skinny Recipe: Peppermint Brownie Cookies
Photo courtesy Flickr user Debbie R

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies, servings size is 2 cookies

Ingredients

1 Cup All-purpose flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 Tsp. Baking soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
10 Tbs. Unsalted butter, softened
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Large egg
1/2 Cup Monk Fruit in the Raw
2 Tbs. Whole milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp. Peppermint extract
8 Oz. dark chocolate chips
1/2 Cup Candy canes or mints, finely crushed for garnish (optional)

Directions

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set dry ingredients aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using large mixing bowl and hand-held mixer, beat butter with brown sugar on medium speed until butter is pale and fluffy; mixture will be grainy. Beat in egg and Monk Fruit In The Raw just until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until completely combined; dough will be dense and dry. Add milk, vanilla, peppermint extract and mix until dough is moist and sticky. Mix in chocolate chips by hand.

Place half the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log, about 5 inches long. Wrap in the plastic then in tin foil. This will prevent the dough from forming a straight edge while sitting in the fridge. Repeat with the remaining dough.  Place the logs in the refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, 1-2 hours. Dough can be refrigerated up to 24 hours and set at room temperature to soften slightly.

When ready to bake, set oven rack in center of oven and remove the dough from the fridge. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking parchment or a silpat, set aside.

Unwrap the dough and slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, turning the dough a quarter turn after each slice to help keep the cookies round. Place 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. If your cookies aren’t as round as you want them to be, shape the dough with your fingers.

Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes, until edges are firm. If garnishing, immediately sprinkle tops of soft cookies with crushed peppermint candy, pressing gently. Cool cookies for 2 minutes on the pan, then transfer to wire rack. Repeat with the second pan of cookies.

Peppermint Brownie Cookies are best served warm. Leftovers can be stored in airtight container for up to 24 hours.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 224
Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 8g
Carbs: 26g
Protein: 3g
Fiber: 2g
Sodium: 148mg

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December 17, 2014

Quick Tip: Easy Weekday Dinners

If you know your weeknights will be busy, buy ingredients for easy dinners. Examples include low-fat frozen entrees, salad bags, frozen steamed veggies, broth-based soups, canned beans, canned salmon or tuna, fresh fruit, and sorbet.

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December 16, 2014

Skinny Recipe: Coconut Rum Balls

I think rum balls are one of those traditional holiday sweets that everyone is familiar with, but no one really knows how to make. Kinda like fruit cake. This year I decided it was time to learn how to make them and quickly realized just how much sugar is in traditional recipe. Luckily I found this recipe which uses Stevia and figs for a lower-sugar version that tastes wonderfully delicious and memorable.

Rum Balls TSOLC 500 Skinny Recipe: Coconut Rum Balls
Photo courtesy Flickr user Grant Williamson

Makes 24 balls, 2 balls per servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup chopped figs
3/4 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (about 12 cookies)
3/4 cup walnuts, ground
3/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut, divided
1/3 cup Stevia In The Raw Bakers Bag
4 teaspoons light rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Place the figs, cookie crumbs, nuts, ½ cup of the coconut, and the Stevia In The Raw in the bowl of a food processor and whirl until finely chopped, 30 seconds. Add the rum and vanilla and whirl until the mixture is sticky, about 15 seconds.

Place the remaining ¼ cup coconut in a wide, shallow bowl. One tablespoon at a time, press the fig and nut mixture in your fist, shaping it into a 1-inch ball, making 24 balls. A few at a time, roll the balls in the coconut to coat them.

Coconut Rum Balls are best served the day they are made. If necessary, store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 90
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Carbohydrate: 7g
Protein: 1g
Dietary fiber: 1g
Sodium: 20mg

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December 10, 2014

Quick Tip: Control portions

One evening this week, read the nutrition labels on foods in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Compare the serving size listed on the label to the amount you typically eat. If you think you’re eating too much, portion out ready-to-eat amounts and store them for an easy grab-and-go snack or meal.

If you don’t have room for individual portions or it’s not easily portioned out (like milk), then write the portion size in big, bold letters as a reminder.

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