dessert · Easter · Gluten-Free · Weight watchers

Crustless Mini Cheesecakes

I grew up in a home where most evenings we had dessert at the end of the meal. It wasn’t something huge like a triple-layered cake, but just a little something sweet. I still enjoy ending the meal with a taste of something sweet.

Small, individual desserts are perfect for a “just enough” serving size! Weight Watchers has a cheesecake recipe that I’ve tweaked a little to come up with a dessert we love!

I bake these individual cheesecakes in small tins I purchased on Amazon. They look like these…

They’re truly the perfect size if you’re wanting to watch your calories, but still enjoy something sweet. I bake them without any crust, then give my guests the option of sprinkling chocolate covered graham crackers on the top. It serves as an inverted crust! Then I top them with fruit, light Cool Whip and chocolate shavings. Wow. They are so good! Here’s the recipe:

Crustless Cheesecakes
3/4 Cup Plain low-fat yogurt
8 oz. Low-fat Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
2/3 Cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Light Cool Whip
Fresh berries
Chocolate shavings
Chocolate Graham Crackers, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place small baking tins on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray. You could also use a cupcake tin if you don’t have the tins. If you use the tin, line them with cupcake liners.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Spoon evenly into baking tins. Bake until top is set, 15-20 minutes; let cool and then chill in refrigerator 2 hours (can make up to 2 days ahead).

3. To serve, slide a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with fresh berries, Cool whip and chocolate shavings on top. You can also add the chocolate covered graham crackers on top, if desired.

You could also serve these in their little tins for an easy “pick up and go” dessert. Here’s one just with Cool Whip and chocolate. Not a bad combo!

I’m not sure about the WW points on these, but the version with a crust are 7 points, so if you don’t add the crackers, I’d think it would be one or two points lower! I’ve eaten these in moderation with good success (no weight gain).

These make a great dessert for guests. They aren’t strange in any way with artificial sweeteners – they’re just lighter due to no crust and lightened cream cheese. These would be perfect for Easter, perhaps serving them with fresh blueberries and a little lemon zest on top! Give them a try and tell me if you loved them as much as we did!

Anyone else enjoy having dessert after dinner?

dessert · Fast dessert · Lightened Up Recipe

One Pan (Light) Cake Brownies

There are three outstanding things in the title of this post:

  1. Brownies!
  2. One pan
  3. Light

That means I can have one of my favorite quick desserts (brownies) made with fewer calories and fewer dishes to clean up! Yes indeed!

I’ve been making this recipe for years. This came from my Better Homes and Gardens Family Favorites Made Lighter Cookbook. When I decided this would be my husband’s birthday treat (with ice cream, of course!), I went looking on my blog recipe index and couldn’t believe I’ve never shared the recipe here! Well, let’s fix that today!

I love, love, love my Deep Dish Brownies, but they have ALL the fat and calories that most recipes like this would have. There’s no need to blow eating moderately healthy just because there’s a celebration! There are lots of great dessert recipes that have fewer calories and fat grams…and this is one of them!

All you need to pull out to mix it up is a medium-size sauce pan.

Everything gets mixed into this pan and then poured into a 9x9x2″ greased pan! Here’s the simple recipe:

Cake Brownies

  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/3 Cup low-fat Milk
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

In medium saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder till combined.

Add egg white and vanilla to saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, lightly beat just till combined. Add flour, milk, baking powder and baking soda. Beat with the spoon till well combined. Stir in nuts. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 16 – 18 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Drizzle with Chocolate Powdered Sugar Icing. Let stand 1/2 hour or till icing is set. Cut into bars.

Chocolate Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small mixing bowl stir together 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp vanilla and enough milk (1-2 Tbl) to make drizzling consistency.

In about 30 minutes you will have brownies cooling on your counter! And since these are lighter than most recipes, you can feel good about adding that scoop of ice cream to your square!

These have a great cake-like texture, and are very moist. You won’t miss any of the fattening things they left out of the recipe and I doubt you’ll mix all the extra bowls! Simple and simply good!

I hope you’ll try them!

Cookies · dessert · Fast dessert

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

What makes a cookie a “Christmas” cookie? In my opinion, it’s simply the tradition of making it only at Christmastime. I have many recipes like that. It just wouldn’t feel right to make them in July! Aurey Nutballs, and Raspberry Jam Shortbreads are two such cookies. We love them and we eat them at Christmas. Period.

But then there are cookies that you make for Christmas and you realize that there’s no way and no reason to relegate these only to holiday baking.

Say hello to my White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats.

I didn’t realize how much I like Rice Krispie treats until I made these. Oh my goodness! I just kept dreaming about them inside the cookie tin in the pantry!

Okay, these have red and green sprinkles, but during the other 11 months of the year, you could either use sprinkles that would be non-holiday, suited to the current holiday (Valentine’s, Easter, patriotic, etc), or you could leave the sprinkles out. What makes these a notch above all other Rice Krispie Treats is the addition of white chocolate! These are just heavenly. Here’s the simple recipe:

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 10 oz marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
  • Sprinkles

Instructions:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan

Once the butter is melted add in the marshmallows and white chocolate, mix on medium-low heat until fully melted.

Remove the melted marshmallow mixture from the heat and add in the cereal and sprinkles.

Mix until fully combined.

Run your hands under water and leave them a little damp before rolling out the treats. This will help them not stick to your hands! Spoon some of the mixture onto a spoon then roll into balls. Place on waxed paper to cool and set up.

We all found these to be absolutely addictive. Get your Valentine sprinkles out in a couple weeks and make some of these with your children or grandchildren. They make a lot and trust me, you will be so happy about that!

Any other Rice Krispie fans out there? Have you tried them with white chocolate?

Make every day a holiday with these yummy treats!

cakes · dessert

Gingerbread Cake with Fresh Whipping Cream

Oh, the flavors of Christmas! Can we get enough? Surely gingerbread would be one smell and taste associated with Christmas baking. However, you don’t need to go to all the fuss of gingerbread houses or decorated gingerbread men to get that delicious, reminiscent flavor.

When I was growing up, we usually always had dessert with supper, and one treat I loved was Gingerbread Cake. I can still see the metal pan, filled with the gingery goodness. My mom would serve it topped with a dollop of whipping cream. Yum; it made the house smell so good, and it tasted even better.

I was glad to find a recipe from Cooking light for a Gingerbread cake that took me back to my childhood. This recipe has a Lemon Glaze to pour over it, if you wish. I’ve made that and love it, but for December, I’m sticking to whipping cream as the garnish! It only takes a few minutes to whip this together!

Gingerbread Cake
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup hot water
1 cup light or dark molasses
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
 Cooking spray
Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine butter and hot water in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until the butter melts. Add molasses and egg, and stir with a whisk until blended. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Add flour mixture to the molasses mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 9-inch cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool gingerbread in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

For Glaze: Combine sugar and lemon juice, stirring until well blended. Pierce top of gingerbread liberally with a wooden skewer. Pour glaze over gingerbread. Cool completely.

Top each serving with the whipped topping. Sprinkle gingerbread with cinnamon and garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

I love serving this warm and then topping it with fresh whipping cream and a dusting of cinnamon. This would make a great weeknight dessert to serve to your family. Why not put it on your menu for this week and add some Christmas-y smells and tastes to your supper meal? It would make a great memory recipe for your family!

What recipe evokes memories from your childhood?

breakfast · dessert

Tart, Delicious Cranberries!

If you have fresh cranberries left from Thanksgiving, or you see them in the produce section in the store, I have two great ways for you to use them!

The first use is to put them in your morning oatmeal during the last few minutes of the cooking time. I use Old Fashioned Oats, so I boil equal parts of water, milk and oatmeal, then simmer for a few minutes to thicken it up. While it’s simmering I throw in a good handful of fresh cranberries. Oh, that tartness is the perfect fruity addition!

I also add some chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of brown sugar for the perfect winter-y breakfast! You won’t be satisfied with Corn Flakes every again after enjoying this variety of warm, nutty oatmeal!

Now for another perfect combination – cranberries, apples and orange juice for a winning recipe that is from Cooking Light, let’s talk dessert.

Apple Cranberry Crumble

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
6 cups sliced peeled Braeburn apple
1 cup fresh cranberries – I used 1/2 dried and 1/2 fresh
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine apple and cranberries in a large bowl. Combine juice and remaining ingredients; pour over apple mixture. Toss well. Spoon apple mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with flour mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumbly topping!
Ready for the oven

I love this dessert. I added a small scoop of ice cream for a special finishing touch!

If you need another idea for your cranberries, please try this muffin. I share this recipe every year because it’s too good to live without! Also, if you have canned Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, use it to make this coffee cake that is to die for!! When I had my baking business, these were so popular, and for good reason!

You’ll be (cran)berry happy you tried any of these recipes! Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

With love from my country kitchen,