dessert · Weight watchers

Donuts Even On a Diet!

There’s nothing worse than having a craving for something sweet when you’re wanting to watch your sugar intake or lose a couple of pounds! Am I right? However, I love finding recipes that fit into my WW way of life that allow me the pleasure of something sweet without killing the whole day’s points on one treat!

I recently found these Double Choclate Banana donuts on Drizzlemeskinny.com while scouring Pinterest for a baked version of this sweet treat. The addition of the banana gives enough sweetness that they don’t need much sugar. We loved this recipe and found them to be the perfect dessert, or even an addition to breakfast! These aren’t Dunkin Donuts variety, mind you, but they will certainly do just fine when you want to be a little better at watching your calorie intake!

  Double Chocolate Banana Donuts

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1 medium mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup milk – I used 2%
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbl. dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 6 hole donut pan with some cooking spray.
  • In a bowl whisk the egg and stir in the sugar, mashed banana, milk and vanilla.
  • Stir in flour, baking powder and cocoa powder then fold in chocolate chips.
  • Divide batter into the donut pan; they should be filled to the top.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes or until baked through, let cool then gently remove from donut pan.
  • Store in sealed container, best in the fridge after a day and the donuts will freeze well.

Her website says these are 2 SP for the blue plan and 3 SP for the green plan. Not bad, huh?!!

These made for a delicious addition to our anniversary breakfast a couple weeks ago!

I hope you’re hungry for donuts now and will give this easy recipe a try! What do you get hungry for when you’re trying to watch your calories?

dessert · Pie

Hand-Held Fried Apple Pies

Fried pies 1a

When I was growing up, summer picnics almost always included a special dessert made by my mom – Fried pies. She usually made Peach Pies, but another flavor we all loved were the Apple variety.  They are made with dried fruit that has been cooked and sweetened.  The dried fruit keeps the filling from being too runny and seeping out.  The pies are fried in butter just until they’re browned nicely on all sides. They’re not especially pretty, but man oh man, are they good!

If you’re having a picnic for July 4th, maybe you could start the Fried Pie Tradition for your family!

Here’s how they’re made –

Buy one bag of dried fruit -peaches or apples. (One bag makes A LOT of pies! You’ll usually find these where the raisins are in the grocery store.  Place the fruit in a medium-sized pan and add water and cook over low heat until the fruit plumps up.  Add sugar to sweeten to your liking.  Cook until fruit is soft. This takes a while.  Cook them slowly.   Set aside.

Either make your own pie dough, or you can use store-bought.  Roll dough out and cut out circles, about 4 inches in diameter. Place about 2 tablespoons (no more) on half of the circle.  Fold dough over.

fried pies 3

Crimp edges with a fork.

Fried pies 1

Melt half of a stick of butter in a skillet and melt over medium low heat.  Add pies and cook in batches,turning to brown all sides.

Fried pies 6

Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb extra butter.

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These are super good warm, but they’re also delicious at room temperature!

Note: You may need to add butter as they are frying.  In between batches, I wipe the pan out with a paper towel so the butter doesn’t turn too dark and color the pies before they start to cook.

These are so great for picnics because all you need is a napkin. It’s a hand-held pie; perfect for on the go!

Wouldn’t this make a great addition to your Fourth of July picnic?!

From my country kitchen,

dessert · Pie

Made From Scratch Lemon Meringue Pie

Last weekend I got to spend Mother’s Day in Kentucky with my mom. I made her Mother’s Day meal, and when planning the menu, I knew immediately what dessert would be – her favorite – Lemon-y. Tart. Mouth watering. Creamy. Fluffy. Sweet.What is it? Lemon Meringue Pie!

I hadn’t made one in a couple of years, so I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. I have had times that the meringue flopped or crept away from the crust, or wept, leaving little dewy droplets all over, so I could only hope and pray all would go well.

The recipe is from this very old cookbook of my mom’s, printed in the 60’s. I grew up flipping through the pages of this cookbook, ooo-ing and ahhh-ing over the tempting desserts pictured on its pages, this pie being one of them. Now it was time to see if I could make it happen!

Cream pies like this just take patience.

  1. Make the crust
  2. Bake the crust
  3. Make the filling
  4. Let it cool
  5. Make the meringue
  6. Top the pie with the meringue
  7. Bake the meringue until lightly browned

It’s worth every bit of effort to make this delicious pie at home! Just find a day that isn’t rainy and humid, or you might have trouble with the meringue. You’ll be so glad you took the time and effort to make this from scratch. It simply can’t be beat! The meringue in this recipe has a little twist! See if you can catch it.

How about a slice?

My sweet mom slicing up her Mother’s day pie.

A few tips:

My homemade crust is made from – 2 C flour, 1 tsp salt, 3/4 C Crisco, ice water.
Combine the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut Crisco into flour. Add ice water a little at a time until it holds together without crumbling or being too wet. Makes 2 crusts.

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, if possible. It makes it extra fresh and tart.

Be sure to cool the pie to room temperature, then refrigerate it a few hours before you attempt to cut it. The filling needs that time to set up.

Did you catch the twist in the recipe for the meringue?

I hope you’ll make someone’s day (and your own!) and bake a lemon pie!

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!