Cookies · Lightened Up Recipe

Ginger Cookies – Light Version

I get teased A LOT by my family for always using recipes from Cooking Light, but I say if you can eat delicious food – even dessert – and make it a little healthier, why not?! I enjoy having dessert, but don’t want to overdo it with the fat and sugars!

I found a Ginger Cookie recipe recently that tastes every bit as good as my favorite Ginger-Molasses recipe (which is amazing!), but this one is much lighter!! I’m not sure I’ll ever make my old favorite version again! These were so yummy! Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, they are the perfect treat! This is one of my husband’s favorite cookie flavors, so I’m glad to have a recipe to make that I can feel a little better about making!

I always under-bake my cookies a little because I like them soft. I probably baked these around 8 minutes. You be the judge, but that’s all the time my oven required.

Ginger Cookies – Cooking Light

  • 6 Tbl. Butter, softened
  • 2/3 Cup plus 3 Tbl. sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace (I didn’t have this and it was still great)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, beating at medium speed until light and well blended.
  2. Add molasses and egg; beat well.
  3. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through mace), stirring with a whisk.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until well blended
  5. Divide dough in half.
  6. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°.
  8. Shape each portion of dough into 26 (1-inch) balls. Roll balls in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass to 1/2-inch thickness.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, but don’t want to kill your diet with dessert, please make these yummy treats! I can’t wait to make up another batch!

What’s your favorite splurge food-wise?

Here’s another special cookie from Cooking Light that we love and this is a delicious Angel Food Cake that is a special dessert!

baking · Cookies · Lightened Up Recipe

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

I love it when simple meets delicious! These fudgy cookies can be mixed right in a saucepan and spooned onto the baking sheet. They end up crispy around the edges and soft in the middle.

I made these last weekend for a girl’s trip I went on, and they were the perfect ending to our poolside lunch! They were also the perfect little snack in the middle of the day! If you love chocolate AND a soft cookie, this is your recipe!

Cocoa Fudge Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Step 2 Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, soda, and salt; set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in cocoa powder and sugars (mixture will resemble coarse sand). Add yogurt and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture, stirring until moist. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
  • Step 3 Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pans 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

I failed to mention that these are only 78 calories! Cooking LIght does a great job at providing low cal treats! These Raspberry Strippers are another favorite cookie recipe I found on their site.

Are you a crispy cookie lover or do you prefer a soft cookie?

Happy baking!

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!

Chicken · Comfort Food · Lightened Up Recipe

Country Chicken Pot Pie (Reduced Fat!)

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those classic comfort foods in my book. I have made them for years with my homemade pie crusts and we love that version, but I’ve come across a recipe that is so savory and yet also reduced in fat, and so much faster! The answer to both less fat and less time comes in the form of a reduced-fat crescent roll! These make preparation so easy!

The filling for this pie can be changed to suit your family’s taste buds. The recipe calls for fresh mushrooms, which we loved in there, but if that’s not your jam, you can leave them out and use whatever veggies you love! Here’s the tasty recipe:

Ingredients

1 tsp Butter
1 small chopped onion
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Cup chicken broth
3 Cups Cooked, chopped chicken breast (a rotisserie chicken is great for this!)
2 Tbl. flour
1/2 Cup Fat-free Evaporated milk
4 Reduced-fat Crescent rolls – I used all 8 that came in the can.

My big dish was rather shallow, so I put some of the filling in single serving bowls for another day.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 10-inch round shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Coat a large pot with cooking spray. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Add vegetables, broth and chicken. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. In a small cup, combine flour and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk; stir into chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of evaporated milk and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Spoon chicken mixture into prepared baking dish. Unroll crescent rolls and arrange dough around inside edge of baking dish to form a border (there will be a hole in the middle). Bake until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
Every bite was so savory!

My husband and I were both happy there were leftovers for another day. I popped the dish back into the oven so the crescent rolls would get crispy again. It was just as good the second time around!

Eating healthy is deliciously disguised in this comfort food makeover! I hope you’ll try this soon!

This Broccoli Salad or this Green Apple Salad would make great accompaniments to this pot pie!

With love from my country kitchen,

cakes · Lightened Up Recipe

Apple Cake & Caramel Sauce without the Guilt

Just because you’re trying to lose weight (as I talked about here) or maintain your current weight doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a sweet treat every now and then. While my husband and I have been on Weight Watchers, we’ve occasionally enjoyed a small portion of some type of dessert. I feel like it’s been crucial to do so every now and then so that sweet tooth gets satisfied (and we’ve realized that just a little bit does indeed satisfy!).

I personally don’t love the desserts with artificial sweeteners, and after a fail or two, I have decided to simply use recipes that cut back on fat instead. Cooking Light has been my go-to for most of those kind of recipes, but then last week I fell upon this Apple Cake recipe from my Gooseberry Entertaining Cookbook! What? Their recipes are usually quite high in fat, but this recipe uses grated apples to make up for the normal fat ingredient. The result? A super moist and flavorful cake that we loved! I will admit that the caramel sauce was different. It wouldn’t be the kind of sauce you’d make for dunking apple slices, but it’s good on the cake. Considering that my traditional recipe calls for 1 stick of butter and this has only 1 tablespoon, I’ll gladly enjoy the flavor of the caramel without the added fat! Here’s their recipe…

Warm Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
2 c. apples, cored, peeled, and shredded
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1 c. water
1 T. butter
1/4 t. vanilla extract

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Mix together egg and apples; add to flour mixture. Stir in walnuts. Spread in a lightly greased 8″x8″ baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Prepare Caramel Sauce: Combine brown sugar, flour and salt in a small saucepan. Gradually add water; stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for one to 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Serve Cake warm, drizzled with Caramel Sauce. Makes 9 servings.

If you want to make this really special, go ahead and make up some fresh whipping cream and add a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice.

Think ahead to Thanksgiving and pin this on your Pinterest board so you can have a yummy, warm Apple dessert and not blow your calories for the day! You can have your cake and diet, too!

Another cake suggestion that’s lighter is this this Carrot Cake. It’s one layer and super moist and delicious! An Angel Food Cake is also a lighter alternative. This one is super good. I wish I had the WW points for these or the nutritional values, but I’m not that savvy! So sorry!

Happy baking!