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Category Archives: Desserts

911 Emergency Cookies

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One thing I’ve learned about cookies is, oftentimes, the more amazing they look, the more disappointing they taste. I am always a sucker for ordering a cookie at a deli or bakery. Poised there behind the glass bakery case, sits a giant cookie that just looks irresistable. I lose all focus on everything else going on around me and all I can think about is why I need that cookie, NOW! More times than I’m proud of, I succumb to the craving. A few bites in, I wish I hadn’t. I leave knowing I should have saved the calories for my own homemade cookies.

So, I realize these cookies do not look like anything special.  But,  if you love chocolate, these are definitely worth the splurge. This recipe actually came from Sparkrecipes.com, the food section of Sparkpeople.com, an extremely popular FREE nutrition and fitness website. I receive their daily recipe emails and have loved every recipe I have tried from the site. There are 102.5 calories per chocolate cookie. They don’t look like much, but this cookie has all the taste you need to crush a cookie-craving meltdown.

911 Emergency Cookies

Ingredients: 
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
6 oz bittersweet chocolate (can use dark chocolate), broke into large pieces
1 stick unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions
1. Melt chocolates and 1/2 stick butter (in microwave). Cool briefly.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat 1/2 stick butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until the consistency of wet sand.
4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix.
5. Mix in chocolate mixture, beating only until combined.
6. Stir in flour mixture, only until combined.
7. Chill for 1 hour.
8. Dip out with an ice cream scoop (I use a 4 teaspoon cookie dipper) onto a greased cookie sheet.
9. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Do not over bake.
10. Cool 2 minutes on pan before moving to cooling racks.

48 servings. One serving has 102.5 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 17.9 mg cholesterol, 67.2 mg sodium, 16 g total carbs, .8 g dietary fiber, 1.4 g protein.

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user MARYHAMILTON.

Lemon Posset

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If you’re looking for a great summertime dessert, here’s one for your recipe box. This is another recipe that came my way from my friend at work, West. He found it on allrecipes.com. The All Recipes picture shows it served in a martini glass, a beautiful way to serve the dessert, especially if you’re having the girls over for dinner. Lemon Posset is so easy, so delicious, and I can’t lie to you, so high in calories. But every once in a while, we all need to splurge. This one is worth it!  You can lighten this dessert up a little. Check out how I did that, below.

Lemon Posset
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 lemons juiced
3 tablespoons additional heavy cream for topping

In a saucepan, stir together 3 cups cream and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Pour into serving glasses and refrigerate until set, about 5 hours. Pour a little more cream on the tops just before serving.

My tips: I lightened this recipe up by using 1 cup of sugar and pouring the mixture into 6 serving ramekins, instead of 5. I garnished it with a few blueberries and a sliced strawberry.

Banana Bread

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I love rotten bananas!
Here’s why… They make the best banana bread. Once again, banana bread is a food I really wasn’t crazy about it until my friend, West, shared this recipe with me. I work with West, so daily I’m subjected to his stories about the fantastic meal he cooked the night before. But I want to give him credit where credit is due. He’s a serious cook. The kind who keeps his own stock in the freezer and delves into recipes that take hours to prepare. This is NOT one of those recipes! And remember what West says… the darker the peel, the better the banana bread.

Banana Bread
(Makes 3 mini-loaves or 1 regular loaf)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together:
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup sugar

Add:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup banana pulp (about 2 bananas)

Mix together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Mix lightly until smooth. Fill each greased and floured pan three-quarters full.

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out of loaf clean. Remove to cool. It is delicious hot, however. Banana bread will not freeze well.

Recipe from Mary Mac’s Team Room recipe book.

My tip: When you have really ripe bananas but don’t have time to make the bread, remove the pulp from the peel and freeze for later.

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

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When you love chocolate as much as I do, why not have it for breakfast. One of my favorite morning recipes these days is from a book called Flat Belly Diet! written by the editor of Prevention magazine. In a nutshell, the book focuses on incorporating monounsaturated fatty acids into each of your meals to burn belly fat. MUFA’s, as the book calls them, come from nuts and seeds, oils, avocados, olives and dark chocolate! So yes, this is actually a healthy recipe. The book lists the recipe in the dessert section, but I love it for breakfast because it keeps me full for several hours. So if you exercise in the morning, this is a great post-workout meal. There’s several good recipes from this book I’ll share with you over time and I’ll include the caloric information too.

Double Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
(Prep. time: 5 minutes/Cook time: 5 minutes/ Makes 1 serving)

1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips

In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the oats, stir once to moisten, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
Remove pan from heat and add the semisweet chips, vanilla extract, pepper and salt. Stir to thoroughly mix. Spoon into bowl. Sprinkle dark chocolate chips over top while still warm.

365 Calories, 9 g Protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 14 g fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 159 mg sodium, 6 g fiber

My tips: I don’t worry about the 2 tbsp of dark chocolate chips at the end of the recipe. I use a total of 3 tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Instead of a pinch of table salt, I grind a pinch of sea salt. Also, this recipe is easy to double, which I do often because Ryan loves it too.

Recipe from Flat Belly Diet! by Liz Vaccariello with Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD.

Gooey Butter Cake

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For my first post, I think it is completely appropriate to begin with something that sounds as delicious, and insanely full of calories, as Gooey Butter Cake. Recently, my boss Melanie and I tried a new, small eatery close to our office in downtown Birmingham. On the way in, I noticed a sign advertising their Gooey Butter Cake. Order up! How can you go wrong with the three words… gooey… butter… and cake. But I was sadly disappointed when I arrived at the counter. The cashier actually looked annoyed that she even had to tell me that there was no Gooey Butter Cake to be had that day. Ridiculous!

But fear not. Flipping through a cookbook my mother-n-law Myra (who you will hear a lot about in the future because she is an excellent cook) gave me for Christmas, the recipe jumped out at me.  Not only is it scrumptious, but it’s so easy and inexpensive to make. I even recommend splitting the recipe to make half of a cake, unless you’re feeding a crowd.  It’s so rich, you only need a small piece.

Gooey Butter Cake
(A St. Louis Tradition)

Cake
1 dry yellow cake mix
1 stick margarine, softened
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients and press into bottom of 9×13-inch buttered pan.

Topping
2 eggs
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
Mix ingredients and pour over cake mixture. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cook and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

My tips: My oven bakes hot, so 30 minutes would have been plenty. You don’t want the first layer of cake to come out dry. I did use my mixer because the ingredients were hard to mix by hand and the recipe didn’t specify.

Recipe provided by Chris Bruns of Baton Rouge, La., in the cookbook Doggone Purrfect Recipes, Presented by the Best Friends Humane Society.