Category Archives: Dessert

Baked Beignet

If you haven’t encountered a beignet before, get somewhere french inspired stat! Or better yet make this and save your waistline. True, a beignet should be fried but well, I miss beignets and fried food doesn’t agree with my new foodie choices or at times…me. I made these tasty pastries for a changeling one shot we hosted this week and even amongst those who have not experienced the fried love that is beignet they were suitably devoured. That thing that really makes me love this version is the crispy shell you get from the sugar coating. Num! So, no need to fry to get that crispy bit of pastry happiness. Great, talking about the beignets has made me need some more of them. Omnomnom.

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbl splenda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 fat free sour cream
  • 1 tbl melted light margarine
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tbl sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and splenda in a bowl.
  2. Add the applesauce, sour cream, margarine and vinegar. Knead briefly until the dough comes together. Don’t overdo it though or the dough will get sticky and hard to work with.
  3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl or ramekin.
  4. Take a teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball shape. Dip in the sugar mixture to coat.
  5. Place on the baking sheet. You should get around 26 beignets. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden.

Makes 26 beignets. Each beignet is 40 calories, .3 grams of fat and .3 grams of fibre. Want higher fibre? Try a whole wheat flour blend! It tastes just as great!

Dark Chocolate and Cherry Shortbread

Dark chocolate and some sort of red fruit such as cherries or strawberries always seems to do the trick when it comes to valentines day. Instead of doing the same old when it comes to this treat I figured I would do something special and offer a buttery and decadent seeming shortbread. The chocolate and cherries in this are delicious! If you can’t find dried cherries then dried cranberries flavoured with cherry will do just fine. I know that I certainly won’t kick my husband out of bed for eating shortbread.

  • 1 cup flour (I used nutri flour, an enhanced flour with whole wheat nutrition)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup light butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar or spelnda
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Prepare a pan by spraying it. I baked this in a stoneware pan and I highly recommend this for shortbread, if you don’t have one go for glass.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt.
  3. In another bowl cream the butter, icing sugar (or splenda), and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time. Add the cherries and chocolate.
  4. Pat evenly into your pan and prick surface with a fork. Bake at 300F for 30-40 minutes. The shortbread should have a golden colour around the edges. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and slice.

Makes 8 large wedges. Each wedge contains 185 calories, 7.8 grams of fat and 1 gram of fibre. Ofcourse you can always cut into much smaller pieces for a more modest indulgence but for the holiday why not indulge a little. If making this in a square pan to share you can easily get 16 portions at 92 calories, 3.9 grams of fat and .5 gram of fibre as well. This is calculated using icing sugar, I used splenda in my latest batch which was nummy! This made the original 8 servings more like 165 calories, 7.8 grams of fat and 1 gram of fibre. Not bad at all for a lovely shortbread treat.

Pear and Brie Strudel

When it comes to strudel pastry I totally cheat. My grandmother was always a very practical woman. When something can be bought to help that dessert be successful she had no qualms about doing so. Phyllo dough is one of these short cuts my grandmother supported. Why go through the trouble of making it when the ingredient is right there? Now you can concentrate on the more important things…like the filling. Oh wait, that isn’t hard either? Well…score! Seriously, whipping up a strudel like this as a weeknight dessert isn’t all that hard. That’s exactly what this one was.

  • 2 pears, cored, sliced
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp splenda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 30 grams brie, sliced thinly
  • butter flavoured cooking spray
  1. Lay your first sheet of phyllo dough on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Layer another sheet on top. Repeat until all sheets have been stacked.
  2. Lay the cheese slices on the strudel sheets horizontally, not quite center. I usually go for about an inch off center towards me.
  3. Layer the pear slices on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and splenda.
  4. Fold in the sides of the dough, then the bottom. Flip away from you to wrap. That moves the seam of your folding underneath the pastry.
  5. Spray the pastry. Cut four slits into the top and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  6. Cover with foil. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 4 generously. Each serving contains 141 calories, 3.9 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. I love pears and brie so creamy and sweet, apples would work with this too. If you don’t want the brie each serving will contain 116 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. Nothing wrong with a simple fruit strudel, I just like to get a little fancy sometimes hehe.

Chocolate Banana Pudding Pie

My dessert pie for national pie day. I was inspired a bit by Develyndeskyes response to my twitter. She had suggested a chocolate silk pie…so while I was thinking about chocolate silk in my kitchen some bananas caught my eye. Ha! Get some fruit in there make it tasty and healthy. This is a gooey pie simply because that is what I wanted, a pudding pie. If you want a firmer pie you can always fold in some fat free cool whip or something. It does hold shape somewhat but not much. Just messy good times.

  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 pkg fat free chocolate pudding
  • 2 bananas
  • 8 almond cookies, crushed
  • 1 tbl margarine melted
  1. Combine the cookies and margarine. Press into the bottom of a pie plate to cover the bottom.
  2. Whisk together chocolate pudding mix and 1 cup of skim milk until it begins to thicken usually about 3 minutes.
  3. Puree 1 banana and 1/2 cup of milk. Add the puree to the pudding.
  4. Cut the remaining banana into slices, break apart the slices where the banana naturally segments. Usually into three pieces per slice.
  5. Stir the banana chunks into the pudding carefully.
  6. Pour the pudding mixture over the pie crust and refrigerate atleast 4 hours or overnight.

Serves 8. Each serving contains 124 calories, 1.6 grams of fat and 1.2 grams of fibre. This tasty pie sure didn’t last long in our fridge!

Meringue Cookies

I keep eyeing this type of cookie when I’m at the grocery store. They are usually close to being fat free and come in so many flavours. The thing that stops me from buying them though is my husband. For some reason I only stop and look at these when my husband is with me and he always says “why would you buy those when you can make better ones?”. Usually this leads to me nodding, putting them back and forgetting about them. Well, this time I didn’t forget I broke down and made a batch. Meringue is not hard to make…as long as you have an electric beater. I can’t even begin to imagine what a pain these would be without one. Instead I stood there looking somewhat bored while I beat these, and pretended I worked really hard when I presented them for tasting. Which is totally win/win. I didn’t have a piping bag to make these look all pretty and professional but just pouring these out of a teaspoon made them look pretty in my opinion. Then again I like to claim rustic aesthetics whenever I can.

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp extract or flavouring of choice
  1. This first step is optional. I like to take my 2/3 cup of sugar and blend it a bit in the blender to make it finer. I find it dissolves easier into the egg whites when the time comes.
  2. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the eggs are foamy and thickened at high speed.
  3. Slowly add in the sugar, typically one or two tbl at a time into the eggs. Continue beating while adding at high speed until the mixture can hold stiff peaks.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flavouring or any other add-ins (such as cocoa powder for chocolate meringues).
  5. Using a tsp or piping bag portion the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with parchment. Keep the meringues about 1 inch apart with a volume of about 1 tsp worth.
  6. Bake at 275F for 35 minutes. They are done when they are firm to the touch and dry. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove from the baking sheet to cool completely.

Makes 24 cookies. Each cookie contains 23 calories, zero fat, and zero fibre. Don’t serve these outside on a windy day, they are so light they might fly away…no kidding. These are a great sweet treat without the naughty, have fun playing with those flavour combinations.

Chocolate Fudge

Thought you had to give up the chocolaty goodness of fudge this year to help reach your goals? Hah! The beauty of this recipe is that it starts as an easy to make simple chocolate fudge. To make it your own you just start adding variations. You like your fudge to have bits of fruit or nuts in it? Add them in at the end. Want a different flavour with your chocolate? Play with extracts. Want that sweet and salty fun? Top it with some flaked sea salt before serving. You see the kind of fun you can have? I’m thinking of serving some of this with some cherries mixed before refrigeration for valentine’s day. Mmmmm.

  • 300 ml low fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 285 grams extra dark chocolate, chopped up
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Spray and line a 9 inch baking pan with plastic wrap, allow a few inches of plastic wrap to hang over the two edges of the pan.
  2. Pour the condensed milk, vanilla, and chocolate into a saucepan. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until the chocolate melts and everything becomes smooth. Watch this process carefully, you don’t want to ruin a good pan or fudge.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Allow to cool, pull the overhang over to cover your fudge lightly. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next day, uncover your fudge, remove the block from the pan using the over hangs as handles. Place upside down on a cutting board and remove the plastic wrap. Cut 5 strips horizontally and 9 strips vertically. I like mine to be more like strips of fudge rather than squares. Stack on a serving plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 45 slices of fudge. Each serving contains 65 calories, 3 grams of fat and 1 gram of fibre. Delicious! Careful, these are easy to overindulge in if they are sitting in front of you minding their own business. Poor unsuspecting fudge.  I suggest only taking out what you know you can have and forgetting about the rest. This keeps in the fridge for a couple weeks so it’s easy to do and keep on hand as an extra special treat.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Yes…I sang that song that Chef from South Park sings while making these. Goodtimes, granted these aren’t salty. I learned a version of this recipe from a lovely lady my parents knew back when I was a kid. So yes, they are so easy even a kid can make them. Assuming like my parents you trust said kid around the stove….or have no choice since the kid made them when you went out. Ha. Oh yes, it has been a confection filled winter’s night at the hungry hobbit household this year.

  • 1/2 cup light peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tbl icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  1. Combine grind the dates in a blender until broken into really small bits. Add the peanut butter and icing sugar. Blend until fairly smooth.
  2. Using a tbl measure out the amount for each ball. Form the mixture into balls, place on a plastic wrap covered sheet and place in the freezer to firm up. Atleast 2 hours.
  3. Melt the chocolate using the method from the tortoises recipe. Cover each ball in chocolate and return them to the plastic covered sheet. Allow to cool, serve or keep in a sealed container for later.

Makes 12 chocolate not so salty balls. Each ball contains 75 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fibre.

Enjoy, and have a happy new year everyone!

Next week I will weigh in and see if any damage from the holidays has been done. The goal was to maintain but enjoy over the holidays. So, I figured with tasty but healthy treats like these and using proper judgment maintenance should be achieved. Stay tuned! I’ll be stepping on the scale just like everyone at the end of this weekend.

Rugelakh

No, they are not klingon. Oh tasty, tasty little nut filled crescents wrapped in a cream cheese dough. These are traditionally jewish, it wouldn’t be the first delectable food they have given us either. I tend to pronounce these rugalah, no idea how right that is but who cares once you have eaten your fill of these delicious delights. They look really impressive when you serve them but really they only take a few more steps than making those pilsbury crescent thingies. Definitely a win/win. My grandmother used to make a version of these for the holidays filled with hazelnuts or sometimes almonds. The filling is always changeable, it’s the crescent shape and the dough that are mainstays.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 114 grams light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup splenda or sugar
  • 2 tbl light butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbl dried cranberries
  1. Combine the flours in a bowl. In another bowl beat the ricotta, cream cheese, splenda, and butter at high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture, stirring by hand, mix until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half and shape into a flat disk. Don’t play deadly disc with it…it’s too tasty. Wrap each with plastic wrap and freeze for about 20-30 minutes. It should be firm.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, pistachios, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Roll out your first disk into an 11 inch round. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon mixture over the dough. Top with half of the cranberries. Press the topping into the dough using the palm of your hand. Using a knife cut the dough into wedges like you would a cake or pie, diagonally. You want 16 wedges.
  4. Starting at the outer edge of each wedge, carefully roll the dough to form a crescent. How curved you want your crescent is completely up to you. My grandmother liked to pinch the ends to keep the filling inside. Open or closed both are tasty. Place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second disc.
  5. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. They should be lightly golden. Good served warm or cooled completely.

Makes 32 Rugelakh. Each rugelakh contains 69 calories, 2.3 grams of fat, and .6 grams of fibre. This was calculated using splenda, add a bit more calories if you plan to use sugar.

Tortoises

I’m skipping this weeks hardcore hobbit to dedicate this week to tasty treat updates. Today is my attempt at faking turtles.These tasty chocolates were all the rage this yule. In fact my husband claimed he liked the dates much more than the caramel because it gave the treat more of a full flavour rather than just a hurray for sugar flavour. Not that there is anything wrong with a little hurray for sugar…you just can’t eat as much of it is all. These were tasty I think I’m going to make another round of them for new year’s eve too. I have found that coating things in chocolate is much easier than I thought. Hurray for chocolate! I couldn’t help myself…I took a bite.

  • 12 dates
  • 12 pecan halves (or any other nut you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup melting chocolate (I used dark chocolate)
  1. Remove the pit from each date, insert the pecan half into each date. If your dates are pre-pitted and you can’t find the hole just cut a slit into the date and slip it in that way. You should end up with something that looks like this:
  2. Fill a pot halfway with water and place a glass heat resistant bowl on top. Bring the water to a simmer over medium. Pour the chocolate into the glass bowl and stir while it begins to melt. Your setup should look something like this:
  3. Cover a plate or tray with plastic wrap and set aside. This is your landing pad for yummyness.
  4. Coat each date separately using a couple of forks to gently push the date around and move it to your tray to cool.
  5. Allow to cool completely before placing in a container to store. Can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge. Keeping them in the fridge though makes them a bit more challenging to eat.

Makes 12 nummy chocolates. Each chocolate is 51 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 1 gram of fibre. A tasty treat for any hobbit on holiday.

Old School Gingerbread

Now, this isn’t those cookies that get used for building or making disturbing human shaped cookies. I mean really…why do we want to eat human shaped cookies…why? We make dog cookies shaped like bones…which they want to eat. Why would we make human shaped cookies…do we want to eat humans? Sure, I decorated my pie with itty bitty hobbits…but I sure didn’t decorate them with icing to give them eyes, clothes, etc…making them even more human like. I love giving places that have gingerbread men cookies the “you are just one step away from cannibalism” look when possible. No, this gingerbread is more along the cake lines, I like to call it old school gingerbread simply because I feel its more bread-like than a crusty old cookie any day. On a side note…gingerbread houses are cool with me…they make for great godzilla like roleplay….which is never ever wrong.

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice (the kind that contains ginger and cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I highly recommend the hardcore hobbit applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup fancy molasses
  1. Combine the flours, brown sugar, spice, baking powder and baking soda.
  2. Add the egg whites, milk, lemon juice, applesauce, and molasses. Beat with a mixer until combined.
  3. Pour the batter into a prepared 9×9 square glass dish. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Check with a toothpick, if it comes out clean you are golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into 9 servings. Best served warm but remains delicious when cold.

Makes 9 servings. Each serving contains 156 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, and 1.4 grams of fibre. So moist and delicious, these did not last long at the Dresden game I brought them to. A great seasonal offering I think. This would look really nice as part of a holiday spread. I think decorating it with a doily placed on top, then sprinkling with sifted icing sugar and removing the doily would be so pretty. Just like a big tasty snowflake on top!