What’s baking? Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars

We’ve been invited to Christmas dinner at my sister-in-laws this year and I’m on dessert duty.

I pondered baking a cake or assembling some fancy pants show-offy scrumptiously decadent sweet creation. But I quickly came to my senses realizing that no one really ever has a heckuva lotta room after gorging on bird and all the sides.

I looked around and found this lighter recipe. This is my trial run, so I’ll be needing some Guinea pigs!

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars

courtesy of Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, unpacked
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

For the Frosting:

8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 ounces white baking chocolate, melted*
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch non-stick baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir to blend.

In another bowl, whisk the sugars with the butter, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions until the batter is very well blended. If the batter looks more “crumbly” than smooth, add just a drop of water at a time (ONLY if needed) until it smooths out.

Fold in white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cranberries. Spread batter onto the baking pan using the back of a measuring cup to smooth evenly.

Bake 10 – 14 minutes, until the edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don’t over-bake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely on wire rack.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting; in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until well-blended. Frost bars and sprinkle with remaining cranberries. Drizzle with the melted white chocolate.

*To melt the chocolate, place in a microwave safe cup and heat 15 seconds; stir. Another 15 seconds; stir until the chocolate is melted.

When the chocolate sets, cut into 15 large squares (5 cuts by 3 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

“Oh my garsh!” as Goofy would say. These are sooooo scrumptious! And so delectable with a cuppa tea! Cheers!

What’s for dinner? Tuna Casserole

This morning was rainy out, so the wee lad and I stayed home after dropping his sister off at school.

This week is a busy one with Sparks, the start if a fresh round of swimming lessons, picture day, play dates and Daddy being away for work. I decided that I would do a little prep for mealtimes to make it easier on myself.

There were some bananas starting to freckle, so I made some banana bread, a big ‘ol batch of pancakes, just to make my mornings that much easier and prepped dinner for tonight.

Here’s what I made:

Tuna Casserole
Skinny Tuna Casserole

Adapted from Skinnytaste.com

Ingredients:

450g of rotini pasta

1 tbsp butter

1 medium onion, minced fine

3 tbsp flour

1-3/4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

1 cup 2% milk

1 oz sherry

8 oz cremin mushrooms (sliced)

1-1/2 cups frozen peas (thawed)

1 cup chopped celery

1 can of tuna in water, drained

1-1/2 cups reduced fat marble cheese (you could use cheddar too)

Cooking spray

2 tbsp parmesan cheese

2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
Directions:

Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large deep skillet. Add onions and cook on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray 9 x 12 casserole with cooking spray.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined, increasing heat to medium and whisking well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. When boiling, add sherry, mushrooms and petite peas, adjust salt and pepper to taste and simmer on medium, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 7 to 9 minutes). Add drained tuna, stirring another minute.

Remove from heat and add 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar and mix well until it melts. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated. Pour into casserole and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray and top and bake for about 25 minutes. Place under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp (careful not to burn).

*I pre-made my casserole in the morning, so I covered it with foil and put it in the fridge. When I was ready to cook it, I added 5 minutes to be sure it was heated throughout.