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 baking? Skinny Apple Pear Crisp

I love dessert, but don’t normally have the room in my belly after dinner and I’m trying to stay away from the bowl of Halloween candy staring at me!

A few weeks ago, I bought a grande bag of pears in hopes that the kiddos would enjoy the change from apples…but they have started looking a little sad, so I needed to use them up.

Here’s a recipe I tried. All I can say is, “Yummmmm!”

Skinny Apple Pear Crisp

Skinny Apple Pear Crisp

adapted from savorynothings.com
Prep time 20 mins, Cook time 45 mins, Total time 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
To Make the Filling
4 medium apples, cored and cubed
2 firm pears, cored and cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

To Make the Topping
⅔ cups rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup pecans, chopped
Dash of salt
Instructions:
Lightly grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking dish or spray with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the filling add the cubed apples and pears to a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix very well. Add to the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the fruits have softened, stirring once halfway through.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping by mixing all topping ingredients together with your fingertips until coarse crumbs form.
Remove the dish from the oven and stir the fruit well. Top with the oat crumble and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving warm.

Serve this up solo or add a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.

When life gives you lemons…make pie! 

The other day, our daughter requested a Lemon Meringue Pie…

We gathered up the ingredients at our local grocery store and the pie crust came two to a package, so I thought I’d try out a Coconut Cream Pie recipe as well. Click here to see that amazing recipe!

We get home and as I was putting the groceries away…I realized that the lemons were MIA!

Son of a…

I guess the lemon pie will have to wait, so I baked up the coconut one 😊

Today I remembered to grab the lemons.

Here’s what I made:

Lemon Meringue Pie

Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie

courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

2 lemons, juiced and zested

2 tablespoons butter

4 egg yolks, beaten

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

4 egg whites

6 tablespoons white sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.

3. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

This is my go-to recipe whenever I bake a Lemon Meringue Pie! It’s so AMAZING!

For the love of pie! Coconut Cream Pie

A couple of months ago, we took the kidlets on a family trip to Hawaii! I had never been before, so this was pretty exciting for me as well.

We tried some new foods while we were there and paid a visit to Leoda’s. This little hidden treasure is well known for their amazing Mac & Cheese and pies. Of course we endulged. The coconut cream pie was to die for!

The other day, I had a hankering for some, so here’s what I made:

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

adapted from RockRecipes.com

I used a frozen Tenderflake crust to save time.

For the coconut cream filling:

3 cups whole milk

⅓ cup flour

⅔ cup sugar

pinch of salt

1 cup unsweetened fine coconut

3 slightly beaten extra large egg yolks

4 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp pure almond extract

For the vanilla whipped cream:

1 cup whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Instructions:

Bake pie crust according to the instructions on the box and let cool completely.

For the coconut cream filling:

Scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to almost boiling. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut.

Over medium low flame slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk, whisking constantly.

As you notice the filling beginning to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again.

Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken.

At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly.

Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir.

Cook for an additional two or three until the filling reaches pudding consistency and remove from the flame. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.

Stir in the butter, vanilla and almond extract.

Cool for about 20 minutes before pouring into the baked pie shell/s.

Chill the pie/s completely for several hours or overnight before adding the vanilla whipped cream.

For the vanilla whipped cream:

Combine the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat to soft peaks. Spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.

This pie was AMAZING and definitely competition to Leoda’s