All Posts In Cookies & Other Desserts

16 Healthy Apple Desserts

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Recipes, September 13, 2013

apple with crisp topping
Hard to believe, but apple season is just about under way! Here are a few ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Classic Desserts
Nothing says apple season like pie and other baked goodies. These lightened-up versions deliver the flavor you love for fewer calories.

Apple Crisp
Flat Apple Pie with Perfect Pie Crust
Rustic Apple Pie with Dried Cherries
Apple Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers
Apple Cranberry Galette
Apple-Berry Brown Betty

Weeknight Desserts
These easy, guilt-free delights make for fabulous after-dinner sweets during the week.

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Recipe Spotlight: Lightened-Up Banana Pudding

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Recipes, June 21, 2013

banana pudding

Banana pudding is a classic dessert made by layering vanilla pudding with wafer cookies, loads of fluffy whipped cream and of course, bananas. After a few hours (or a night) in the refrigerator, the pudding and whipped cream soften the cookies and they become cake-like and infused with banana flavor. Banana pudding is creamy, cool, comforting and indulgent — maybe a little too indulgent. If you love the flavors of banana pudding but don’t want a calorie overload, you can still enjoy this dessert classic with this Food Network Kitchen’s lighter banana pudding. It’s made with homemade vanilla pudding made with low-fat milk, that has all the creaminess you expect thanks to a few tablespoons of sour cream stirred in at the end. Use reduced-fat vanilla wafer cookies, and be sure your bananas are very ripe so they’ll impart the strongest banana flavor possible.

Try it This Weekend: Lightened Up Banana Pudding

More Healthy Banana Desserts:

Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops
Banana Cream Pie
Banana Splits With Pineapple-Brown Sugar Topping
Marbled Banana Bread
Broiled Banana Splits

Build A Better Frozen Yogurt Sundae

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, June 4, 2013

frozen yogurt
Is a loaded frozen yogurt sundae your idea of a healthy treat? Watch out! Here’s what to know before you hit up one of those super-popular frozen yogurt bars.

Portion Distortion
Think about the weight of your frozen treat or your waistline may pay the price. The flavor options can be overwhelming, but simple is best. A 3.5-ounce portion of original tart frozen yogurt has 100 calories. The same amount of a chocolate or peanut butter-based flavor 150 to 170 calories. How big is the cup you typically order? Do the math and use small cups to avoid a calorie overload.

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15 Valentine’s Day Desserts

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Valentine's Day, February 5, 2013

strawberry cupcakes
These lightened-up goodies are the perfect way to show your sweetie you care without busting their waistline.

The Guidelines
Each of these desserts has 400 calories or less, 20 grams of total fat or less, 10 grams of saturated fat or less, and a max of 400 milligrams of sodium per serving. Dessert should be a special treat and most definitely can be enjoyed on Valentine’s Day. If you’re trying to watch your figure, cut calories even further by sharing dessert or cutting the portion in half.

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Make Your Own Twinkies

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, January 25, 2013

twinkies
Twinkies had a last hurrah recently when its manufacturer, Hostess, declared bankruptcy. Along with stories of store shelves being emptied, were articles exploring the laundry list of highly processed ingredients including trans fats, processed sweeteners, preservatives and artificial colors. You know what we say to that —- avoid all the junk and make your own!

The Coveted Baking Pan
“Canoe” baking pans have been selling for as much as 100 bucks online. Instead of paying those inflated prices, I hit up a local kitchen supply store. My trusty shopkeeper had quite a few left in stock. If you’re unable to find this type of a pan, the cupcake version of this recipe isn’t quite as nostalgic, but just as tasty.

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Homemade Holiday Gift: Rum Balls

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Holidays, December 13, 2012

rum balls
These deliciously decadent chocolate-flavored balls have been a family favorite for decades. Whip them up this holiday season for the ones you love.

Food Safety Note
These rum balls have been modified from the version my mom made when I was younger. The original version calls for a raw egg (the batter isn’t cooked). To make these rum balls kid-friendly and adhere to prevent salmonella, I use a pasteurized whole egg and swapped in rum extract for the real stuff. This means the egg was heat treated to kill pathogens, though it looks like any other raw egg. Many markets carry them—look for the word “pasteurized” on the label.

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Breakdown: Frozen Treats

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, September 18, 2012

ice cream
Even a frozen treat connoisseur like myself can get confused with all the icy options out there. Grab your ice cream maker, you’ll be itching to make something after you read this.

Ice Cream
The classic: sweet, velvety, delish. Ice cream is typically made with a combo of cream and milk (and sometimes egg yolks). Premium varieties of vanilla ice cream average about 230 calories and 13 grams of fat per ½ cup.

Gelato
Ice cream ala Italy. This frozen confection is basically ice cream, but less is more! Gelato is made with less air whipped into it. The result is a dense and creamy delight. The nutrition facts stack up similar to ice cream (see above) but we did find a few store-bought brands that scored lower in both the fat and calorie department. Trader Joe’s and Ciao Bella are 2 personal favorites.

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Portable Desserts

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, August 31, 2012

cheesecake brownies
Are desserts your job for the potluck picnic? You’re in luck! We’ve got treats for every kind of sweet tooth.

Cookies
Perfectly portioned and finger-licking good. Bring some fresh fruit along too – we suggest watermelon slices or a bushel of juicy peaches.

Almond Blueberry Cookies
Triple Chocolate Cookies

Brownies
Scratch the chocolate itch with these decadent delights. Bake a bunch and freeze for up to 6 months.

Made-Over Deep Dish Brownies
Food Network Kitchens’ Cheesecake Brownies (pictured above)

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Why We Love Ice Cream

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, July 15, 2012

pineapple with ice cream Happy National Ice Cream Day! As a former scooper and life long ice cream-aholic, I consider myself somewhat of an aficionado. Even though my career is all about nutrition, I know there are many reasons to love this creamy cold confection.

Ice Cream Facts
Originating in ancient China, ice cream is a combination of cream, milk, sweeteners, flavorings and add-ins like fruit, nuts and candy. Did you know these fun facts?

  • The first ice cream parlor opened its doors in America in New York City in 1776.
  • We have an inventor from the 1904 World’s Fair to thank for making ice cream more portable — with a cone.
  • While softening in the microwave is a popular method, you risk over-melting or even burning the ice cream. For best results, allow it to sit out on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes before dishing it out.
  • Ice cream relies on fat to make it smooth and creamy – the higher the fat content, the less time it will take to soften.
  • Research has found that eating ice cream in a cone may be the smarter choice. Licking away with the warmth of the tongue releases the flavor better, plus a cone takes longer to eat.
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