Skinnified Sunday: Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

I don’t like to make things I’ve already made. I mean, I make the same thing for breakfast every single day, and I order the same thing every time at my favorite restaurants, but I don’t like to bake things more than once, even if it’s a different recipe. Well, unless it’s cookies. Cookies are my favorite. I will make them over and over and over for no reason at all. Cake on the other hand? Meh, I can take it or leave it. I will always eat a dessert, but cookies and fro yo are my true loves.

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

Well, that is the case with most cakes anyway, but every once in a while, I come across one I really love. ;)

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

I’ve already made a regular tres leches cake, and a vegan tres leches cake. I had no desire to make an other one, but when people make birthday requests, I can’t say no.

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

I wanted to try something new and different, and I immediately remembered this recipe that caught my eye a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure I’ve said about 5 billion times that Jessica’s blog is my very very favorite. She is my blogspiration–her writing, her recipes, her gorgeeeooouuusss photography….everything is just soooo good. If you haven’t you must go check it out rightthissecond.

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches CakeAnd as usual, she doesn’t disappoint! Soft, gooey, milk soaked banana cake? Sign me up. I may even like it better than cookies.

My swaps:

  • White whole wheat flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Applesauce for butter (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Less sugar (-sugar…obviously)
  • Unsweetened almond milk for light coconut milk (-calories)
  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk for regular condensed milk (-calories)
  • Regular sliced bananas for caramelized bananas (-fat, -calories, -sugar, -cholesterol)

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

 

Skinnified Banana Bread Tres Leches Cake

adapted from How Sweet It Is

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup + 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2-3 bananas for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In an other small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together egg yolks, applesauce and sugars until creamy. Add vanilla and mashed bananas and beat until well combined. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by 2/3 cup almond milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in egg whites.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish, and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25 minutes. Cool completely
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup almond milk, sweetened condensed coconut milk and evaporated milk. Pour the milk mixture over the cake in 3 small batches, brushing with a pastry brush in between each time. Cover and let cake sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour (overnight is preferable).
  7. To make the whipped cream topping, in a large bowl, beat whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar slowly to reach desired sweetness mixing on medium speed. Spread evenly over cake.
  8. Top with freshly sliced banana just before serving.

 

Skinnified Sunday: Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

Skinnified Cranberry Bliss Bars via Ari's Menu

It’s the mooooost wonderful time of the year!

Okay, so the truth is I’ve been listening to 99.9 since the day after Thanksgiving when they first started playing Christmas music, and I made these babies long before Thanksgiving.

I just can’t even contain my excitement! When Target put up the first few holiday items back in October, everyone else scoffed while I got secretly giddy.

I am a sucker for the holiday season and I have no shame. The lights, the shopping for presents, the music, and of course, the amazing holiday flavors.

I swear, every time I step into Starbucks it’s like an exercise in self control. Between the salted caramel hot chocolate (my favorite), those freaking snow man cookies (I just love those guys!) and of course the cranberry bliss bars–a white chocolate chip blondie topped with cream cheese frosting and sweet dried cranberries? I diiiiiie.

White chocolate and cranberry go together like peanut butter and jelly. No, like peanut butter and chocolate! For a long time I thought I hated cranberries. BIG MISTAKE!

I made these delicious bars last year and they were a huge hit, but the pictures were, um….

Yeah….suffice it to say, they didn’t do the food justice ;) These are absolute perfection–the perfectly soft gooey blondie filled with while chocolate chips and the smooth and creamy white chocolate cream cheese frosting topped with the sweet and tart dried cranberries. Heaven.

I adapted this recipe from Recipe Girl’s Cranberry Bliss Bars.

My swaps:

  • Half recipe
  • Pumpkin puree or apple butter for butter (-fat, -saturate fat, -calories)
  • Egg substitute for eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Less brown sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • White whole wheat flour for regular (+fiber, +protein)
  • Reduced fat cream cheese for regular (-fat, -calories)
  • Less white chocolate (-fat, -calories, -sugar)

 Skinnified Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars

yield 16 small bars or 8 large

Skinnified Cranberry Bliss Bars

For the blondie:

  • 6 tbs pumpkin puree or apple butter (I’ve tried both and they both work really well)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbs white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • dash salt
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin/apple butter, and brown sugar using a hand mixer.  Add egg substitute and vanilla.
  3.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  4.  Add dry ingredients into wet mixture and mix until incorporated. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate.
  5.  Bake for 18-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, cool completely.
  6.  Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Add in melted white chocolate. Spread cream cheese frosting across cooled bars and top with cranberries.

 

Skinnified Sunday: Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

Skinnified Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins via Ari's Menu

A couple of weeks ago after one of our Monday runs, we got back to Nicole put the most amazing muffin in my hands to send me off with. It was drool worthy, and let’s just say it didn’t even last my 3 mile drive home.

 

Good friends end runs with muffins. Just sayin’. Actually, I’m a little bit surprised that spending so much time with an other food blogger hasn’t caused both of us to gain 100 lbs. That girl is always giving me delicious things to try like these. So.much.food.

These were actually fairly healthy already, so it didn’t take much tweaking, but ya know what I learned? There is no substitute for butter in a crumb topping. Well, I’ve seen some people use coconut oil, but there is no “low fat” option. UNLESS YOU KNOW THE SECRET?!?!?! I tried light whipped butter–no dice. I tried pumpkin puree and ended up with a goopy mess, so I finally sucked it up and told myself that using 3 tbs for 1.5 dozen muffins was not the end of the world. So there. I used real butter. I actually couldn’t believe I had any in my house, but I dug in the back of the fridge, and there it was in all it’s butter glory.

Just call me Paula Dean, I guess. ;)

I was super happy that my muffins came out just as delicious as the original, and they were definitely my tean’s favorite. Chunks of apple in the middle with a crumbly cinnamon streusel top? You just can’t go wrong there!

Ya know, in case you wanted to be ALL UP IN THIS MUFFIN’S BUSINESS.

 

Original recipe via Foodie Misadventures

My Swaps:

  • White whole wheat flour for all purpose (+fiber, + protein)
  • Less sugar
  • Reduced fat buttermilk for regular (-fat, -calories)
  • Apple sauce for canola oil (-fat, -calories)
  • Liquid egg substitute for real egg (-fat, calories, -cholesterol)
  • 1/2 streusel topping (-fat, -calories, -sugar) <—I made the all of it at first, but there was SO MUCH that I only ended up using about half
Skinnified Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins
yield 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 1 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples, peeled and diced (I used gala, but honey crisp would be AMAZING)
For the cinnamon crumb topping:
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbs white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbs butter, melted
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 paper liners. Spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all-spice. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, applesauce, egg substitute, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the apples until just combined.
  3. To make the crumb topping, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix with a spoon (or your fingers…) until crumbly.
  4. Fill the prepared muffin pans 3/4 full with batter. Evenly sprinkle each muffin with crumb topping. Bake for 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container.

 

Skinnified Sunday: Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

Skinnified Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes via Ari's Menu

Every day is a pumpkin day in the blog world this time of year. Luckily (for me, maybe not for you), I am obsessed with pumpkin. I buy canned pumpkin year round, and eat it almost every day. Weird? Well, yes….I am, but pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors, plus it has tons of health benefits and is a great substitute for oil in baked goods!

I confess, I’ve already started adding pumpkin to my coffee drinks, and cheating on my beloved Dutch Bros with Starbucks because I know *exactly* how I like my flavor pumps at Starbucks and I prefer their pumpkin syrup…

You know what, though? These cupcakes are, like, 5 billion times better than either version. That’s an exact number based on factual evidence. Like surveys, and stuff. Things that people with grown up jobs do to test things. If it were me, they would each do an audition, which I guess they kinda did. The cupcakes get the lead fair and square.

The pumpkin makes them perfectly fluffy and soft, while also adding the perfect fall flavor. And don’t even get me started on my serious love for ground cloves. Ummm, best spice ever maybe??? I love me some cumin, but lately I cannot get enough of the cloves. In my yogurt, in my cupcakes, straight out of the little shaker…

Combine that with cinnamon and nutmeg, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. Brushing the coffee on after they’ve been cooked makes a huge difference. It keeps them soft, and brings out a bold coffee flavor that usually gets lost during baking. You can also control your coffee intensity. I sit there and brush those things over and over and OVER because I have a mild ridiculous wallet blowing obsession with my little caffeinated friend, but if you feel less in love with coffee, you can use less. Just never, ever tell me about it. I can’t handle it.

This is actually not the first go around for these bad boys. They first made their appearance on the blog about a year ago, and they looked a little like this.

Womp womp.

Oh the things you learn in a year. I’m still not an excellent cupcake froster, not like this girl, but I’ve certainly learned a thing or two.

The original recipe for these muffins (which includes all the smart brushing with the coffee, and all that goodness) comes from one of my very favorite recipe blogs Annie’s Eats.

Original recipe

My Swaps:

  • Half the recipe (-temptation)
  • White whole wheat flour for all purpose flour (+fiber, +protein)
  • Apple sauce for oil (-fat, -calories)
  • Egg substitute (ie: egg beaters, liquid egg whites, flax egg, or corn starch egg) for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Lighter cream cheese frosting for whipped cream (-fat, -calories)
  • Caramel sauce (-fat, -calories, -sugar)

Skinnified Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

yield 1 dozen

  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs espresso powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee or espresso for brushing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer if you have one (if not you can use a hand mixer or your muscles!) combine pumpkin, sugars, and applesauce. Add egg substitute, followed by dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated.
  3. Fill lined muffin tin 3/4 full with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Pierce each cupcake 2-3 times with a fork, then brush with coffee. Wait 2-3 minutes, then brush again.
  5. Cool completely on wire racks and then top with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 8oz package reducated fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In an large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in honey and vanilla. Top cupcakes, or store in the refrigerator.

 

Skinnified Sunday: S’mores Brownies

smoresbrownies-3

My girl Nicole knows her brownies, and when she posted her recipe for her favorite S’mores Brownies, I almost ended my friendship with her because she didn’t share any with me knew I had to make my own version!

Okay, so don’t go look at her blog, because hers are sooooo much prettier. We all know that presentation is not my forte, but they were delicious, so you know…

Honestly, with gooey, browned marshmallows, chocolate and graham cracker, how could that be bad???

These had everything I love about s’mores combined with everything I love about brownies. I had to send them all home with Jason, so I wouldn’t devour them in one sitting!

No, I don’t think it’s weird to add more chocolate to a brownie. I think you’re weird if you don’t always enjoy the idea of more chocolate.

Original Recipe:

via Nicole @ Foodie Misadventures

My swaps:
  • Nonfat vanilla yogurt for butter (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Turbinado/Splenda combo for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Egg substitute for whole eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • White whole wheat flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Whole wheat graham crackers for regular (+fiber, +protein)
  • Natural dark chocolate for Hershey’s bars (-sugar)

 

Skinnified S’mores Brownies

yield 16 brownies

  • 3/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 6 whole wheat graham cracker squares + crumbs for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup all natural dark chocolate chips
  • 5 oz marshmallows (regular or mini)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F°. Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together yogurt, vanilla, egg substitute, Splenda, and sugar until thoroughly combined. Mix in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
  3. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Layer graham crackers side by side over the top of the brownie batter until completely covered. Next pour chocolate chocolate chips evenly over the graham crackers. Then lay the marshmallows out over the chocolate. Pour remaining batter evenly over the marshmallows, spreading with a spatula if necessary.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Skinnified Sunday: Homemade Nutter Butter Bites

nutterbuttercookies-32

Remember those cute little mini Nutter Butters? The Nutter Butter Bites? They’re half the size, so you get to eat twice as many. That’s the way it works, right?

Is there anything better than crunchy peanut butter cookie stuffed with sweet, creamy peanut butter filling?

Maybe if you mixed them into peanut butter fro yo. Will you please mix them into peanut butter fro yo??? I WANT TO EAT THAT!!!!

Before I left, I had an order for a dozen cookies from the bike shop, and they said they didn’t care what kind, so I made them these. The next time Steve went in, apparently they were all talking about it, because I got this awesome voicemail while I was in Ashland telling me how much the bike people loved my cookies. Sometimes I can’t even believe how much my life has changed–people buying my cookies?? What????

These totally brought me back to my childhood. Nutter Butters were always one of my favs, and they are even better homemade!

I got the original recipe from one of my very favorite blogs. Here’s the original recipe:

My swaps:
  • Light whipped butter + apple butter for real butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat, -cholesterol)
  • Less sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Liquid egg whites for real eggs (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • White whole wheat flour for regular (+ protein, +fiber)
  • Extra sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Milk
  • Less filling (-fat, -sugar, -calories)
Skinnified Homemade Nutter Butter Bites
yield about 6 dozen
For the cookies:
  • 1/2 cup light whipped butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I suggest PB&Co White Chocolate Wonderful)
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tbs liquid egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
  • 3/4 cup light whipped butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (Again, WCW is best)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Directions:
    1. Begin with the cookies. In a large bowl with mixer beat butter, apple butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add liquid egg whites, and vanilla. Continuing beating until well combined. Turn mixer to low and add in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
    2. Preheat oven to 375°. Using an extra small cookie scoop, transfer dough to a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Using a fork, press down on cookie creating a criss-cross pattern.
    3. Bake for 6-8 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet 2-3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling.
    4. To make the filling, beat butter and peanut butter together in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Slowly add in your powdered sugar and turn mixer speed up to medium and beat until filling is smooth.
    5. Spread an even layer of filling onto the bottom of one of the peanut butter cookies and then top with another cookie to create sandwich. Repeat with all remaining cookies.

 

Skinnified Sunday: Chicken & Waffles

bakedchickenwaffles-8

Oh, yes I did.

So, I had never even heard of eating chicken and waffles together, until my friend Ryan mentioned it a couple of years ago. I told him that was gross and that I would never ever eat that.

I’m a big fat liar. So as punishment, I washed my mouth out with huge forkfulls of chicken and waffles. Fair enough.

You know what? It really is freaking delicious. Somewhere along the lines of all my hating on the concept, I got intrigued. Kind of like how I developed my love for Justin Beiber. Yes, I love the Beibs. I understand if that makes you want to never come back, but I just can’t deny it! I’m not too worried though, I will keep you here with waffles. Chicken & Waffle.

Have I mentioned how much I lllooooovvvveeee sweet and savory combos? Almost as much as my love for sweet and salty. Sweet and spicy is good too. Basically I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth, and if I could make all my meals taste like dessert, I absolutely would.

And that, my friends, is why I give you these delicious, sweet, crispy on the outside, soft and cake-like on the inside waffles, topped with crispy faux fried chicken, and sweet maple syrup. AZ peeps, you don’t even have to go to LoLo’s!

Waffle recipe adapted from Bon Appetit. The chicken is just my version of “fried” chicken.

Original waffle recipe:

  • 2 cups peeled, 1/2″ cubes red-skinned sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated peeled ginger
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
My Swaps:
  • 1/2 recipe
  • Reduced fat buttermilk and unsweetened vanilla almond milk for whole milk (-fat, -calories)
  • Egg substitute for egg yolks (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Sugar free maple syrup for some of the brown sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat) <–usually I would replace with applesauce or yogurt, but I accidentally just completely missed that part while cooking it, and didn’t realize it until it came time to write up the recipe! Obviously was not super vital to the dish :)
  • Whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Pumpkin pie spice for ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg (+ease)
  • Added vanilla extract (+yum)
  • 1 (4 pound) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour for coating
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
My Swaps:
  • Chicken breast for whole chicken (-fat, -calories)
  • reduced fat buttermilk + egg whites for buttermilk (-fat, -calories)
  • Crushed cornflakes and panko for flour (+cruch, +yum)
  • vegetable oil (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat) <– 2 quarts?!?!?!

Skinnified Chicken & Waffles

yield 4-6 servings

For the waffles:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, roasted
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tbs light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs sugar free maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbs whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tbs baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature

For the chicken:

  • 3 chicken breasts, approx 8 oz each
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflake crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Pierce sweet potato several times with a fork, and roast at 400 degrees for 1 hour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg white and buttermilk (for the chicken) together and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cornflake crumbs and panko.
  4. Place a wire cooling rack inside of a large baking sheet. Spray thoroughly with nonstick spray.
  5. Take chicken breasts one at a time through egg white/buttermilk wash, then coat with cornflake/panko combo, then transfer to prepared wire rack.
  6. When sweet potato has finished cooking, reduce oven heat to 375, and bake chicken for 40-45 minutes, until juices run clean.
  7. Meanwhile, peel sweet potato and remove of skin (or eat the skin, because it’s delicious). Transfer skinned sweet potato to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Beat in milks, eggs substitutebrown sugar, syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, then beat dry ingredients into wet.
  9. In a medium bowl (yes, I was using pretty much every single mixing bowl in my house for this one), beat room temperature egg whites until stiff peaks form. You will need your beater/mixer on the highest setting, and it takes longer than you think.
  10. Fold in half of beaten egg whites to waffle batter. Then slowly fold in remaining half in two batches until just combined.
  11. Let the batter sit until the chicken is almost ready to come out of the oven. Then transfer batter in increments (depending on the size of your waffle iron–I generally use 1/2-2/3 cup per waffle) onto sprayed waffle iron. Cooking time will depend on the iron. Mine has a little light that goes off when they’re cooked.
  12. Transfer waffle to serving plate, top with 1/2 cooked chicken breast, and add light butter and syrup if desired.

Skinnified Sunday: Birthday Cake Donuts

birthdaycake_doughnuts-7

Okay, first of all I’m not sure if I’m supposed to spell it ‘doughnut’ or ‘donut’.

Donut has less letters, but doughnut sounds kind of fancy.

And I ask you this: How can there be two correct spellings of the same word???? My type A brain can’t handle it.

Anyway, I made do(ugh)nuts! Fancy, sprinkly, festive, birthday cake do(ugh)nuts!

Yes, sprinkly is a word. It’s a synonym for fancy.

I found a super easy, and already light-ish recipe for cake doughnuts from All Recipes that I only had to slightly modify to get a pretty darn healthy, delicious, and festive looking do(ugh)nut.

My Swaps:

  • ½ recipe (-temptation, the last thing I need is a dozen donuts sitting around)
  • white whole wheat flour for all-purpose (+protein, +fiber)
  • turbinado sugar/Splenda combo for white sugar (-sugar, -calories, and using all natural turbinado sugar makes me feel a little better about the Splenda—it’s all about balance, right?)
  • all cinnamon for cinnamon and nutmeg (personal preference)
  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk for regular (-fat, -calories, -sugar)
  • egg substitute for whole egg (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • extra vanilla (I just really like it)
  • light whipped butter for shortening (-fat, -saturated fat, -trans fat, -calories)

Birthday Cake Donuts

Yield 6 donuts

Yes, I like it spelled donuts. ;)

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbs unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tbs light whipped butter, softened

For the glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • dash almond extract
  • 1-2 tbs hot water
  • sprinkles for topping (optional)

**Note: If you are in the anti Splenda club, just user all turbinado sugar. We don’t need to get hateful about it ;)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray, and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, Splenda and cinnamon.
  3. Using a hand mixer, beat in all remaining ngredients (excluding those for the glaze) until just combined.
  4. Transfer batter to a plastic freezer bag, and cut a small hole in the corner.
  5. Evenly divide batter between 6 donut forms.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract and 1 tbs hot water. Slowly continue to add more water (and I mean very slowly. A little bit of liquid goes a long way with powdered sugar) until desired drippy consistency.
  8. Dip tops of donuts into the glaze, then let stand on a flat surface. Top with sprinkles if desired.

Skinnified Sunday: “Fettuccine” Alfredo

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My family loves Italian food. In fact, our birthday celebration of choice happens every year at Avanti–the best Italian restaurant in Phoenix, in my humble opinion. They have a 3 way pasta combination that is ridiculous. There is always a set 3 things on it, but they always let us modify it and order it however we want. My pasta plate of choice: gnocchi cardinale, angel hair fried diablo, and of course fettuccine alfredo. Their alfredo sauce is thick, creamy and buttery. It sticks to the fettuccine perfectly so in every bite you get maximum sauce, and a little bit of heaven.

There are some things I just don’t eat these days, regardless of the occasion. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m just saying, for me, it doesn’t seem worth it. But you know what does seem worth it? Recreating my own that is just as delicious (seriously!) with a fraction of the calories.

Okay, seriously. I did not expect my first go at this to be a success. I kept tasting the sauce as I was cooking and shouting to Steve “Oh my gosh!!! It tastes like alfredo sauce!!!!!”

“Isn’t that the point?” He didn’t seem to get my amazement that it actually worked. I made legit tasting fettuccine alfredo. My days of drooling over creamy alfredo sauce are back my friends and they don’t leave me feeling the gross heaviness in my stomach!

Also, did I mention it’s gluten free? Carolyn, wanna come over for dinner?

 

Skinnified “Fettuccine” Alfredo’

yield 4 servings

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, split lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 tbs light whipped butter
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine (optional, otherwise sub more almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Drizzle the center of each half of split and seeded spaghetti squash with 1 tsp olive oil. Using your fingers, rub oil evenly into squash. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place spaghetti squash in a large baking dish center down, and bake for 1 hour.
  3. About 40 minutes into baking, begin your sauce. Place minced garlic and butter in a large pan with fairly high edges over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add cream cheese, milk, wine, and parmesan cheese. Using a whisk, stir constantly. Add salt and pepper.
  4. When spaghetti squash is finished (center should be tender and come apart when scraped lightly with a fork), use a fork to scrape out the insides. They will come out looking just like spaghetti.
  5. Make sure all sauce ingredients are thoroughly combined, and transfer the squash “noodles” to your sauce. Use cooking tongs to toss and coat squash thoroughly.
  6. When thoroughly combined, serve and top with fresh parsley.

Skinnified Sunday: Monster Cookies

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I have always been a sucker for monster cookies. There are so many ways to make them, but the basic concept includes peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and oats. How could you go wrong with those ingredients?! Seriously. I had some at a friend’s birthday and have been dying to make my own ever since. When I noticed that Sunspire had their own version of M&M’s, I bought them immediately knowing monster cookies were on the horizon!

I found the original recipe from Taste of Home

My swaps:

  • ¼ cup Better’n Peanut Butter for half the peanut butter (-fat, -calories)
  • TJ’s Honey Apple Butter for butter (-fat, -calories, -saturated fat, -cholesterol)
  • Splenda* for some of the sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Egg substitute for whole eggs (-fat, -cholesterol, -calories)
  • Rolled oats for quick cooking (just what I buy)
  • Sunspire Sun Drops for M&M’s (-sugar, -calories)
  • Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate & peanut butter chips for butterscotch chips (-sugar, -calories)
  • No peanuts (-fat, -calories, and I don’t like nuts in cookies)
  • White whole wheat flour for all-purpose (+fiber, +protein)
  • Extra cinnamon & vanilla (+yum)

*Some people feel really strongly about Splenda. You can easily use all sugar real sugar, I just prefer to cut some of the calories.

I was a little nervous about swapping in the Better’n Peanut Butter, but I was amazed at how well it worked!! That stuff is okay on its own, but it doesn’t compare to the real stuff. In baking, however, I would have never even known there was anything different!

PS, what is the difference between Better’n Peanut Butter and PB2? Does anyone know? All the popular bloggers use PB2, but I couldn’t find it :( And obviously, if all the cool kids are doing it, I don’t want to be the lame one using the wrong peanut butter substitute. Clearly, I have really grown up and no longer use junior high mentality ;)

Okay, but back to the cookies…ummmm…they were gone in one day. Actually like 6 hours.

Whoops.

I think Jason may have eaten 4 in one sitting. Don’t judge him. They were really that delicious. And they’re “healthy” so that means you can eat the whole batch, right?

Skinnified Monster Cookies

Yield 2 ½-3 dozen cookies

  • 1/4 cup PB & Co White Chocolate Wonderful (you can use regular PB, but this is just my favorite!)
  • ¼ cup Better N Peanut Butter
  • ¼ cup honey apple butter
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup Splenda
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbs egg substitute
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup Sunspire Sun Drops
  • ¼ cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup Sunspire peanut butter chips
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325. Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, cream peanut butter, Better N Peanut Butter, apple butter, and sugars. Add egg substitute, then baking soda and vanilla.
3.  Add oats, M&M’s, butterscotch chips and peanuts; let stand for 10 minutes.
4.  Stir in flour.
5. Use a medium cookie scoop  cookie dough onto the baking sheet, then use a sprayed piece of wax paper to flatten slightly.
6. Bake for 15-18 minutes until edges are golden. Let stand for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cook completely.

I love my cookie scoop. Just saying.

Skinnified Sunday: Samoa Cookie Bars

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You know what? I have not bought a single box of girl scout cookies this year. I mean, I won’t pretend that no matter how many copy cats I make, I don’t still want to eat an entire sleeve of thin mints, but I have to say I have really been enjoying the flavors I love + the freshly baked at home taste that no cookie in a box can ever duplicate. I have a confession. I might actually like these better than real samoas! Sometimes the real ones are just a tad too sweet (if that’s even possible) for my taste, and I felt like these don’t taste healthy at all, just more natural in flavors. I taste real coconut and dark chocolate and I love that.

Original recipe:

My swaps:

  • 1/2 recipe
  • Pumpkin and light whipped butter for butter (-fat, -saturated fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Sugar/Splenda combo for sugar (-sugar, -calories)
  • Egg substitute for egg (-fat, -calories, -cholesterol)
  • Extra vanilla (+yum)
  • Unsweetened coconut (It didn’t specify, but it was hard to find just plain ole coconut. -calories, -sugar)
  • Low fat caramel sauce for chewy caramels (-fat, -calories)
  • Grain sweetened chocolate chips for regular, and less of them (-calories, -sugar)

Skinnified Somoa Cookie Bars

yield 16 bars

for the cookie layer

  • 2 tbs turbinado sugar
  • 2 tbs Splenda
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 2 tbs light whipped butter, softened
  • 2 tbs egg substitute
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cups white whole wheat flour
  • dash salt

for the topping

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut, toasted**
  • 3/4 cup low fat caramel sauce
  • 1/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbs unsweetened coconut almond milk (or any milk)
  • dash coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8×8 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, pumpkin, Splenda and sugar together. Beat in vanilla and egg substitute.
  3. Add salt and flour and mix until combined. Dough will be slightly crumbly and may not all come together.
  4. Press dough into greased pan, smoothing with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then place on wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Spread caramel sauce on top, followed by coconut flake.
  7. In a small microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate chips, milk, and coconut extract in increments of 15 seconds, mixing after each increment until melted. Carefully, spread on top of caramel/coconut layer using a spatula.
  8. Freeze for 2 hours for caramel sauce to set, then transfer to refrigerator, or keep frozen if desired.

**I toasted my own coconut by placing it in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat until golden. Careful to stir constantly and do not burn.

 

Skinnified Thin Mint Cookies

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Remember when I said in celebration of being self hosted I was going to post a recipe??? Taaaaaddddaaaa!

When I saw a post on facebook yesterday announcing it was Girl Scout Cookie Season (yes, this is an event in my mind), I was equally excited and dreadful. Does anyone else harbor memories of eating an entire sleeve in one sitting straight out of the freezer? What? You exercise self control and don’t freeze your girl scout cookies? Well, I think you’re weird. Those things are addicting! In an attempt to satisfy my craving, I made my own skinnified version. I was pretty nervous, but I have to say they turned out pretty awesome. Chocolate, minty, and almost fudge like. They aren’t quite as crispy and crumbly as the original, but the flavors are 100% there, and I feel like they have more of a fresh baked feel, which I prefer anyway.

I used this recipe for inspiration, but ended up changing a lot of things. They suggested rolling the dough into a log (which looked so terrible I refuse to post pictures) and slicing which I tried, but then also tried my roll and smoosh technique which I actually thought were prettier.

See the difference? If you like the cut look better, then when you refrigerate them, shape the dough into a big log and wrap in plastic wrap, but I think the smooshy ones look more like actual thin mints.

Skinnified Thin Mint Cookies

yield approx 30 cookies

For the cookies:

  • 5 oz fat free cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tbs light whipped butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 2 tbs egg substitute
  • dash vanilla extract
  • scant 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat (or whole wheat pastry, or whatever you want) flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs Dutch process cocoa powder (regular unsweetened chocolate will work if you don’t have Dutch process)**
  • dash salt

For the coating:

  • 1/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp light whipped butter
  • dash peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, sugar and Splenda. Beat in vanilla, peppermint and egg substitute.
  3. Slowly beat dry ingredients into cream cheese mixture, scraping down sides of bowl when necessary. Dough will be thick.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or even overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Take about a tablespoon of dough at a time and roll in your hands to make a ball, then flatten to about 1/4″ thickness.
  7. Bake for 12-15 min. Cool completely.
  8. Microwave chocolate chips and butter in 20 second spurts, stirring after each time until melted. Stir in peppermint.
  9. Cover cookies completely with melted chocolate and allow to cool on parchment paper.

Talk about wanting to lick the beater! Yesssss please! Just so you know, this is only about half of the dry mixture added. It should not look like this before you bake it.

I experimented, and frosted just the tops of some and covered the entire cookie on others. It's better if you cover the entire cookie. More chocolate = better cookie. As if there could really be any other result.

Happy Girl Scout Cookie Season!