Skinnified Sunday: Homemade Nutter Butter Bites

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

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

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

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

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.