Finally, something pretty healthy!

 Lately it has just been all about sweets around here. Which personally, I don’t have too big of a problem with ;). However, it can get pretty overwhelming for the fam over here to have multiple containers of Tupperware full of goodies. 

It can be pretty difficult to figure out a healthy snack too, especially when you’re surrounded with lots of treats and are craving chocolate at 10 AM. ‘Course I would never know anything about that silly business…

So, I recently saw this recipe for Homemade Wheat Thins. Sound pretty interesting, right? I love Wheat Thins, however I finished the box that my mom thought we had in the pantry weeks ago.

 These guys are pretty good, I mean they kind of have that “healthy taste”. Do you know what I’m talking about, or am I the only one here who knows that flavor?

It probably would’ve been a bit more helpful to put a more generous portion of salt on them before the oven. Anyways these crackers are definitely work. I mean, it is a lot of rolling and cutting and patience. If you’re looking for something healthy and crunchy, these are your guys!!

Homemade Wheat Thins

(from Two Peas and their Pod)

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 T. sugar

1/2 t. salt, plus extra for topping

1/4 t. paprika

4 T. unsalted butter

1/4 c. water (you might need some extra, as needed

1/4 t. vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Whisk to combine, the flour, sugar, salt and paprika in medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and cut it into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender. Mix thoroughly. Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup or bowl. Add to the butter/flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. If the dough is still dry, add a little more water.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a towel so they don’t dry out. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough into a thin, large rectangle. Keep lifting and turning the dough to be sure it is not sticking. If you want all of your crackers to be perfect squares, you can trim the edges and roll them into a ball and put under the towel to save for later when you re-roll it out for more crackers.
  4. Transfer the dough squares to the prepared baking sheet. Put them very close together, but not touching. Sprinkle the squares with salt, to taste. Repeat the rolling and cutting process until all the dough square are gone.
  5. Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and crowned, 5-10 minutes. Check at 5 minutes because the thinner ones might brown faster so you can take those out and keep baking the others until they are done. Store the crackers in an airtight container. 

Hmmm, I’m thinking these might taste pretty good with a little cinnamon and sugar on top…

Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I started making this recipe, I though I was making coconut M&M cookies. Well being the ditz I am, I didn’t notice until I creamed together my sugar and butter that there was no actual coconut in these cookies. The “coconut” was the coconut that was supposed to be in the coconut M&M’s. I pretty much made this recipe before when I made M&M Cookies. 

So I decided to do what I have been meaning to do forever. 

I saw this on Picky Palate. It was such a brilliant idea, yet it seemed so obvious. Like why haven’t we been doing this forever!? 

Pretty much what it is, is what it looks like. It’s just regular cookie dough (I used the cookie dough I was making for the cookies I originally thought were going to be coconut cookies!) and then you stick something inside. You can put pretty much anything you want in there. As you can see I used everything, based on the above picture. 

If you used full pieces of candy, then you’re gonna end up with some pretty massive cookies. I would recommend cutting everything about the same size so your baking times don’t get messed up.

I have got to say though, the Oreoone was definitely my favorite. The melty insides were a perfect contrast to the soft chocolate chip cookie.

These weren't too shabby either!

Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Picky-Palate)

(cookie dough recipe from blue bonnets and brownies)

COOKIE DOUGH (you can use this recipe, one of your own or store bought works fine too)

2 1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1 c. butter, room temperature

2/3 c. granulated sugar

2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

2 t. vanilla

1 c. chocolate chips

desired fillings, chopped (examples: Peanut butter cups, Kit Kats, Oreos, Snickers, etc.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and incorporate fully before adding yolk. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop dough about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into your hand, take a piece of cut up candy and place inside cookie dough, cover with cookie dough, adding more dough as needed.
  4.  Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
These may look kinda funny when you take them out (my mom nicknamed them, nipple cookies) but don’t be alarmed!!! They’re supposed to look like that, hehe

 

 

 

 

Another itty bitty pie

So I had some left over pie crust from way back when I made those mini apple pies. I had just enough to make one more mini pie. And it is the THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER!!!! BOOOOYAAA BABY!!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I am that FINALS are over!!!!! So I thought the excitement called for a summer pie recipe (hence the cherry pie!).I was kind of thinking about making a mini french silk pie but for one I don’t think I had the ingredients for it in the house. And two, we already had cherry pie filling in the pantry.

I know, it kills me-already prepared pie filling. It is soo convenient, but it scares me. A can…with food? That has been in there a while? It just doesn’t sound right to me. 

But I trusted it as any other lazy baker would do. It was quite simple, and the most difficult task was sealing the pie crusts together. Where I always seem to get extra juice coming out.

I do think I have converted to being a lattice crust person. There is just something about them that looks so cute!! Plus, they look like you spent such a long time with it, but in reality it is the easiest thing ever. If you don’t know how to do it, here’s a good video to teach you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jv8BGw31Cg&feature=related

Mini Cherry Pies

1 prepared pie crust

1/2  can cherry pie filling

1 T. sugar, optional

  1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Clean and flour your work surface and roll out the dough.
  3. Place the mini pie tin upside down on top of the pie crust and cut around it with about 1 1/2 extra inches of pie crust. Place pie crust in mini pie tin.
  4. Spoon about 1/2 of the can of pie filling into the pie crust, or until there is a pie filling a little over the top.
  5. Place remaining dough on top of pie in a lattice crust form or just plain with a few slits to let hot air escape. If desired, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar on top of pie crust.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until top begins to turn golden. What a cutie ;)

Chocolate Covered Happiness

I don’t know about you, but this has/is going to be a very stressful week for me. Hence all of the sweet cookies that have been baked up around here lately. I have to take the dreaded finals this week. EW. I hate finals. I rarely actually hate, but I feel this occasion needed to bring out the big guns, the h-word.

Hate may actually be an understatement. I don’t really understand finals, because you could do great on every unit throughout the semester but if you just move on after that unit and do great on the next one, you could forget lots of stuff you knew before. It’s just annoying how one test can completely destroy your grade.

Thank goodness I’m a genius, so there should be no problems here. HA! Sometimes I wish I could just have the smartest kid in the world’s brain for an hour. Just for a few tests. Please? I’ll make you brownie balls :)

Alright, time to get off the pity pot and onto the good stuff. Have you ever heard of brownie balls? THEY ARE AWESOME! And oh so easy. And HEALTHY!!! Just kidding about that last part. But at this point, come on-who cares? It’s dessert, not count your calories time.

Yes, I'm still trying to get rid of Easter candy haha

Pretty much all you’ve got to do is bake the brownies according to the package, or if you’re feeling super energetic you could just make your own recipe. Then you let it cool for about 15 minutes or until you can touch them without baking your hands. (Owwy!) After that you shape them into balls, freeze them, dip them in chocolate and pop them in the fridge. Then after that, you eat them like there’s no tomorrow.

Shoo! Go make them now! ;)

Chocolate Covered Brownie Bites

(Idea from http://picky-palate.com/)

1 box of brownie mix

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

toothpicks

  1. Prepare brownie mix according to directions on package. Bake until slightly undercooked and only a little bit of brownie sticks onto an inserted toothpick. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  2. When you can touch the brownies comfortably, scoop with a cookie scoop or spoon and roll tightly into a ball and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Keep rolling brownies into balls until all of them are gone, unless you want to save some of the brownie to eat as regular brownies.
  3. Insert toothpicks into balls and pop into the freezer for an hour or two.
  4. Place chocolate over a double broiler, or in the microwave, to melt. Roll each brownie ball into chocolate and place on  parchment paper to dry. Place in the fridge for chocolate to set. Enjoy at room temp or chilled.

Looks good right? Trying to make it healthier by making it half oil, half applesauce

Still doesn't look too bad, right?

Dum Dum DUUUUUM.

Eventually these babies did turn out, I do think I would even waste 10 boxes of brownie mix just for these guys...

I’m no longer a whole wheat virgin!!

I can’t believe I had never tried actually using whole wheat flour. I mean we always have whole wheat bread in our house. I can’t even remember the last time we had white bread. So it would make sense to for me to actually use whole wheat flour. Anyways, the point is, it that I’ve been meaning to try it for a while now. 

And boy, it did not dissapoint.

There’s just something about eating a treat that uses healthy ingredients that makes you feel really good. I mean- I don’t feel bad about eating a third cookie here (not that, that really stopped me before).

The whole wheat flour kind of gives it a different texture, but its one of those new, different textures that I love. Kind of like how the applesauce in my oatmeal cookies gives a new texture. They’re both that good, chewy “mm- mm” feeling in your mouth.

I always heard that whole wheat four can make your cookies bland or dry or gross. But I did NOT experience that at all. If you’ve ever been scared to give whole wheat four a try, DON’T BE! It’s delicious AND nutritious! :)

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from Cookie Madness)

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. butter, melted and cooled

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1/4 c. creamy peanut butter

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

1 c. chocolate chips

1/4 c. chopped roasted peanuts, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. With a wooden spoon, beat the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until combined. Stir in peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and peanuts, if desired. Drop dough onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with a fork.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. They might look a little underdone, but that IS GOOD. Cool on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.