I have been looking forward to today for weeks. I am going to join with around 50 or 60 other food bloggers from the Seattle area to put on a good old fashion bake sale. I am really excited and totally nervous to be offering my treats alongside all of these creative and accomplished blogger bakers. I hope my heathier cookies and brownies will look tempting next to the full fat versions. Fingers crossed.
I am also very grateful to have a way to put back into the community. This bake sale today is going to collect food and money to help provide hungry people with healthy food to nourish them body and soul this winter and beyond. I find it incredibly frustrating that junk food is so cheap and available to low income families. I sincerely hope that by participating in this event our local food programs will be able to access more healthy options for families in need. Yes a large pizza for $5 can feed a family but a $5 pot of chili will go a lot farther and do their bodies so much more good.
In case you are in the area and need a little temptation to come out and support this event or perhaps you are further away and want to make my treats your self. Here are the two items I will be bringing:
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. If you have been following me on twitter (@OurLadyof2nds) or like my facebook page (facebook.com/OurLadyofSecondHelpings) you may have seen me posting about searching for the best pumpkin oatmeal cookie recipe. Well after a few weeks and many many cookies I think I found it. I was looking for one that delivered on flavor, texture, and came in at 2 or less Weight Watchers Points Plus per cookie. The recipe I put together was inspired by a few different cookies I came across online and tips from several friends who bake and eat healthily. The edges have a nice crispness, the center is a little fluffy, and the flavors are a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little nutty. I really like this cookie, it is a little fussier than I normally make, but the end result turned out to be well worth the extra ingredients.
My second treat is one that has become an old stand by in our house. Triple Chocolate Mini Brownies! I was forwarded the recipe by an online friend shortly after joining Weight Watchers. These are the ultimate guilt free treat and taste the best if kept in the freezer and warmed in the microwave one of two at a time. They come out warm, soft, fudgey after about 30 seconds of heating. My one complaint about these would be their tendency to be sticky. Something about the low fat content, I think, makes them quite moist on the outside. Storing them in the freezer eliminates that issue and helps keeps them out of reach of impulse snacking.
I hope you try these yummy treats, they could be just the ticket to get through the coming holiday sugar fest. Bring these to share at a party or turn down other treats knowing there is something waiting at home that you like and won’t derail your efforts to be healthy.
Triple Chocolate Brownies
Pay no attention to the healthy ingredients in this recipe, these babies are all chocolate!
3 c. Kellogg’s Original All-Bran
2 1/2 c. water
1 box Betty Crocker Low Fat Fudge Brownie Mix
1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 TB mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray
- In a large mixing bowl, combine bran cereal and water and let soften for 5 minutes.
- Once the cereal has soften give it a couple stirs to turn it creamy and fold in the remaining ingredients being careful to mix well.
- Fill regular sized muffin tins with a scant 1/4 cup of batter or approximately 1 tablespoon for mini muffins.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes but do not over bake.
These little keep great in the freezer for a couple of months. Take out one or two and microwave for about 20 seconds for an indulgent chocolatey treat!
Recipe yields approximately 30 regular or 50 mini brownies.
Nutrition per 1 large or 2 mini brownies: Calories: 77; Fat 2g; Carb 16.5; Fiber 3.5g; Protein 2g
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
The combination of pumpkin, cranberry, orange, and pecans makes these light little cookies a perfect autumn bite!
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh orange zest, finely diced
1 3/4 c. old fashioned oats
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Smart Balance 67%
1/2 c. unsalted, butter
1/2 c. nonfat, plain greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. dried cranberries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, zest, & salt in a medium bowl.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and smart balance with sugars until light & fluffy. Mix in yogurt, egg, vanilla, & pumpkin.
- Stir in dry ingredients until fully incorporated then fold in cranberries and pecans.
- Drop scant tablespoonfuls of batter onto lined pans and bake 13-16 minutes until tops are lightly browned and edges are slightly crisp.
- Let sit for 1 minute and then cool completely on a wire rack. Cookies will keep for several days in an airtight container. Yield approx.: 60 cookies
Nutrition per cookie: Calories: 79; Fat 3.4g; Carb 13.5; Fiber 1g; Protein 1.3g