Apple White Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Maple Glaze Drizzle

apple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleThis is a health & fitness blog soooo let’s just focus on the fact that there are apples in these cookies and pretend they’re healthy. (They’re not. Not even a little bit.)

apple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleapple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleapple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleI made these apple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzle for a Christmas cookie swap, and they were DELICIOUS. Usually I am horrible at baking (remind me to tell you about the wax paper vs. parchment paper disaster and the oops-I-was-supposed-to-put-eggs-in-those? incident), but these are a homerun.

apple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleapple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzle

Apple White Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Maple Glaze Drizzle

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips

Maple Frosting Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp. apple juice, as needed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter. Skin, core, and finely chop apple.
  2. In large bowl, thoroughly mix together melted butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and milk; stir until fully combined.
  3. In separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, cloves.
  4. Slowly add mixed dry ingredients to the large bowl of sugar and wet ingredients. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Fold in white chocolate chips and apple.
  6. Place spoonfuls of batter on a nonstick cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 14 minutes.
  8. While baking, mix together maple frosting ingredients. When done, remove cookies from the over, place on cooling rack, and drizzle with the maple frosting glaze. Let cool.

apple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleapple white chocolate chip cookies with a maple glaze drizzleTreat yourself this Christmas with these cookies!

 

Greek Yogurt & Crushed Almond Banana Popsicles

There’s just something about summertime that makes me want to put popsicle sticks in any and all things edible. Bananas were a perfect place to start.

This recipe is super easy—both to make and on your waistline. To make 4 popsicles you’ll need:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls almonds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Popsicle sticks

You can buy the almonds crushed, crush them in a food processor, or take a more hands-on approach (sorry for the loud banging, neighbors)…

Mix the Greek yogurt and peanut butter together in a bowl. My friend told me she loved eating yogurt with peanut butter and my first reactions was BARF. But it is actually delicious. And as someone who can easily take down a jar of peanut butter in two days, I’m ashamed that I ever doubted the combination. Peanut butter makes all things (most importantly, life) better.

Set up a little banana popsicle assembly line with your bowl of pb yogurt, a bowl of crushed almonds, and a plate or pan covered in parchment paper.

Cut each peeled banana in half and carefully insert the popsicle stick in the cut end.

Coat the banana in Greek yogurt. It’s easiest to roll it in the bowl and then spead evenly with a knife.

Coat in crushed almonds.

Lay the banana on your plate. Repeat the process with each banana piece.

Once you have your batch of banana popsicles, put them in the freezer for 3 hrs. Hopefully your freezer isn’t as sad-looking as mine (i.e. empty except for three nips of cheap vodka). In my defense, I rarely buy frozen foods and do the majority of my shopping in the produce aisle.

Last up, enjoy! These popsicles can be a healthy dessert choice or a guilt-free midday snack to beat the summer heat. I took a bunch of pictures of me enjoying one outside but…I think rule #1 of being classy is to not be photographed eating a banana or banana-shaped food. If you catch my drift…

The pictures were probably even too awkward for a bloopers album haha. Suggestive food photography aside, I hope everyone has a great Thursday—get out there and enjoy happy hour!

Red, White & Blueberry Gelatin Cheesecake with Graham Cracker Crust

Blueberries, why must you be PURPLE?!? Just humor me, pretend they’re blue, and marvel at this festive Fourth of July dessert.

As you’ll see, I’ve done my best to make it as healthy as dessert can be. I’ve cut out a ton of sugar, and I’ve swapped out some junk for applesauce and Greek yogurt. I’ll start with general assembly instructions (it’s a time-intensive one!), and break down each layer in detail below. I will say, one thing I’ll do differently next time I make it is put the cheesecake layer on top as a frosting instead of down below. It kinda mushed everywhere under the weight of the gelatin layers.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS see below for layer details

  1. De-leaf and chop pint of strawberries, toss with 1 tbsp sugar and set aside (it’ll make them soft and syrupy for when it’s time to puree).
  2. Make and bake graham cracker crust.
  3. Make cheesecake layer, spread evenly over graham cracker crust, refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. While crust and cheesecake layer chill, make blueberry gelatin mixture and let it sit at room temperature. When time, pour evenly over cheesecake layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. While crust, cheesecake layer and blueberry layers chill, make lime gelatin mixture and let it sit at room temperature. When time, pour evenly over blueberry layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. While crust, cheesecake, blueberry and lime layers chill, make strawberry gelatin mixture and let it sit at room temperature. When time, pour evenly over lime layer. Refrigerate over night (or at least 3 hours).

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

For the graham cracker crust, I gave this recipe a complete healthy makeover. I cut out almost all the sugar and replaced half the butter with applesauce. You can make this applesauce substitution for butter in any recipe, but because graham crackers, cinnamon and apples are a phenomenal flavor combination on their own, it was more than a health swap—it was a definite taste-enhancer for the crust.

  • 10 graham crackers (about one package; I used low-fat organic)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (honestly, I think you can even omit this)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Finely crush up all the graham crackers. I took a rolling pin to a heavy-duty Ziploc bag filled with them.

Mix together all ingredients. (Taste the mixture; it’s delicious!) Use the back of a spoon to evenly flatten the mix into the bottom of a greased 10×5 loaf pan.

Bake for 9 minutes at 375 degrees. (Time will depend on the size of your pan and the thickness of your crust.)

LOW-FAT NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE LAYER

Low-fat cheesecake? Thanks to EatingWell.com, I can confidently say it’s possible! Granted, is any cheesecake going to help you loose those last five pounds? No. But who cares, close enough. Greek yogurt is truly a godsend when it comes to making healthy baking substitutions, and this is no exception.

  • 1 package Neufchatel cheese (it’s exactly like cream cheese but has 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Whisk everything together until smooth. An electric mixer is ideal, but a fork worked fine for me—plus I got in a great arm workout.

BLUEBERRY PUREE GELATIN LAYER

I adapted all the gelatin layers from this recipe from Food Network Magazine, but cut out half the sugar and sweetened condensed milk.

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet gelatin (¼ oz)
  • ¼ cup water

Toss the blueberries with the sugar. Puree in a blender. Heat on the stove until hot. In a separate bowl, sprinkle gelatin packet in the water and let stand 1 minute. Mix in the hot blueberry puree.

LIME GELATIN LAYER

  • 2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 packet gelatin (¼ oz)

Boil the ½ cup water and pour it in a bowl with the condensed milk. In a separate bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the lime and 2 tbsp water. Add to the boiling water/milk mixture and stir.

STRAWBERRY PUREE GELATIN LAYER

  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 packet gelatin (¼ oz)

Puree the strawberries and sugar in a blender. Heat on the stove in a saucepan until hot. In a separate bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and let it sit 1 minute. Mix in the hot strawberry puree.

You can serve it with a dollop of whipped cream on top or with some slices of fresh fruit. It’s DELICIOUS. I don’t even want to admit how much of the pan I ate for “dinner” last night…

What are your plans for the 4th of July? (Besides making this patriotic gelatin cheesecake dessert).