Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

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You know fall has arrived when pumpkin recipes start popping up everywhere and you get the urge to run to the nearest store, pick up a can of pumpkin and bake a delicious fall treat.  I love pumpkin and can eat it in just about anything.  I also love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, so these bars definitely hit the spot!

These bars are quick to whip up and are a delicious treat for any fall afternoon.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart http://www.marthastewart.com/336431/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-squares

Ingredients:

2 Cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 Cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 Cup sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer.  Add vanilla and egg until mixed in.  Add pumpkin and mix until well combined.  The mixture will look lumpy.  Gradually add dry ingredients until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Spread into 9×13 greased pan.  Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.  Cool and cut bars after they are cool.

Makes 30 bars.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4

 

 

 

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Freezer Ready Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

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Chocolate chip cookies are one of life’s greatest things.  They are such a classic cookie and yet they never go out of style.  I love cookies and I never turn down a chocolate chip cookie, which is part of my problem.  I used to whip up a batch of cookies and then I would have to try to not eat the whole batch in two days.  So recently I have started making a batch of cookie dough and baking only the cookies that I want for that day and freezing the rest.  This solves the problem of having too many cookies calling to me from my Tupperware on the counter, but it doesn’t solve the problem of knowing that the delicious cookie dough is lurking in the freezer; but I’ll work on figuring out that problem later.

For this recipe I use the classic Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe, but you could use your own favorite recipe.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Cup of butter

3/4 Cup brown sugar

3/4 Cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 Cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F.  Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, set aside.  Cream together butter, sugars, and vanilla.  Add eggs and beat until well mixed.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

If you want to bake some cookies immediately, place rounded teaspoons of cookie dough onto a sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.

For Freezing: place bowl of cookie dough into freezer for 40 minutes.  After 40 minutes, remove from freezer and shape cookies with a spoon and place into a freezer Ziploc bag.  Once all the dough is shaped into balls place bag in freezer and use whenever the cookie cravings hit!

* If your dough is dry and not too sticky you can immediately shape it into balls and place in a Ziploc.  Mine is usually too sticky right away so that is why I freeze it for 40 minutes before shaping the dough.

I think it’s great to be able to have a fresh cookie whenever the desire hits you, and it is also very convenient when you have guests over and want to treat them with a home-baked good but don’t want to spend the whole evening in the kitchen.

What other baked goods have you frozen for easy baking later?

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Chocolate and Butterscotch Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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Some people grew up loving butterscotch, I was not one of them.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like butterscotch, I just didn’t have it very often when I was young.  Recently I have been using it more and I love its unique sweet buttery flavor.  These cookies are great and I like the mix of both semi-sweet and butterscotch chips that create a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth flavor.  I have also attempted to make these cookies a little better for your waistline by using Smart Balance spread and using Splenda sugar and brown sugar blends.  If you want to use the traditional butter and sugars you can.  For the sugar and brown sugar you need to use twice as much as you would for the Splenda blends.  I have put the amounts for real sugar and brown sugar in parentheses.

I love putting oatmeal in my cookies. I think it gives the cookies a great texture and also makes you feel a little bit better about eating that second cookie.  Hey it adds fiber right?  And helps to lower your cholesterol.  Now you are definitely having the second cookie!

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Smart Balance (or you can use butter)

1/4 Cup Splenda sugar blend (or 1/2 cup sugar)

1/4 Cup Splenda brown sugar blend (or 1/2 cup brown sugar)

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Cup of chocolate chips

1 Cup of butterscotch chips

1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Cream Smart Balance and sugars in a stand mixer or by hand.  Stir in vanilla and egg until well mixed.  In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir gradually into butter mixture.  Once mixed, fold in chocolate/butterscotch chips and oats.  Spray 2 baking sheets with Pam.  Drop rounded teaspoons onto baking sheets.  Bake for 9 minutes until golden.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Makes 24 cookies.

I hope you will enjoy these cookies as much as my family and I have.  They are also 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus so you can enjoy one without the guilt.

What are some of your favorite butterscotch recipes?

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Guiltless Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch Blondies

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Blondies are great right?  That wonderful chewiness and great buttery flavor are just to die for.  I love blondies, which is no surprise as I like pretty much all sweet things, but I can’t make them very often or I would eat them all.  So I have adapted this recipe to make a healthier, guilt-free blondie.  This recipe can help get your sweet fix without all the guilt.

I cut the sugar and fat content in half by using nonfat yogurt and Splenda sugar and brown sugar blends.  This is my first time using the Splenda sugar blends.  I have used the regular Splenda before, but never for baking as I was nervous as how it would turn out.  But these turned out great and I will happily use the Splenda sugar blends again because who can turn down saving half of the calories from sugar?

Recipe adapted from browneyedbaker at http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/08/18/chewy-chunky-blondies/

Ingredients:

2 Cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda                                                                     

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick of butter

1/4 Cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt (plain would also work)

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/4 Cup Splenda sugar blend

3/4 Cup Splenda brown sugar blend

1 Cup chocolate chips

1 Cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray or butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.  In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer, cream the butter, yogurt, vanilla, and sugar blends together.  Add eggs one by one and mix on medium speed for a minute after each egg.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Gradually add dry ingredients to batter and stir until well combined.  Stir in chocolate and butterscotch chips.  Spread dough into baking pan with a spatula.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool before cutting.  This makes about 36 bars.

I hope you will enjoy these blondies as much as I have, and at 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving, how can you pass these up?

 

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