Identity Crisis Cookie

For those of you who may not know, I haven’t kept up with this blog in a while because I went back to work full time. Well, to make a long story short, between the cost of daycare and bills, I couldn’t afford to continue working. Crazy I know, but I guess that’s just the struggles of being a single mother. Not to mention because of that $954 a month daycare (yup, you heard me correctly), my kid was sick constantly and that was heartbreaking! Luckily, my best friend, Brittany, introduced me to a product called SPARK because I was looking for more energy (and if you haven’t heard of it or tried it before leave me a comment, you have GOT to it’s amazing!) and I felt better than ever after drinking just one! Once I started bringing an extra income in, I realized that she changed my life that day with that little packet of SPARK. I now share Advocare products with friends and family and what that has done is helped me buy back my time with my son. I was able to pull Jackson out of daycare and spend all of my time with him, while pursuing a life of debt freedom so that I can pay off my student loans, move into our own place, and continue to live a life where we are just happy and spending all of our time together every single day. I can honestly say that I LOVE what I do!

Now you’re probably wondering WHY I’m telling you all of this? Well, since I started on Advocare’s products, I’ve never felt better in my life! I’m actually taking care of my health now (which for all my fellow moms out there, you know we tend to put ourselves on the back burner in order to make sure we’re doing everything we can for our kids first). But most importantly, I was able to change my parents health and make an impact on the health of my friends and family as well! So, the reason I got into this little back story, is to tell you that my eating habits have significantly changed for the BETTER and I’m constantly trying to find ways to live a healthier life for not only myself, but for friends and family as well!

Wait.. before you freak out, no that does not mean I’m only going to post “healthy” dessert recipes from now on, but yes it db9 barsdoes mean every once and a while I will be sneaking some in! Like this one today. I recently fell in love with a protein bar that Drew Brees designed himself, called DB9 bars. I always eat one before I workout. They’re so amazing, they taste like COOKIES! Well, that protein bar inspired my cookie recipe today! Best part is, they’re both GOOD for you and you don’t have the guilt of eating a bunch of fattening cookies all day! I know all my cookie monsters’ eyes just lit up out there! 

 

This recipe contains NO SUGAR and NO BUTTER! Too good to be true, right? Wrong! This cookie tastes just as good as a cookie loaded with sugar, fat, and calories! If you don’t believe me… try it for yourself! 

pc11

 

Identity Crisis Cookie
Originally oatmeal raisin cookies, that turned into a "something for everyone" cookie!
Servings
24cookies
Servings
24cookies
Identity Crisis Cookie
Originally oatmeal raisin cookies, that turned into a "something for everyone" cookie!
Servings
24cookies
Servings
24cookies
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 2. In a large bowl combine mashed bananas, agave nectar, honey, egg, vanilla, and almond milk with a whisk. 3. In a separate medium sized bowl, combine whole wheat flour, Muscle Gain protein powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and flaxseed and stir with a spatula until evenly mixed. 4. Fold in the rest of the ingredients (oats, granola, raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts). 5. Line pan with silicone mat or parchment paper. 6. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart. 7. Bake for 12 minutes and immediately transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. 8. Store in a loosely covered container for up to one week.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

These cookies are extremely quick and easy to make, anyone can do it! Also, any of the “extra ingredients” (raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts) can be substituted for more of another ingredient (for example: if you don’t like raisins, take out the ½ cup of raisins and replace it with an extra ½ cup of walnuts, or you can add in your own ingredients like coconut flakes or dried cranberries). This cookie is a mix between an oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and sort of a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie (except with walnuts), and it’s also healthy, but it doesn’t taste healthy. Hence the name “Identity Crisis Cookie”. It’s meant to be a fun “everything” cookie, you know, like an everything bagel. Ha. So feel free to get creative! 

Alright, first things first, preheat your oven to 350º. In a large bowl, mash 2 large extra RIPE bananas (by extra ripe I mean the more brown/black, the sweeter the banana will be, therefore the better). These are going to replace all that fattening butter cookies usually contain. Next, add in ¼ cup of agave nectar (great substitute for sugar), 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, and ¼ cup of sweetened or unsweetened almond milk (great healthier alternative to regular milk). Whisk to combine all of these ingredients together. 

pc1

In a separate medium sized bowl, add ½ cup of whole wheat flour (you can also substitute this for gluten free flour), ¾ cup of Advocare’s Muscle Gain protein powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix these up together evenly with a spatula so that all the dry ingredients get evenly distributed. 

pc2 pc3

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones in the large bowl, and fold with a spatula until almost combined (you don’t want to overmix this, so it’s ok if they’re not completely mixed together). Dump in the rest of the ingredients and gently fold with a spatula until they’re all mixed together nicely. 

pc44

Line a baking pan with a silicone mat, or if you don’t have one you can also use parchment paper. I used a tablespoon scoop to scoop out the batter in generous heapings. Pop these bad boys in the oven for 12 minutes and immediately transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

pc8

THATS IT! How easy, right? Like I said anyone can do it AND everyone will love it! 

pc10

Warning: these cookies may become a little sticky the next day, totally normal due to the agave nectar. Keep them stored in a loosely covered container for up to a week (if they even last that long in your house)!

The skinniest Oreo Cheesecake you’ll ever meet

Raise your hand if you like Oreo’s! Raise your hand if you like cheesecake! Ok, now raise your hand if you like eating healthy dessert! Uh oh.. did I lose a few hands there? Are you thinking “dessert isn’t healthy, that’s why it’s dessert”? Well, today I’m here to inform you that you can have your cake and eat it too. This delicious Oreo cheesecake recipe isn’t necessarily “healthy”, but it is “skinny“. Meaning its under 150 calories per piece. Oh and did I mention they taste just as good, if not better, than a super fattening piece of cheesecake? I think I’ve got your attention now! 

7

Not only is this Oreo cheesecake recipe “skinnier”, it’s also easier and quicker to make! 

Skinny Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Skinny Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Ingredients
Servings: bars
Instructions
For the crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, crush about 30 Oreo cookies until fine. Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter to the crushed cookies and mix well. Line a 10 inch square pan with aluminum foil so that enough hangs over the edges of the pan. Spread cookie crumbs evenly in the pan and pat down firmly with your hand. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the cheesecake filling
  1. Beat softened cream cheese for one minute with a hand or stand mixer on low. Add the yogurt, egg whites, sugar, and flour and beat on low for 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and vanilla and beat for one minute. Fold in Oreo's. Spread filling on crust evenly with a spatula and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil, bake additional 5 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Remove from fridge, lift foil out of pan and cut into squares. Keep covered in fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month. Serve and enjoy!
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Start off by setting your oven temperature to 350º and take all of your cold ingredients out of the fridge to cool to room temperature. Then, start crushing about 30 Oreo cookies in a food processor (I used a Magic Bullet, and it probably just fits 30 cookies, so I crush a handful of cookies at a time).  Once the crumbs are fine, dump them in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of melted butter. It’s easier to mix this with your hands, that way if you have any cookie chunks you can break them up with your fingers. For this recipe I used a 10 inch square pan, but essentially you can use whatever size you have (keep in mind you might have to adjust cooking times and servings size may vary so each piece might not be under 150 calories). Line your pan with aluminum foil so that enough hangs off the sides. This will help make removal of your bars a whole lot easier! Spread your cookie crumbs into the pan and pat down firmly with the palm of your hand. Pop the pan in the oven for 8 minutes to bake your crust. Once it’s done, let it cool completely while you mix together the best part: the filling. 

Your cream cheese should be softened by now, so start beating it in a medium size bowl with a hand or stand mixer on low speed for 1 minute. I used reduced fat cream cheese to lighten things up here. You don’t want to over-mix or mix on any speed, except low. Just be gentle with this cheesecake! ;) Add ¾ yogurt (nonfat plain greek yogurt), 2 egg whites, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, and beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Then, add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of vanilla and beat for less than one minute, just until everything is combined smoothly. 

1

 

This next part you can do with your hands, break up about ¼ cup of Oreo cookies into chunks and then fold into the batter. 

 

23

 

Your crust should be completely cool now, so go ahead and spread the cheesecake batter on top of the crust evenly with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 350º. Remove from the oven, cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil (to ensure even cooking and prevent too much browning), and bake for an additional 5 minutes

5

 

I know you probably want to dive right in and cut it now, don’t you? Well, you have to let it cool for about 30 minutes. 

4

Sorry, but it’s not done yet! Cover it back with the aluminum foil and let it chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Yes, I know, such a tease, but I promise it will be worth it later! 

6

After your cheesecake has chilled out, cut it into squares (makes 20), and ENJOY!  The best part about eating this dessert, it’s completely GUILT FREE! Feel free to share with your friends that it’s “skinny” or don’t and trick them into eating it first.  

7

 

These are delicious and low in calories, but if you’re still sitting here thinking “I want the REAL DEAL“, check out my post on the best (not “skinny” by any means) Oreo cheesecake recipe here

8 9 

Happy Easter to all my Peeps

It’s that time of year! Easter is here! Bright colored eggs and pastel candies have officially filled every store in town! I saw Peeps on sale the other day and thought to myself, “wow, when was the last time I ate one of these?”. I started to reminisce to my childhood, when Easter meant waking up to an Easter egg hunt and a basket full of candy and stuffed animals! Those were the days! Well, I decided to treat myself this year with several boxes of Peeps and bags of chocolate bunnies and eggs (not like I need it or anything)! Then, it got me thinking.. I’ve never baked anything special for Easter. Of all the holidays, I think Easter has some of the cutest decorated treats too. So as I’m scrolling through Pinterest looking at cute Easter ideas, I came across several pictures of cookies that look just like Peeps! How genius! And EASY! If you’re not huge into decorating, trust me this is the recipe for you! Everyone will be impressed too because they’re so adorable. 

pc15

Unfortunately, I won’t be giving out my recipe for my sugar cookies. I was sworn to secrecy by my boss when I worked at a bakery for my internship for Le Cordon Bleu in south Florida. The woman I worked for has the most amazing sugar cookie recipe and all of her customers always raved about them. I’ve made and tasted plenty of different sugar cookie recipes, some which have no flavor, others that don’t come out perfectly shaped, and then luckily hit the jackpot with discovering hers. So my advice here is, if you don’t happen to make sugar cookies on a regular basis and have a super amazing recipe like mine, go ahead and buy a sugar cookie mix at the store. I’ve never actually made a cookie mix, but I’m sure they will do the trick! In fact, that will make last minute decorating even faster! 

 

Don’t worry I’m still going to show you how to decorate these little Peeps cookies like a pro! ;) We’ll start with the icing. Which is actually Wilton’s royal icing recipe. Super easy and delicious! And it only has 3 ingredients! 

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 5 tablespoons warm water

*If you don’t want to go out and buy meringue powder just for this (as it can be pretty expensive), substitute the water and meringue powder for half of one egg white at room temperature. If your icing is too thick, add water a little at a time until you achieve the consistency you need* 

First, sift the confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. 

pc3

Once the sugar is sifted and lump free, start scooping it into your mixer along with the meringue powder and water. (Or if you’re substituting the meringue powder and water, go ahead and add your egg white).

pc2 

Beat on low speed for 7 minutes, scraping down the bottom and sides halfway through. The consistency you are trying to achieve is almost the same as toothpaste. It’s best to make it more on the stiff side because you will be using this as an outline on your cookies. Therefore, it needs to hold up nicely when piped. If your icing is too thick, add water ½ teaspoon at a time. If your icing is too runny, add more sifted confectioner’s sugar. 

pc4

(This is an example of icing that is too runny. You can see how its dripping in a stream down into the bowl. I had to add a few more tablespoons of sifted confectioner’s sugar.)

pc5

(When you lift your whip and the icing holds shape and doesn’t drip down, thats a good indication that you’ve achieved the right consistency.)

Now separate the icing into different bowls (depending on how many different colors you are going to use). I use the gel food coloring from Michael’s, but they sell liquid pastel/neon food colors at Publix that will work just fine for this (anything bright and colorful is a good color for Easter)! Slowly add gel coloring with a tiny amount on a toothpick, or tiny drops, because a little goes a long way. 

 pc6

 Make sure you keep all of your icing covered with plastic wrap because it dries out very quickly!

pc1

Now, once your cookies have baked and cooled completely, it’s time to decorate!

If you want to do this the professional way, scoop each colored icing into a piping bag with a coupler and set aside two different tips. I like to pipe the outline with a thin tip (Wilton #2 or #3) and fill it in with a wider tip (Wilton #10 or #12). If all of this mumbo jumbo sounds like too much work and you don’t have these supplies, have no fear! There is NO need to use them for this cookie. You’re going to throw sprinkles all over the top at the end anyway, so putting some icing in a plastic ziploc bag and cutting a small hole at the end will do the trick!! 

Start by outlining each bunny or chick Peep shaped cookie (cookie cutters found at Michael’s, which by the way has a 30% off coupon on their site good for this weekend) with each icing color. 

pc7

Like I said before, none of this has to be perfect because it is going to be covered in sprinkles! 

pc9

Once you’ve finished outlining the cookies, it’s safe to thin out the rest of the icing to fill them! Add water drops at a time with a ½ teaspoon spoon. Be very careful doing this, because if you add too much water you’ll need to add more stiff icing and then more food coloring to make sure you get the same color you already piped. So I literally add water in drops and mix with a spoon little by little until it drips off the spoon and melts into one uniform puddle in the bowl. 

pc10

(Like this.) Now you can fill in the cookies with your thinner icing. 

pc11

Again, doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be covered in sprinkles and nobody will even notice you did all of this work (sigh). If you wanted to, you could even spoon out the icing onto the cookie and smear it around with a spoon. Yup, that will work for this cookie. SEE HOW EASY, anyone can make these! 

pc12 

Once the cookie is covered in icing, sprinkle a matching color sprinkle on top while the icing is still wet. Then, shake off the excess sprinkles. These are not your average circle sprinkles, these are tiny square sprinkles you can find at Michael’s. For example, these blue ones are labeled “Blue Sugar” on the container (so I’m guessing these are formally called “Sugar Sprinkles”?).

pc13

 *The best way to do this is on a separate baking tray with parchment paper on top. Place one set color of cookies on it at a time. That way, when you’re done sprinkling all the blue cookies you can lift each end of the parchment paper in half making a funnel and pour the extra sprinkles directly back into the blue sprinkle container. That way you don’t have to waste any sprinkles or make a big sprinkly mess all over the counter! Then repeat with each color! *

pc14

Here’s all my Peeps! :) But they’re not Peeps just yet. They need those silly little brown eyes and noses! I melted a few (only about 5 to 10) chocolate chips in the microwave and then mixed the melted chocolate with a spoonful of white royal icing I set aside. (It’s hard to get a nice brown color, so the easiest way is adding melted chocolate.) I cut a teeny tiny hole in a plastic bag and piped these onto their cute little colorful faces. 

pc15

Yay! Peeps, but cookie version! :) They’re so cute and fun for everyone and they taste great! Who doesn’t love a cookie covered in sprinkles anyways? 

I took a big box of these to work and I’m so sad I forgot to take a picture of them all wrapped up together! But they would make a cute little Easter basket for someone special! 

pc16

Are those cookies or Peeps in there? ;) 

Or you can even individually wrap them and give them out to friends or family for Easter! 

pc17

(Sent these to my son’s teachers at daycare yesterday!)

You can even eat them all up and treat yourself this Easter since you’re probably not receiving an easter basket like when you were a kid (and if you do, I’m jealous)! Whatever you choose to do with them I hope you enjoy making these Peeps cookies because they are really fun, cute, and they taste SO yummy! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter with their families! God Bless :) 

 

In the theme of pretty Easter colors, here’s an easy dessert you can also make this weekend! I made this cookie cake for my mom’s birthday (and all of the April birthdays) at work! 

IMG_4969

Get the full recipe here!