Lighter Side of Treats

I am still working on my New Year's Resolution to eat healthier (a few set backs along the way) but what is Valentine's Day without sweet treats? Since my co-workers and I are participating in a Biggest Loser competition, I didn't want to tempt them or myself but I can't pass up an excuse to play in the kitchen.

Luckily, Pinterest was loaded with low-fat dessert recipes. I decided to try a few as cupcakes. My co-workers, kids, their teachers, and Pete's co-workers all said they were great. I guess I just had higher expectations because I was disappointed. All the reviews said how amazing they were and the taste was good, but the texture was a little gummy. I'd rather save my calories for the real thing. But if you try them and find a way to avoid the gumminess, please share your discoveries.

Cream Soda Cupcakes

This was my first attempt. I took a box of white cake mix and added it to a can of diet cream soda. I did add 3-4 drops of food coloring because it was not quite as pink as I was hoping for. Stir until just combined and bake according to the package.

Some of these started to pull away from the wrapper and fell apart. I assume this is due to a lack of eggs in the batter.

Chocolate Yogurt Cupcakes

This one was apparently on Dr. Oz. I took a box of dark chocolate fudge cake mix, added one cup of water and one cup of non-fat greek yogurt. Stir until combined and bake according to the package.

Light Cream Cheese Icing
This frosting is a little runny: firmer than a glaze but not nearly as thick as a butter cream.

1 bar reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup fat free greek yogurt
1 small box sugar-free cheesecake instant pudding mix
1 small tub lite cool-whip
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 cups powdered sugar (I added this to try and thicken it up a bit)

Blend the cream cheese and yogurt together, add pudding mix & vanilla, lastly add in the cool whip, beat all until smooth, add in powdered sugar to taste. I had enough to do both sets of cupcakes because you couldn't pile it on or it would run off.

I also made some Red Velvet Cupcakes from a mix. That time I used a can of diet coke and added two eggs. They did not fall apart like the cream soda versions, but they still were a bit gummy.

Since I actually like Valentine's Day treats more than Christmas ones, I couldn't stop at just diet cupcakes. Pictured above are some pretty easy and quick treats that add big WOW factor.

White Chocolate Popcorn
Simply pop a bag of microwave popcorn (or a few if you want more) according to the directions. Melt a cup of white chocolate chips for each bag you pop. Spread the popcorn out in a large shallow dish lined with wax paper. Pour the melted white chocolate over the popcorn and stir (I prefer to use my hands) until all the popcorn has a thin coating. You can also add nuts, pretzels, candies, whatever you like. For this Valentine's version, I added pink & red M&M's, then drizzled the mixture with some melted semi-sweet chips and topped it all off with some red/white/pink sprinkles. Also chocolate to set. Once dry, break apart into chunks and serve.

Salted Hugs
Spread wax paper on a cookie sheet. Line up waffle pretzels on the sheet, top with a Hershey's hug. Put in the oven on low heat 10-15 minutes or until the hug is collapses when touched. Take sheet out of the oven and put an M&M on each smashing down the hug as you do. Let the hug set, then serve.

Chocolate Covered Oreos
I used a mold which you can find at Michael's or any craft supply store that carries Wilton products. Melt your favorite chocolates and follow the directions on the mold.

Lovable Peanut Butter Blossoms
To make this a Valentine Cookie, I simply rolled them in pink and red sugar instead of regular and topped with a chocolate heart instead of a Hershey Kiss.

1/2 c shortening
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar firmly packed
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
48 Hershey Kisses

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Combine all the ingredients (except the kisses) in a large bowl and mix at the lowest speed until dough forms. Roll dough into balls (about an inch). Roll balls in sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375˚ for 10 -12 minutes. While in the oven, unwrap about 48 Hershey Kisses.

When cookies come out of the oven, top immediately with a kiss and push firmly so the cookie cracks around the edges.


Kendra Thornton said…
Hi Sarah!

I have a quick question about your blog please email me when you get a chance...thank you!!

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