a lifestyle blog

sweet tooth

We all get cravings for something yummy in our tummies. I typically crave salty over sweet. Goldfish, tortilla chips, crackers, anything crunchy with sodium is fair game. Lately my taste buds have had a change of heart, though. I've been craving ice cream, cake, and candies. Food Network has plenty of delectable desserts that aren't loaded in calories. Get bakin'...


·       1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·       3 tablespoons sugar
·       1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·       1/2 teaspoon salt
·       3 tablespoons cold (salted) butter, cut into small pieces
·       1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
·       1 large egg, slightly beaten
·       1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
·       1 tablespoon sliced almonds
·       Filling
·       4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
·       2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (depending on the ripeness of the berries)
·       2 teaspoons grated orange zest
·       1 tablespoon orange juice
·       2 tablespoons 0 percent or 2 percent fat Greek yogurt per serving, for garnish
·       Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray

Shortcakes: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers until it resembles coarse meal.
Whisk together 1/2 cup buttermilk, the egg, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and lightly mix with your hands just until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. With lightly floured hands, gently pat the dough into a 7-inch round about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 8 equal sized wedges. Space the shortcakes evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Filling: Combine the strawberries, sugar, zest, and juice in a large bowl. Let stand until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is syrupy, about 15 minutes.
Split the shortcakes. Place the bottom halves of the shortcakes on plates and top evenly with the strawberry mixture and the yogurt. Cover with tops of the shortcakes. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if using.

Calories? 215 per serving. Yields 8 servings.


1 cup dried pitted dates, 4-ounces, chopped
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons reduced-fat or no-stir natural chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 full sheets whole wheat graham crackers, finely ground, about 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, not instant
Cooking spray
For coating: unsweetened coconut flakes, crushed graham crackers, finely chopped peanuts, low-fat granola, about 1/2 cup of each, optional


1. Combine the dates, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat breaking up any large pieces of dates with a spoon, until the mixture resembles a thick paste, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the honey, peanut butter, cocoa powder, butter and salt until evenly combined. Stir in the graham crackers and oats. Remove from heat.
2. Lightly mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Drop level tablespoons of the cookie mixture onto the prepared pan. Refrigerate until just chilled and set, about 20 minutes.
3. Put desired optional toppings in small bowls. Roll each cookie in desired topping and flatten slightly into a plump disk. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.

Calories? 67 per cookie. Yields 24 cookies.


·       2 cups all-purpose flour
·       1 1/3 cups sugar
·       2 teaspoons baking powder
·       1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·       1/4 teaspoon cardamom
·       3/4 teaspoon fine salt
·       2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
·       1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
·       1/2 cup boiling water
·       1 tablespoon vanilla extract
·       1 cup lowfat (2 percent) Greek-style yogurt
·       1/2 cup 1 percent lowfat milk
·       1/3 cup canola oil
·       1 large egg
·       1 large egg white
·       1/3 cup currants, soaked in hot water for 1 minute, drained
·       1/2 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
·       Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the cocoa and espresso powder in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
Whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil, egg, and egg white in a large bowl; stir in the cocoa mixture until blended. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in the currants and chopped chocolate.
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake in the center of the oven until a cake tester inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a baking rack to cool completely. Dust generously with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Calories? 180 per serving. Yields 24 servings.


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