Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

In preparation for Thanksgiving Day, I made a big Turkey, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, GravyStuffing Muffins, Green Bean Casseroles, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Pineapple Fluff Salad , Pumpkin Pies, Pecan Pie Bites, Whipped Cream, and Apple Pies. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking. There may not be enough food! What will we do if we run out of food?

So I made more food. Just in case, you know?

Actually, I’m not worried about having enough food. But looking over that list, there is a definite shortage of cheesecake. It also occurred to me that I might enjoy a low sugar dessert on Thanksgiving day. That is why I took my Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe and adapted it to make fun these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups.

We can all sleep better now knowing that along with the other 26 dishes on the Thanksgiving buffet, there will also be low sugar cheesecake. I’m not sure the day would have been complete otherwise.

Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups


Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups
Serves: 24
  • Shortbread Crust:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard white wheat for this)
  • ½ cup sucanat (or brown sugar if you prefer)
  • 1½ cups melted butter
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
  • 2 8-ounce packages softened cream cheese
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Real maple syrup or liquid stevia to taste (I used 4 droppers full of stevia)
  1. Make crust by stirring flour and sucanat together in a bowl.
  2. Add melted butter, combining well.
  3. Press mixture into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
  4. Bake in a 350° oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Allow crust to cool completely.
  6. Blend all pumpkin cheesecake filling ingredients together until smooth.
  7. Scoop into prepared shortbread crust cups.
  8. Spread until smooth.
  9. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

I found it fun to use fall-colored muffin cup liners for the occasion. Come Christmastime, I’ll use red and green. :)

Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

I made the filling with stevia and was concerned that others might not like them as a result. But since the shortbread crust has a little sucanat and is so buttery and yummy, that balances the taste out for others. As for me, I think they are perfectly sweetened. In fact, I’m having to hold back to save the majority of these for Thanksgiving day. After all, there would be a definite void on the table if there were only 26 food choices and no cheesecake whatsoever.

Here’s to a wonderful holiday weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Easy Pecan Pie Bites

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It’s my turn to be a part of the Thanksgiving Recipe Swap! Others have shared appetizers, main dishes, and side dishes. Now it’s dessert time! (I’m sharing Pecan Pie Bites below. You will love these!)

Click over here to find all of the recipes included in the swap. Just to temp you, I’ll tell you what recipes you’ll find there:

  • Goat Cheese Artichoke Dip
  • Cranberry and Pecan Stuffed Brussels Sprouts
  • Pumpkin Spice Fruit Dip
  • Perfect Roast Turkey Breast
  • Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
  • Gluten Free Stuffing
  • Roasted Garlic Green Beans
  • Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts
  • Cranberry Orange Bars
  • Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
  • Protein Packed Pumpkin Rolls

Don’t those all sound awesome?! Go help yourselves to any or all of the recipes!

Now for the Easy Pecan Pie Bites recipe. These will just take you a few minutes to whip up. What a great addition to your holiday table!

pecan pie bites4

Let us all take a moment to notice something about these Pecan Pie Bites that doesn’t even matter a little bit but that absolutely really does matter:

These Pecan Pie Bites are adorable and cute.

Cute food matters. Food tastes better when it’s cute. I’ve tried to convince my sons of this truth. I see cute food and think, oh look how cute this food is. They see cute food and they are like, why are these Pecan Pie Bites so tiny? These teenage sons of mine proceed to eat the treats in large quantity which almost, but not quite, negates the cuteness.

I suppose I should also let you  know that these Pecan Pie Bites are very easy to make. They are made with only five ingredients, which are of course, all real food ingredients. They are naturally gluten and dairy free, which is a lovely bonus if that is a need for you. You can put these together in just a few minutes – my favorite kind of recipe. And above all, they are cute. Cute, cute, cute.

They are also magic, so prepare to be amazed. See, you put a pecan at the bottom of each muffin liner. Then you pour in the pie mixture. The pecan rises and bakes at the top, making magical cuteness.

pecan pie bites5

Easy Pecan Pie Bites


Easy Pecan Pie Bites
Serves: 24
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 pecans (about ½ cup)
  1. Fill 24 mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Place a pecan at the bottom of each liner.
  3. Whisk together honey, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla.
  4. Scoop mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling about ¾ full.
  5. Bake in a 350° oven for 15-25 minutes or until evenly browned.

Easy Pecan Pie Bites ~ Naturally Gluten and Dairy Free

See? I told you they were easy. These will be wonderful to have on your holiday table so that when there are pumpkin pies and apple pies and cheesecakes and all the other desserts – people can take one (or five) of these cute little Pecan Pie Bites which have portion control already built in. How very practical of them.

Enjoy, and I’ll see you over at the Thanksgiving Recipe Swap!

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How to Make Whipped Cream

Of all the food I make from scratch, this is the one that tends to really surprise people who are unfamiliar with the simplicity (and deliciousness) of real food cooking.

“You can make whipped cream!?!?” they ask, incredulously. That’s when I tell them that they, too, can make whipped cream. Then I hand them the beaters and watch as they follow my ever so simple instructions to make whipped cream. (Stand, hold beaters in bowl of cream, move beaters around a little bit, watch fun patterns forming, stop when it’s thick.) After they’ve whipped the cream, thus creating whipped cream, they can’t believe that this is all it takes. I explain that this is how whipped cream got its name. It’s all very fascinating.


Cool Whip has us all a bit confused. I remember thinking that Cool Whip was whipped cream. As a matter of fact, Cool Whip used to be my favorite part of a holiday meal when I was a little girl. I did not even want the pie that went with it. Why would I want pie when there were tubs of Cool Whip in abundance? My cousin Rebecca and I would each get a bowl and fill it with Cool Whip. We’d sit back, giggling, licking spoonful after spoonful of Cool Whip. Our mothers and our aunts and our Nana would chuckle at us and we’d be like, “What?! This is the reason the pilgrims came over on the Mayflower.” We left the pie (and the coffee they drank with it) to the adults. Weirdos.

I’m all grown up now (she says, as she takes a sip of coffee). I’m over Cool Whip. I like the real stuff now. Real whipped cream is one of the easiest treats to make. Because it is real, it tastes absolutely amazing. Our bodies recognize it, so we don’t even have to be like “oh no, I’m eating so much fat, this is so bad for me.” On the contrary, our bodies don’t recognize and don’t know what to do with hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, sodium casienate, artificial flavor, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan, monostearate, sodium polyphosphate.

Those are just some of the key ingredients in Cool Whip. Please don’t think it’s healthier. Or actual food. For the love of all things real, please whip cream.

How to Make Whipped Cream


5.0 from 2 reviews
How to Make Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar or 10 drops liquid stevia
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  1. Place ingredients in a high power blender. Whip on high speed for about 30 seconds or until cream has thickened. OR
  2. Put all ingredients into a large bowl. Whip with a hand mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until cream thickens and forms stiff peaks.

Make Ahead Whipped Cream

I recommend making Whipped Cream one day in advance or the morning of a big holiday meal. Prepare as directed, cover, and place in a bowl with a lid in the refrigerator until serving time. DO NOT STIR whipped cream after it has been whipped or it may deflate and become liquidy.

Easy Blender Whipped Cream

My new favorite way to make whipped cream is to pour cream, stevia, and vanilla into my Blendtec. I turn it on and have whipped cream 15-30 seconds later. It is so easy. The Blendtec is amazing in many ways (because hello, whipped cream in seconds). But beware: leaving the cream to whip much longer will produce butter. This is not a problem (because hello, butter in minutes) unless you wanted whipped cream for your pie. Butter is not the same.

How do you make Whipped Cream?

Other recipes in this series so far:

Getting Ahead for the HolidaysLeave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of three $25 Gift Certificates good toward any of our eCourses or downloadable items in the Heavenly Homemakers Shop!

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How To Make Your Own Frozen Pies

Last I checked, Sara Lee charges over $3 for her frozen pies. I don’t blame her. I’d charge $5. But when I make my own pies, it can cost as little as $1 and I know what ingredients I’m including. Plus I’m making mine with love and all that. (Priceless, no doubt.)

Making a frozen pie is as easy as making a not frozen pie. Not that making a pie is easy. Nor is it really hard. You just have to commit, you know? You have to be like, “Today I am going to mix together and roll out pie crusts. I’m just going to do it and get this job out of the way. Everyone will love the pie. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Let’s do this.”

Then, after you mix and roll your crusts, you add whatever filling you want (pumpkin, apple, etc). You wrap them well, and you freeze them.

This is exactly how Sara Lee does it. Only she puts hers in a box. We’ll skip that part.

This post is chuck full of pie-making tips, recipes, and instructions. Shall we begin?

How to Make a Whole Wheat Pie Crust


1.0 from 1 reviews
How To Make Your Own Frozen Pies
Serves: 1 crust
  • 1¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup Palm Shortening (or butter)
  • 4-5 Tablespoons cold water
  1. Place flour, salt and shortening in food processor.
  2. Blend until shortening is cut throughout the flour and the mixture resembles crumbs.
  3. Drizzle in the water while the food processor is still whirling.
  4. Continue until a ball of dough forms.
  5. Roll out your dough into a circle on a well floured surface.
  6. Fold the circle in half. Then fold it in half again.
  7. Place your dough in your pie dish with the folded corner in the center.
  8. Unfold the dough, shape it into the dish and make the edges pretty. (see tutorial video below)
  9. Poke your dough a few times with a fork to keep it from poofing up in the oven.
  10. Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Or, fill it with pie filling and bake as directed in specific pie recipe.

How to Shape a Pie Crust

You can look through a picture tutorial on this post to see the specifics of how to roll a pie crust and place it in a pie pan.

Want to watch me shaping a pie crust a few years ago? Watch the video below. (Click here if the video doesn’t show up for you.)

How to Make a Frozen Pie

How to Make Your Own Frozen Pies

To make a frozen pumpkin or fruit pie, make it according to the directions but do not bake. Wrap the unbaked pie very well in plastic wrap. You might even consider putting the wrapped pie into a freezer bag for extra freezer protection. Label the pie. Freeze for up to three months.

To bake your frozen pie, take it out of the freezer and put it directly into a cold oven. Turn on the oven and bake as directed allowing a little extra baking time if necessary. See how easy this is?!

apple pie freezer 2

If you plan to make a cream pie, bake your crust as directed, allow it to cool, then wrap and freeze. Thaw crust and add your cream filling before serving.

Holiday Pie Recipes

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

2 cups canned or frozen pumpkin
2/3 cup brown sugar or sucanat
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs
1 ¼ cup heavy cream

Whisk together all ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Freeze if desired. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pie comes out clean.


Apple Pie Recipe

5-6 apples (any variety)
1/4 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Wash and slice apples. Stir in sucanat and cinnamon. Make a double pie crust recipe. Place one crust on the bottom of a pie pan. Spread apple pie filling into the unbaked crust. Place the second pie crust on top. Seal and shape as shown in the video above. Freeze if desired. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes.

I usually have prepared Apple Pie Filling in my freezer, making this super simple.

Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

Make as directed above, only make a single pie crust. Top apples with crumb topping recipe found here.


If you’re hoping to Get Ahead for the Holidays, I highly recommend making your pies soon and putting them into the freezer to pull out for easy baking the day before your meal!

Other recipes in this series so far:

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{Low Sugar} Lemon Melt-Away Cookies

I’m almost embarrassed to admit to you how many batches of Easy {Low Sugar} Cookies our family has eaten since I posted the recipe in September. We all declare these to be the best “why would we ever need more sugar in these cookies” cookies. They are incredibly delicious just as they are. I make them often. You should too.

Easy {Low Sugar} Cookies

Low Sugar Lemon Melt-away Cookies

I’ve long since stopped rolling and cutting when I make those cookies. After all – if life is too short to knead bread dough, it’s certainly too short to get out a rolling pin and cookie cutters. (Although I will be rolling and cutting for the holidays because there are laws enforcing the making of cookies into the shape of trees and stars and candy canes at Christmastime.) Instead of rolling and cutting in the non-holiday season though, I’ve been either freezing and slicing or simply dropping and squooshing (as detailed below).

Every time during the past few weeks I’ve made the drop and squoosh sugar cookies, Malachi walks by and says, “Man, I always think these are some kind of lemon cookies. Mom, you should make these into lemon cookies.”

Either my kids are related to me, or they just naturally get inspired with, “great recipe. now let’s tweak it.” Some of my best recipe ideas come from the brains of my boys. Need I remind you of the Pineapple Fluff Salad? Or the 5-Minute Stove-Top Granola? Now, allow me to introduce you to {Low Sugar} Lemon Melt-Away Cookies.

Lemon Melt-Away Cookies

I simply added 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice to my Easy {Low Sugar} Cookies recipe and voila: {Low Sugar} Lemon Melt-Away Cookies. If we loved the regular version, we love the lemon version even more. I used the drop and squoosh technique, which is the method all the professionals use. To squoosh is a real thing. I definitely did not make up the term five minutes ago. All the famous chefs squoosh. Squooshing is a well-known culinary term just like saute, dredge, and braise. (Though it might be used more often by cooks who say “slap it down into a pan,” “toss in a little of that,” and “throw it down on the table.” Still. Professional.)

Simply put, to squoosh is to press down lightly on a ball of cookie dough with the bottom of a drinking glass. Dip the glass into a small amount of sugar if necessary to keep it from sticking. Drop a scoopful of dough, squoosh it down with the bottom of a glass. Drop, squoosh, drop, squoosh. Or, to be more efficient: drop, drop, drop, drop, drop (x24) – squoosh, squoosh, squoosh, squoosh (and so on).

It looks something like this:


It must please you so much to be taught these professional terms so that you can impress everyone around you as you cook and bake. “What are you doing?” a friend will ask. “Oh, I’m just squooshing my cookies,” you’ll reply. Then your friend will nod in quiet appreciation at both your skill and your knowledge. They will also enjoy eating your cookies.

Now I shall give you the Low Sugar Lemon Melt-Away Cookie recipe that will have you squooshing in no time.

{Low Sugar} Lemon Melt-Away Cookies
Serves: 24-30
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ½ cup sucanat or raw sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (give or take)
  1. Stir together melted butter and sugar.
  2. Add lemon juice, eggs, vanilla, and baking powder.
  3. Stir in flour until a solid ball of dough forms.
  4. Drop teaspoon-sized balls of dough onto a cookie sheet, about an inch apart.
  5. Squoosh the dough down gently with the bottom of a glass.
  6. Bake in a 350° oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Low Sugar Lemon Melt-Away Cookies ~ Easy!

It’s time to start squooshing, friends. Is this a skill you’ve already mastered, or is this one a new one for you? Let the squooshing begin.

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Make Your Own “Nesquik”

Homemade Nesquik

Want to know something about Chocolate Milk?

Nobody needs it. It’s not a health food. We probably shouldn’t drink it.

Yet I still have a homemade “Nesquik” recipe to share with you. Why?

Because it’s fun, because it’s tasty, and because some people love their chocolate milk. So if you at least had an option to drink a healthier version of chocolate milk, wouldn’t that be nice?

Here’s the info I found on the official Nesquik website. This is what you find in the store-bought variety of the powdered mix…


What’s with all that stuff in there? If you can possibly imagine, I just learned to make a chocolate milk mix with the simple yet magical ingredients I like to call cocoa and sugar. For real? Are we sure we can have our chocolate milk without adding some niacinamide? Because I just don’t know.

Here’s how easy this is: You put your cocoa and sugar in a jar, then you add two dashes of salt – which is a fun little ingredient that enhances the sweetness and completes the package. Shake it up, and you’ve got a fine little treat – if you think you can get along without the copper gluconate. (I am having the best time listening to all of you try to pronounce these words as you read.)

Homemade Nesquick

1/2 cup cocoa powder (they’re still offering a 25% off Amazon coupon on Nativas organic cacao powder!)
1 cup sucanat
2 dashes of salt (I use Redmond Real Salt)

Put all ingredients into a pint sized jar. Put a lid on and shake the ingredients until they are well mixed. To make chocolate milk, add 1-2 Tablespoons of mix to a 12 ounce glass of milk. Stir well.

And that’s it. Making Homemade Nesquik will take less effort than finding your missing shoe.

Make Your Own Nesquik

My boys were thrilled with this fun treat, so I went ahead and made a half gallon of chocolate milk. The next morning was chilly, so I used the mix to make hot chocolate. (Just warm the milk, then stir in the milk as directed above.)

What’s your relationship with chocolate milk? 

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How to Make Refrigerator Cookie Dough – Save Money and Use Healthier Ingredients

This idea was born out of pure laziness. I was hungry for my Easy {Low} Sugar Cookies, but the idea of chilling the dough, and rolling out the dough, then cutting out the dough…oh it was all just too much.

I don’t want to knead bread dough, I don’t want to roll out sugar cookies…has it really come to this? (Yes.) So here is what I did to save myself some effort and time:

I mixed the dough. I took half of the dough and I rolled it up in parchment paper – just like a tube of dough you would buy at the store, except that mine didn’t have a Pillsbury Dough Boy pictured on the side. I stuck the tube in the fridge. It worked so well, I did the same with the other half of the dough. It was too easy. An hour later, I sliced my cookie dough tubes. I baked my slices (just as the recipe states). I rejoiced that I had avoided the difficult task of using a rolling pin. I ate a cookie.

Sugar Cookie Collage

Just a reminder that these cookies are very low in sugar – kind of like a sweet, buttery biscuit. We don’t miss the extra sugar because they are so delicious just as they are. If you were wanting to try the Easy {Low} Sugar Cookies recipe but balked at the idea of rolling and cutting and getting flour down the front of your shirt – just roll the dough into a tube. You will feel so Betty Crocker-ish, perhaps a little Martha Stewart-y, but mostly you will break in to a Heavenly Homemaker dance. Do not ask me to show you what this looks like. 

One thing has led to another with cookie dough tubes in my kitchen. These are all the other important facts you need to know:

These Cookie Dough Tubes freeze well.Yum

These are so easy and fun to make, that I found that it made sense to make several batches to freeze to have on hand for all the cookie emergencies. To do this, simply place the parchment paper-wrapped dough into freezer bags, label, and freeze. Thaw in the fridge, if you think ahead better than I do. Otherwise, set the frozen dough tube on the counter-top for about 15 minutes, then slice and bake (according to the time and temp as directed in the cookie recipe). Yes, it’s that easy.

These Cookie Dough Tubes cost much less than what you can buy at the store.

I did the math, because I was curious and thought maybe you would be too.

One recipe of sugar cookie dough cost me roughly $2.60. This was using high quality ingredients, most of them organic. I get two tubes of dough out of one batch, each making about 18 cookies. This breaks down to $1.31 for one tube of cookie dough! Take that, Dough Boy! (I’m sorry. That wasn’t nice. You are adorable. You just aren’t good for us. And you are expensive. This is not your fault, because you are imaginary.)

These Cookie Dough Tubes aren’t limited to just sugar cookies.

Obviously, you can use this same idea to make other varieties of cookie dough. Chocolate chip works very, very well.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Collage

Need the recipes? But of course!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easy {Low} Sugar Cookies

I haven’t tried yet, but I’m very sure this idea will work with:

Whole Wheat Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Christmas Spice Cookies

How to Make Refrigerator Cookie Dough

Have you tried this idea before? What other varieties of cookies should we try with this idea?

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Sugar Cookies ~ the Whole Wheat, Low Sugar, Super Delicious Way

Easy (Low) Sugar Cookies

I tinkered with my old sugar cookie recipe and cut the sugar from 1 1/2 cups down to just 1/2 cup. I personally think it could be cut even more, but that’s because I am weird about sweetness levels now. I’m the one who thinks coffee is sweet when it has only cream stirred into it. It looks so creamy delicious, and I say things like “mmm it is so sweet and good” while I’m sipping it, so my people keep trying it thinking that maybe this time I really mean it. I mean, I do mean it – why would I lie? It’s sweet. But then they take a sip and they make faces and say, “Eww that is so not sweet, what are you even talking about?” This is how I never have to share my coffee.

Now sharing these cookies is a different story. Everyone loves these lightly sweetened jewels. The butter makes them flaky good. This will be my new go-to sugar cookie recipe at all holidays, special events, and uneventful Wednesdays when the mood strikes.

Note about the sugar: Most of the time I use sucanat because it is sugar with some nutrients left behind. For occasional recipes when I’d like to avoid the product turning out too dark brown, I pull out some organic raw sugar. It’s only barely better than white sugar, but we’re going light on the sugar here so I don’t throw a fit about this.


Sugar Cookies the Healthier WayYum

Sugar Cookies ~ the Whole Wheat, Low Sugar, Super Delicious Way
Serves: 20-30
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ½ cup sucanat or raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3½ cups of whole wheat flour (give or take)
  1. Stir together melted butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking powder.
  3. Stir in flour until a solid ball of dough forms.
  4. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.
  5. Roll chilled dough on a well-floured surface and thin or thick as you like.
  6. Cut with cookie cutters and place them about a half inch apart on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake in a 350° oven for about 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
  8. Makes 20-30 cookies depending on the thickness and size.


sugar cookies 4

Notice the little round piece of squished circle dough, ready to be baked along with the pumpkin-shaped cookies. It is a part of the “No Cookie Left Behind” program. It’s what you do when your remaining dough isn’t big enough to shape.

Frost these cookies if you like, but then they fall out of the Low Sugar category. We find these to be perfect as they are, and some of us love to eat them with our coffee that is sweetened only with cream.

It’s almost cookie rolling, cutting, and baking season – so I can’t wait to hear what you think about these! (We’re on our third batch already. I may have failed to mention to my kids that I cut down the sugar in this recipe. Do not tell.)

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(No Flour) Monster Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – The Heathier Way

Real Food Monster Cookie Bars

When I saw the original recipe for these bars here, what really jumped out at me was the “no flour” thing. Avoiding flour is always a nice option in recipes. I also noticed the “mini m&m” thing but decided that while those are fun and tasty, they are on the naughty list and not required to make these cookie bars good. Then I wondered if I could cut back on the 2 cups of sugar and the amount of chocolate chips.

Do I know how to ruin a good recipe, or what? 

Hey. I didn’t ruin a thing. I simply cut back on the sugar and cut out the corn syrup and 10 different food dyes. The cookie bars are still delicious, so says my family and several other people I have served these to who didn’t even know I’d healthified this recipe. It probably helps that these bars still have plenty of sugar in them.

The oats and lack of flour create a really fun, chewy bar. I say, make these then wrap them individually and freeze them to grab out for lunch boxes or on-the-go snacks. This makes 24 good sized bars.

(No Flour) Monster Chocolate Chip Cookie BarsYum

1 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups creamy natural peanut butter (here’s how to make it yourself)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick oats
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream sugar, butter, and peanut butter together until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda and mix well. Stir in oats until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread mixture into a cookie sheet lined by parchment paper. Bake in a 350° oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 24-36 cookie bars, depending on how large you cut them.

No Flour Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies (the real food version)

Make these gluten free by using GF oats. Learn to make your own Quick Oats here.

Enjoy this very easy treat!

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Homemade White Chocolate Sauce

White Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Gather ’round, friends. I have something to tell you.

We have been lied to. Every one of us. We’ve been told that cooking real food is hard. And not just real food – any food. We’ve been deceived into believing that most foods must be purchased pre-made.

Take, for example, the time a friend of mine made my recipe for Homemade Alfredo Sauce for a church get-together. Every adult was like, “This is delicious. You made this? By yourself? How did you do it? You are amazing!” and my friend was like, “Actually it took about ten minutes and very little effort and all I did was follow a recipe.” (Though I personally still think she should take credit for being amazing.)

C’mon now. Pretty much anything that comes in a box or a jar or a bottle at the store can be made at home with healthier ingredients – and most foods are actually pretty easy to make. (Why hello, Gatorade. I did not buy you. I made you myself.)

Join me in offering a big smack-down of these lies. You can do this real food thing. I’m here to help. (And I’m also here to give you a White Chocolate Sauce recipe. What are friends for?)

When I served this sauce along with homemade Hot Fudge Sauce and homemade Caramel Sauce in my Iced Coffee Bar, some of my friends were like, “Where did you get those sauces? Wait. You made them?” When I told them how I did it, they were shocked at how easy it sounded. Measure, heat, stir, done. It’s too easy.

So yes. You can make Hot Fudge Sauce all by yourself. You can also make Caramel Sauce all by yourself. And now you can make White Chocolate Sauce – all by yourself. It’s all too easy!!

(This is the part where I pipe in with just a little warning: While these sauce recipes are easy and made with all real food ingredients – they are still full of sugar. Don’t drink these sauces or decide that they are a great substitute for vegetables. Instead, use them for an occasional special treat. Okeedokee.)

Homemade White Chocolate Sauce

Homemade White Chocolate SauceYum

1 1/2 cups cocoa butter wafers
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cane sugar (I use this sometimes when sucanat – which is brown – will change the color of the product too drastically)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir cocoa butter wafers, cream, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until wafers have melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm.

Note: The sauce hardens in the fridge, so I recommend storing leftovers in a wide mouth jar so you can actually enjoy the leftovers. Take a look at the picture of the container I put our white sauce in and ask me how much fun it was to try and get the leftovers out of that. It is so good for you to learn from my mistakes.

Another note: Cocoa butter wafers are different from white chocolate chips. White chocolate chips are actually made from cocoa butter and sugar. For this white chocolate sauce recipe, you’ll need just the straight cocoa butter. It’s not cheap. I have found some at Amazon and Mountain Rose Herbs (Amazon is cheapest right now because of free Prime shipping). But let’s just say that while this recipe is delicious, I will not be making this recipe often. Cha-ching. (This is probably a good time to put another plug in for way-less-expensive-per-pound vegetables. Okeedokee.)

Homemade White Chocolate Sauce for Iced Coffee and Ice Cream

Enjoy this White Chocolate Sauce on ice cream, in your Iced Coffee Bar, in your hot coffee, in your hot chocolate…and what else?

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