Easy Low Sugar Orange Melt-Away Cookies

orange sugar cookies

In case by now you’re wondering if I’m obsessed with creating these Low Sugar Melt-Away Cookie varieties, the answer is obvious that of course I am obsessed. After two attempts at creating this here orange flavored variety, I have definitely decided that of all the flavors – orange is my new favorite.

Why two attempts, you ask? Oh well. I just burned the first batch, that’s all. Guys, it is so weird what happens to cookies when you put them in the oven, walk away, and then forget that there is actual life going on outside your office door. So weird. Someone should have warned me about this. We can’t even leave cookies unattended in a 350° oven for 27 minutes. Did you know that???

Set a timer much, Laura?

You know what? Just…I know, okay? I should have set a timer. I used to have one of those clicky, clicky, clicky timers but it got dropped four too many times so its spinner stopped spinning. Then Matt got me a digital timer that was persnickety and sometimes decided to shut itself off because it was selfish and couldn’t care less about the company coming over to eat in exactly 52 minutes. After a few months of this behavior, I declared it to be faulty and went to the store to purchase another one just like it. It, however, had the same exact issues as its brother and that is what tipped me off that maybe that brand couldn’t be trusted.

After that, I decided I could just use the timer app on my phone. This is a great idea except that it takes so many difficult and tedious steps to get to the point of actually setting the timer (find phone, turn phone on, unlock screen, find timer app, open timer app, think about how much time has elapsed since I started this whole process so I can figure out how long to set the timer at this point, so on and so forth). Also, I really hate to touch my phone when I have egg white on my fingers.

I think you can all see now how challenging it has been to accurately time my baked goods. I have mostly resorted to trusting my nose to be my timer. Typically, cookies and casseroles smell “just right” when they are ready to come out of the oven. What more do I need?

Oh yeah, just someone to remind me that I am actually baking cookies in the first place.

So the first batch burned. They were edible, just really, really crispy and not at all picture worthy. Over the weekend, I tried again. Oh my goodness, I will (go to the trouble to) set a timer from now on. It is worth it to pull the perfect cookies out of the oven when they are perfectly perfect in every way.

Easy Low Sugar Orange Melt-Away Cookies

Easy Low Sugar Orange Melt-Away Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ½ cup sucanat or raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • The juice of one medium-sized orange
  • grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (give or take)
Instructions
  1. Stir together melted butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, orange juice, and baking powder.
  3. Grate orange rind into the mix for extra flavor.
  4. Stir in flour until a solid ball of dough forms.
  5. Drop teaspoon-sized balls of dough onto a cookie sheet, about an inch apart.
  6. Bake in a 350° oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

grate orange rind

In other scatterbrained related news – the second time I made these cookies, I was talking to a friend and didn’t realize until later (like 9 hours later) that I hadn’t put eggs into the mixing bowl. These still turned out to be my favorite cookies. So eggs in this recipe? Take ’em or leave ’em. These turn out fine either way. This is further proof that I can’t talk and cook at the same time. Like you needed more proof.

Low Sugar Orange Melt-Away Cookies

Want to try the other varieties of these cookies?

Hey, just curious. What kind of timer do you use??

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Pyrex Storage Set Deal Alert!!

Christine emailed to tell me of this great deal on a 10-Piece Pyrex Storage Set. Get the entire set right now for just $12.63. No guarantees on how long this price will last. I have these, love them, and use them all the time!!


pyrex

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Easy Low Sugar Almond Melt-Away Cookies

Easy Almond Cookies

This recipe is a direct result of me sharing my Low Sugar Lemon Melt-Away Cookies and several of you saying, “Sounds good! I think almond extract would be a great idea to try in these cookies too!”

Thanksgiving and Christmas happened in the meantime – so three months later, it took me five minutes to try your idea. No sense rushing into anything. 

I was also waiting to see how my attempt at Homemade Almond Extract would turn out. What a bummer. Making Homemade Vanilla Extract is a total no-brainer so I was hoping almond extract would be the same. I soaked almonds in vodka as recommended by several sites, then I even simmered off some of the alcohol – but it didn’t turn out Almond Extract like I’m used to using. Then I looked at the ingredients on my purchased Almond Extract and there is “almond oil” included. Is that what gives my purchased extract the yummy almond smell and flavor? If any of you have successfully made Almond Extract, will you please share all your secrets?!

In the meantime, taking my basic Easy {Low} Sugar Cookie recipe and adding different flavors has been super simple and yummy. Here’s a quick link list for you:

Low Sugar Almond Melt-Away Cookies

Yum

Easy Low Sugar Almond Melt-Away Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ½ cup sucanat or raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (give or take)
Instructions
  1. Stir together melted butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla, almond extract, 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. Bake in a 350° oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Low Sugar Almond Melt-Away Cookies

I love it when I can cut the sugar so drastically in a recipe and my kids can’t tell a difference. These are perfectly sweetened and the almond extract makes them taste fancy!

I’d love any other flavor suggestions to try with these cookies. And if you’re an almond extract maker, please tell me how you do it!!

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Cinnamon Sugar Pecans ~ a Great Gift or Christmas Snack

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

I don’t know how much these cost in the mall. All I know is that last week when my friend munched on these Cinnamon Sugar Pecans that were sitting on my table she said, “You made these?? These are phenomenal! We buy these at the mall every Christmas – but you made these??!”

Ah, well. I sure do love it when my friends come over and say nice things about my food. I mean – I love it when friends honor me with their presence and I can, in turn, bless them with something tasty to eat. Well, shoot. The food and friends thing – it’s just a win-win you know?

So back to how much Cinnamon Sugar Pecans cost at the mall. I have no idea. They must cost a lot because making these at home is not the least expensive snack or gift you’ll make this Christmas. Pecans aren’t cheap. I prefer organic nuts, but the cost throws me a little bit. I’ll only make these for the occasional treat seeing as our family (along with some friends) downed almost an entire pound of these in a day and a half. Of course, this is not surprising. We are the Coppinger family after all. “Oh look at all her tall, thin boys. They must not eat as much as other teens.” {Laura passes out with laughter.}

The least I can do for us all is to provide a recipe so we can make these at home to avoid having to spend more on these specialty pecans at the mall. I’m guessing these are lower in sugar, too. You’ll love how easy these are to make. And they do make a great gift – if you can package them up before they all get eaten by your family. Christmas blessings to you on that one.

Here are some online sources I like for pecans:

  • Braga Farms – I love this source. We visited their farm. They are fantastic people. I buy from them when I can.
  • Amazon – These are about half the price as those above, but they aren’t organic. They are a good quality, though.

Cinnamon Sugar PecansYum

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans ~ a Great Gift or Christmas Snack
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sucanat or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 pound pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Mix sucanat, cinnamon, and salt in a gallon-sized ziploc-type bag.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Whisk egg white, vanilla, and water in a large bowl until frothy.
  4. Toss in pecans, coating them all with liquid.
  5. Pour the coated pecans into the bag with sucanat/cinnamon/salt mixture.
  6. Seal the bag and shake gently to coat the pecans as evenly as possible.
  7. Spread the coated pecans on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake in a 250° oven for 1 hour - stirring every 20 minutes.

Here’s a little look at each easy step of making these pecan snacks: whisk the egg white mixture, stir in the pecans, shake them in a bag with the sugar mixture, spread them on a pan to bake. None of this is difficult.

Steps to Make Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pecans
As a happy aside – my family enjoyed sprinkling some of these on our French toast this morning at breakfast. I’m so excited that these are now a part of our list of holiday goodies to enjoy!

cinnamon pecan french toast

I feel like I should now make a gift card to go with these pecans, just in case I can set any aside to give as gifts. Here are some pretty terrible options I came up with as to what the card should (not) say:

  • Hope your Christmas is as nutty as you are!
  • I think you’re nuts!
  • You’re gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas.
  • Don’t open before Christmas -no pecan! (that one is truly horrible)

Please, Friends. Help me come up with a good gift card tag line. Or maybe we should just eat all of these without sharing.

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Low Sugar Frosted Christmas Cookies

Low Sugar Frosted Sugar Cookies

Some might say that Christmas desserts are treats that should not be messed with. Perhaps whole wheat flour does not belong in a Christmas cookie. Maybe “low sugar” should not be included in a Christmas cookie title. It’s a treat, right? Can’t we just leave it well enough alone?

Sure.

But the more I experiment with cutting down the sugar in my baked goods, the more I’m discovering that treats still taste like treats even with the sugar cut in half or more.

Wait. I don’t know how to write that. “…with the sugar cut in half or more.” Or should it be “…with the sugar cut in half or less.” I’m talking about cutting out even more than half of the originally called for sugar. Less sugar. Cut the sugar by more than half, so that it’s even less. That is what I’m trying to say. Sometimes writing good sentences is so hard. Who decided that fractions would be smaller every time their bottom number gets bigger? Do you know how hard it is to explain to a small child that 1/8 is bigger than 1/16?? It’s the fraction inventors that are making my sentence writing so complicated right now.

Just for that, I’m not giving the fraction people any of my cookies. They can figure out their own half or more or less sugar fraction in their own cookie recipes. Merry Christmas, fraction people.

Well, there’s no good way to segue after this slightly embarrassing but mostly justified outburst. All any of us really needs to know is that we can cut the sugar in most baked good recipes and not taste the difference. Truly this sugar cookie is still so sweet I can barely eat it. My kids – who love sugar-covered-sugar just like all the other kids – cannot tell that these cookies are low in sugar. I daresay that if we left these on a plate for Santa, he’d be like, “Wow, these are the best cookies I’ve had all night, but without the sugar crash. This mother must have used half or more (or less) of the sugar called for in the recipe.”

Good ol’ Santa. He totally gets it.

Low Sugar Christmas Cookies (That Don't Taste Low Sugar)Low Sugar Christmas Cookies

Low Sugar Christmas Sugar Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  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.

If you’d like to frost your cookies but keep them low sugar, I recommend this stevia sweetened frosting.

Stevia Sweetened Cream Cheese FrostingYum

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Liquid stevia to taste (I use 2 droppers full)

Whip ingredients together until smooth. Frost cookies just before serving.

This frosting is not like regular powdered sugar icing. It’s delicious on these cookies, but does not harden or hold up well for the long term. I recommend only frosting a few cookies at a time, as needed. I use the term “as needed” loosely because we are talking about cookies here. Although these are low in sugar so the half or more or less sugar fraction does the lessen the guilt.

Take that, fraction people.

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Homemade Apple Cider in the Crock Pot

Once upon a time, my friend Anne and I went to an orchard nearby and picked over 100 pounds of apples. At the time we had 6 children – ages 12 and under – between the two of us. Therefore, I think it is obvious that neither of us had enough to do with our time and we were frequently bored. That’s why we picked so many apples. That, and the fact that the apples were (mostly) organic, very delicious, and wonderfully priced. Most importantly of all though, it is so much fun to take your kids to an orchard to pick fruit. Days like this are some of my favorite memories of time spent with my boys when they were little.

On that very 100-pound apple day, we borrowed the orchard owner’s apple cider press. He kindly came to our house to set it up, promising to come pick it up again when we were finished using it. Our plan was to get all of our kids involved with pressing cider the old fashioned way. Wouldn’t that be fun?! It was a good plan. A beautiful idea, really.

And so we began.

Oh my goodness, I just realized I have pictures. I have pictures!!! 

cider1 cider2 cider3 cider4 cider5 cider6 cider7 cider8 cider9 cider10

Those pictures make me so happy, I cannot stop giggling. Such precious memories!!! I am going to sit here looking at those for the next few hours. After all, five out of six of those kids are teenagers now, so we are more bored than ever.

Well anyway, it didn’t take long for Anne and I to realize that having our small children press 100 pounds of apples into cider all afternoon was probably a bit unrealistic (you think?). Each child took a turn, then they all headed off to play. Anne and I spend the next few hours pressing cider like super-heros. We got stiff. We got sore. We had a blast. We were a sticky mess. But we had gallons of apple cider by the end of the day.

applecider1

It was fresh. It was raw. It was the best apple cider ever to be made or consumed on this planet.

If I may, I encourage you to find opportunities to pick fruit with your children. There is something so sweet about this experience. Make cider in an apple press if you ever have a chance. It is so much fun. You will look back at this and the pictures you took whilst pressing apples and you will be so in love with the memories.

In the meantime, I have another homemade apple cider recipe option for you. Just this year, I learned to make apple cider in the crock pot. It is much less work than a cider press, though obviously not nearly as endearing. Still, this recipe turned out delicious. I added no sugar! It’s just apples, water, and cinnamon sticks. Deliciousness!

Hot Apple Cider

Homemade Apple Cider in the Crock PotYum

5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Apple Cider in the Crock Pot
 
Author:
Serves: about ½ gallon
Ingredients
  • 10-15 apples, any variety
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-6 cups of water
Instructions
  1. Wash, core, and quarter apples.
  2. Place them in a crock pot with the cinnamon sticks.
  3. Add water, enough to fill the crock about ⅔ full of water (but not enough to cover the apples and cinnamon sticks).
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the apples are very soft.
  5. Use a potato masher to mash the apples and release the liquid.
  6. Cover and allow the cider to cook on low for another hour.
  7. Strain the chunky liquid through a thin cloth. (I saved the solids and blended them to make apple bread.)
  8. Serve warm or store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Homemade Apple Cider in the Crock Pot

This recipe isn’t super specific on measurements. I simply fill my crock pot with cored apples, throw in cinnamon sticks, pour in water to fill about 1/2-2/3 full, then let it cook. Your house will smell like the holidays all day long – an added bonus!

**Free Cinnamon Sticks!***

I wanted to remind you about the free package of cinnamon sticks you can get from Olive Nation this week. They are the best! Here are the details:

Use the code CINNAMONGIFTS for a 10% discount on any sized order. If your order reaches $50, you’ll receive free shipping. AND!!! Your order of $50 or more entitles you to a free gift at check-out!! You can choose from any that they offer, but you should know that for this special promotion, they put together an extra big package of free cinnamon sticks – just for us! (It’s a pack of 10!) For all the fun gift-making purposes mentioned in this post, I’d pick that freebie if I were you.

Have you ever made apple cider – using a press or a crock pot or another method?

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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

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Low Sugar Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  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

Fb.banner (1)

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

Yum

Easy Pecan Pie Bites
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • ½ cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 pecans (about ½ cup)
Instructions
  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.

strawberry_shortcake_2

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

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5.0 from 2 reviews
How to Make Whipped Cream
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar or 10 drops liquid stevia
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Instructions
  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

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1.0 from 1 reviews
How To Make Your Own Frozen Pies
 
Author:
Serves: 1 crust
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup Palm Shortening (or butter)
  • 4-5 Tablespoons cold water
Instructions
  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.

pumpkin_pies

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.

apple_pie_palm_shortening_sm

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:

squoosh

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
 
Author:
Serves: 24-30
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  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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