When I asked Cheryl, one of my closest friends and author of the food blog Food Judicata, to guest post on this blog, I was very happy that she said yes and totally impressed that she prepared this post in record time.
Cheryl and my mom are the two people who have most supported me with advice (and cookware) since I began my mission to start cooking (of course Mr. Delish has been supportive as well by providing encouragement and taste testing nearly all of my recipes and if I send stuff to my parents my dad will chip in with an "it's good", not to mention my readers and friends). But I digress...
In a nutshell, I would consider Cheryl my primary cooking authority for recipes since my mom, God bless her, can cook really well but gives very unspecific instructions (as my blog title indicates her instructions on how to prepare white fish). Further, Cheryl's blog also inspired me to start blogging. Equally important, Cheryl has been making healthy and tasty meals on her blog and living a healthy/active lifestyle, which is perfectly aligned with my vision for this blog (and also with what I am trying to do in my own life).
I am super-excited about this recipe, the fall flavors seem incredibly enticing and I love that the recipe is a healthy dessert choice.
And so without further ado...Cheryl of Food Judicata
Apple and Cranberry Softies
When Rosann first asked me to be a guest on her blog, the only request that she made was that the recipe be “relatively healthy.” These Apple and Craisin Softies seem to fit the bill because the recipe came from a new cookbook that I am testing out 100 Calorie Snacks and More. Plus the apples and spices are perfect for the season.
When I initially read the recipe, I had no idea why these were called “softies” because in the picture, they looked like ordinary cookies. In order for the recipe to come close to 100 calories (according to the book, one cookie is about 107 calories), the recipe called for some interesting ingredients that I had never used in cookies before, such as sucralose (Splenda)-brown sugar blend, applesauce, and margarine. I will admit, up until a year ago, I was a staunch advocate for using “real” ingredients, such as butter, sugar, and oil. But since then, I have reformed my ways, and decided to keep an open mind. The end result is these “softies,” not cookies. I am not quite sure why, but something about these ingredients turned these “softies” to be more like soft cakey mounds, sort of like miniature bites of apple spice bread, rather than cookies. Plus, with the apples, dried cranberries, and spices make it perfect for the fall weather. So for those of you who are counting calories, be warned, it will be hard to eat just one.
Apple and Cranberry Softies
Adapted loosely from 100 Calorie Snacks and More
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¾ cup margarine, softened
¾ cup sucralose-brown sugar blend (aka Splenda-brown sugar blend)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
Note: The original recipe called for pumpkin pie spice, but since I didn’t have any, I made my own blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. If you have pumpkin pie spice, use 1 ½ tsp.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the first eight ingredients in a bowl. Beat margarine and sucralose-brown sugar blend until smooth. Add egg; beat until blended. Stir in vanilla extract and applesauce. Stir in apple, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
Drop dough by tablespoons on cookies sheets. (The recipe then says to flatten with the back of a spoon. I did not do that, so my cookies are a bit lumpy, but I was fine with that).
Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cook on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, and then remove on to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 36 cookies.