Orange Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Who said that you need to skip dessert if you are trying to lose weight? Well, not if you choose wisely and these light mini cream cheese cups are the perfect size to satisfy your craving for something sweet without making you feel guilty.

I really like the recipes from Weight Watchers because when you taste them you don’t think “oh this is light/low fat”… you just think “that’s delicious” and still healthy. To me that’s essential. You can serve them to everybody. I took these little cups to a picnic and people could never tell they were light. They taste like cheesecake and are very yummy!! Believe me.

Orange Cream Cheese Cookie Cups

Recipe from Weight Watchers

Ingredients

  • 225g low fat cream cheese, divided
  • 3 tbsp fat-free skim milk
  • 2 tbsp light margarine
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened orange juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat two 12-cup miniature muffin pans with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To prepare cookie dough, in a large mixing bowl combine 55g cream cheese (approximately 1/4), milk and margarine. Beat on low speed until blended.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Beat flour mixture into cream cheese mixture on low speed until blended.
  4. Transfer cookie dough to a lightly floured surface and knead gently 4 times. Divide dough into 24 equal portions and press each portion into bottom and up sides of prepared muffin pans; set aside.
  5. To prepare filling, in a food processor or large bowl combine remaining 170g cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, egg, orange juice, zest and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  6. Spoon 2 teaspoons filling into prepared cookie cups. Bake until filling is set and edges are golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Yields one cookie cup per serving.

Notes

  • For a tarter version, substitute fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the orange ingredients.
  • ProPoints value: 2

Yield: 24 mini cups

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Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

There are so many reasons why you should try these cookies, so it won’t be any hard for me to convince you. First of all, how can you go wrong with the combination macadamia nuts + cranberries? Second, they are good for you, not just by making you happy, but because they don’t take butter. That’s right… NO BUTTER! It’s “macadamia butter” 😉 So all the fat comes from the macadamia nuts.

I first tried these when Risé (my roommate when I was in the US) made them and they are now on my favorite cookies list for sure. The original recipe is in the Cooking Light Cookbook of 2006, which was my Christmas present in 2007 also from Risé. So thanks Risé for giving a try to these wonderful treats!

I thought about adding chunks of white chocolate to the dough, but then it would miss the purpose of being light… and I already ate two of them.

Macadamia Butter Cookies with Dried Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional… I also like them without the sugar)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C/170°C gas.
  2. Place nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. Combine macadamia butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well.
  3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ground nutmeg, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined (mixture will be very thick). Stir in chopped cranberries. Chill 10 minutes.
  4. Divide chilled dough into 30 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in a small bowl (if using). Lightly press each ball between your hands and press one side on the sugar (if using); place the cookie, sugar side up, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Gently press the top of each cookie with a fork. Place 15 cookies on each of 2 baking sheets, allowing about 1 inch between them.
  5. Bake cookies, 1 baking sheet at a time, at 375°F/190°C for 9 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from pan; cool on a wire rack. Repeat procedure with remaining cookies.

Yields: 30 cookies

Nutrition Information per cookie: Calories: 76, Fat 2.5g, Saturated fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated fat: 1.8g, Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g, Protein: 1g, Carbohydrate: 13.2g, Fiber: 0.6g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Iron: 0.5mg, Sodium: 44mg, Calcium: 7mg

 

Light Niçoise Salad

This recipe is a good tip for those of you who wants to control the amount of calories or you just want a very light lunch, but without lacking in flavour, of course. This is a light version of the (apparently classic) Niçoise salad that I adapted from a recipe that I saw on the Weight Watchers website. It’s very colorful, and since we eat with our eyes first, this is a good choice and you don’t feel guilt after eating it.

Light Niçoise Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 160g green beans, fine, trimmed and halved
  • 2 portions romaine lettuce, shredded (enough for two people)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 8 black olives, in brine, pitted
  • 1 can (185g) tuna chunks in brine, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 level teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • spring onions, finely sliced (optional)

Preparation

  1. Hard-boil the eggs, then drain and cover with cold water. Lightly cook the beans in salted water for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Arrange the lettuce on 2 serving plates with the spring onions (if using), tomatoes, beans and olives.
  3. Shell and quarter the eggs. Arrange tuna and eggs on the salads.
  4. Mix olive oil and mustard with the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over salads and garnish with parsley.

Yield: 2 servings