Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2

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While it seems blasphemous to categorize this as a ‘problem’, I feel as though I’ve got to be honest…I afraid I do have a bit of a peanut butter abuse problem lately. When it comes to Reese Pieces, Peanut Butter M&Ms, or any baked good with ‘peanut butter‘ in it’s name or description, I’ve got it bad. Unfortunately for me Peanut Butter is a very caloric food, which is why I went nuts last week when I discovered the best invention of the 20th century: PB2! A low-calorie Peanut Butter alternative, made with real peanuts, PB2 is a powder that you simply mix with water to get seemingly delicious, creamy real peanut butter – but with 85% less calories than real peanut butter. Can you see why I’m swooning?

After finding out about this little culinary gem I immediately got my paws on a jar and started baking. My first endeavor with PB2? These perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies. These treats are not only low-calorie, but also vegan so long as you use vegan chocolate chips. I found that adding a little bit extra salt added to the Peanut Butter authenticity, however if you are interested in cutting back on sodium these would be just as tasty without.

Perfectly Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies With PB2
Makes 30 Cookies | 91 Calories Per Cookie

Ingredients:
*2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
*1 Cup Quick Oats
*1 Cup Sugar
*1 Cup Mashed Banana (I always mash mine with a fork)
*1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
*1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
*1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
*1/2 Teaspoon Salt
*3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
*1 Tablespoon Vanilla
*Egg Replacer Equal to 1 Egg
*8 Tablespoons PB2 + 4 Tablespoons Water

Directions:
*Pre-mix your PB2 in a small bowl, set aside.
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until it begins to look like thin cookie dough. Add in your PB2, the mixture should be sticky and not too thick.
*Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or a large mixing spoon, spoon 30 evenly spaced out dollops onto your pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 22 minutes at 350 degrees.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. If you enjoy chilled treats as I do, I would recommend chilling in your fridge in tupperware before enjoying, especially in the summer.

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Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

I can’t believe it’s already June, time flies when you’re having fun am-I-right? Summer in San Francisco can be pretty chilly/windy and all around deceiving as a season, so I always find myself looking for creative ways to trick myself into falling into that summer-y spirit. Along with eating lots of frozen yogurt and frequent weekend getaways to nearby warm locales, one of my favorite trickster tactics to employ is to bake fruity delights in keeping with the season. These Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies that I baked for Father’s Day is one such example.

These cookies were inspired by a freaking amazing cake I tried a few months back when I was visiting my best friend in Los Angeles to celebrate her birthday. The Lemon Early Grey cake was from this stellar local bake shop Valerie Confections which I highly recommend you try if you’re ever in the area. Although these are shortbread cookies, they only clock in at 80 calories per cookie making these vegan treats are light as well as delicious. Happy baking!

Low-Calorie Vegan Lemon Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies
Makes 30 Cookies | 80 Calories Per Cookies

Ingredients:
*2 cups whole-wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*egg replacer equal to one egg
*2 tablespoons agave nectar
*3 teaspoons lemon juice
*tea leaves from 2 packets of Tazo Earl Grey Tea

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Once mixed add all wet ingredients and mix until you have a thick batter which can be kneaded into cookie sized balls.
*Using your hands create 30 golf ball sized cookie dough balls and space them out evenly on a pre-greased cookie sheet.
*Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and use a fork to push down your cookies so they will be more flat.
*Return them to the oven for 5-7 more minutes or until slightly browned on top.
*Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
*Optional: You can glaze these with a light vanilla glaze recipe like this one and substitute almond or soy milk and earth balance for butter if you so desire. I ended up using this recipe to glaze half my batch and it complemented the flavors very well.

Birthday Cake is the Best Cake.

Mini-Birthday Cake Cheesecakes with Candles
Mini Birthday Cake Cheesecake that is! I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, sadly I only eat it once in a blue moon because it is so rich. That’s why I was excited when I stumbled upon this recipe for Low-calorie Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars over at at Skinny Taste. Before I got a chance to try this awesome looking recipe, I saw some adorable cupcake sized cheesecakes at a shoppe, and it got me thinking, what if I tried giving this low-cal cheesecake recipe a funfetti twist? With a few minor alterations and substitutions to the recipe, my Mini Birthday Cake Cheesecakes were born!

Mini Birthday Cake Cheesecakes
Recipe makes 12

Ingredients:
For the Batter
*1 container, or 6 ounces Greek Yogurt, I used Vanilla
*2 Egg whites
*3/4 cup cake batter (I used Pillsbury Sugar Free Vanilla)
*8 ounces light Cream Cheese
*2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
*1/4 cup brown sugar
*1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
*1 Teaspoon Colorful Candy Non-pareils
*12 Cupcake Liners

For the Crust
*4 Graham Crackers
*1 Tablespoon Oil
*1 Tablespoon Soymilk

Mini-Birthday Cake Cheesecakes

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350° and put cupcake wrappers into your 12 cupcake tins.

Directions:
For the Graham Crust
*Take your Graham Crackers and put them inside a ziplock bag and seal it. Using the back side of a spoon and a hard surface such as a cutting board, press the spoon firmly against the crackers in the bag till they turn into a fine graham powder.
*Pour the Graham Crumbs into a bowl, and mix with your oil and soymilk. If your mixture will still be crumbly, that is totally alright, the batter will flatten it out! Distribute evenly amongst the 12 cupcake liners so the bottom of each liner is covered.

For the Cake Batter
*Microwave your cream cheese for 30 seconds or so, or until soft.
*Mix all remaining ingredients except the colorful non-pareils in a large bowl till the mixture comes out smooth. Once it is smooth dump your non-pareils into the mixture and mix very lightly, only till they are distributed throughout. Be careful, over mixing at this point will turn your batter into a brown rainbow!
*Bake 25 minutes, or until your cakes begin to slightly crack on top.
*Set out to cool for 30 minutes, put on a candle and enjoy!

I popped these bad boys in the fridge after they were cool, and they make a tasty warm weather treat too!

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