Showing posts with label low calorie dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label low calorie dessert. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

No-Guilt Chocolate Cherries for Valentine's Day from author Cleo Coyle

There is an old joke about deciding
what to eat on February 14th...


"Honey, what are you making for Valentine's Day?"



Whether you're making reservations or a seven course meal, I have an insanely easy recipe for your consideration. 
It has very few calories; is absolutely delicious; and makes a fun, after-dinner sweet to serve with coffee, tea, or liqueurs.

And if you're not celebrating Valentine's Day, even better because these mock chocolate-covered cherries make a fantastic cheer-me-up treat any evening of the year. 
In fact, I ought to call these "Chocolate Cheeries"—and you're about to see why...
Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo's Mock
Chocolate Cherries (Cheeries?)

I've made traditional chocolate-covered
cherries in the past, and even published a
recipe for the classic candy. (You can find
it in book #8 of our Coffeehouse Mysteries, 
Holiday Grind.)

This recipe came about during my testing for
the Black Forest Brownies in our newest entry, Once Upon a Grind.

Black Forest Brownies from the recipe section of
Once Upon a Grind: A Coffeehouse Mystery

During the recipe testing, I soaked cherries in various alcohols and liqueurs to see how the results would taste. In the end, I settled on traditional Kirsch (cherry brandy) or white rum for the Black Forest Brownies. And that recipe will work with fresh or frozen cherries as well as maraschino.

During those recipe tests, I was surprised to discover that soaking maraschino cherries in crème de cacao creates a pretty darn delicious mock chocolate covered cherry.

My husband, Marc, was skeptical. He didn't believe they would taste like a chocolate cherry. But he's a believer now...


1 Jar Maraschino Cherries (with stems)
rème De Cacao

Directions: Open the jar of cherries and drain all the liquid, keeping the cherries intact and inside the jar. Pour the crème de cacao into the jar until the cherries are covered. Seal the jar and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. The "cheeries" are now ready to cheer you up. 

Be sure to label the jar, especially if the grandkids are coming over. Spiked cherries on a hot fudge sundae sounds pretty darn amazing to me, but it's probably not a good idea for a five-year-old. 

Finally, if you are not making reservations and plan to cook a delicious meal this weekend, the crime-writing cooks of Mystery Lover' Kitchen have got you covered in our new Valentine's Day Page. You're bound to find something that tempts you into the kitchen—if not this particular weekend, then another, no doubt.

Valentine's Day!

Stay cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, 

by clicking here. 

Or learn more about the
books and meet Jack Shepard,
our PI ghost 
by clicking here. 

Sign up for my Coffeehouse Newsletter here.
(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

* * * 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brownies and Cream – My Lite Frozen Treats for Summertime Snacking from Cleo Coyle

The first time I heard the word Brookie, I thought it was slang for a resident of Brooklyn, New York. In fact, it’s a cross between a brownie and a cookie, and this Brookie is my favorite recipe for the summer. (I adapted it from another recipe--Cuppa Joe Mocha Drops--which I originally created to make use of my leftover coffee.)

This is a lighter version of that cookie. I replaced much of the butter with low-fat yogurt and canola oil. The chocolate flavor is delicious and the texture soft and brownie-like. They're wonderful eaten warm, just out of the oven, and remain one of my favorite coffee break snacks.

You can drop this batter into a bigger and thicker cookie, which will give you a "Brookie" that tastes like a brownie. 

You can drop the batter into smaller, thinner cookies, which are absolutely perfect for making tasty, little ice cream sandwiches. (As Sue mentioned in the comments, they're kind of a lighter, summertime version of a whoopie pie.)

On the ice cream sandwich making: I’ve used frozen yogurt, sorbet, and sherbet. Below, I’ll show you how I make "cheater" ice cream, which is even lower in fat and calories. It’s also economical. To wit... 

The price of low-fat frozen desserts has been going through the roof--unlike shares of Facebook stock, lol. Actually, I'm not kidding here. In NYC these days, a box of Weight Watchers ice cream sandwiches goes for around seven dollars (for six sandwiches, yikes!). So while my homemade frozen treats are low in fat and fun to make, they’re also much easier on ye olde budget. Another very good reason to…

Cleo Coyle, Brookie baker,
is author of The Coffeehouse

Eat with joy! 
~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle’s
"Brookies" & Cream
Lite Frozen Sandwich Treats

To download a PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Makes about 24 large Brookies or 48 small


5 tablespoons butter, melted 
1/3 cup oil (I use canola) 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or coarse sea salt 
3/4 cup light brown sugar 
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar 
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt (do not use nonfat) 
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*To make this recipe even healthier, replace half of the all-purpose flour with "white whole wheat" flour.


Step 1 – First preheat your oven to 350° F. Next melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir the oil into this and set aside to cool. 

Step 2 – One bowl mixing method: Sift together flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Now add in your two sugars, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Finally add the cooled melted butter and oil mixture. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix by hand until flour is completely incorporated into a thick batter. Now stir about 50 strokes to blend well. Do not over-mix, however, or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your Brookies will be tough instead of tender.

Step 3 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Batter will be thicker than cake batter but thinner than cookie dough. Drop in small mounds with a few inches of space between. Use a tablespoon for large Brookies, a teaspoon for smaller ones. Using the back of the spoon, lightly swirl the mounds into even, level, flattish circles. Bake smaller Brookies for about 8 minutes, larger ones for about 10. Remove from oven. I like to slide the entire strip of parchment paper onto the wire rack--this saves time and avoids disturbing the shape of the Brookies by moving one at a time with a spatula. Serve warm or chill and sandwich together with ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, or sherbet.

CHEATER ICE CREAM SANDWICHES: For a tasty, very low calorie and low fat alternative to ice cream, use whipped cream or Cool Whip (low-fat, vanilla, or chocolate). See my photos below, which will show you how I use Reddi-wip whipped cream to make my chilly cheater treats.


(A) Line the plate:
When making Brookies into ice cream sandwiches, be sure to cover your plate with wax paper or plastic wrap before placing in the freezer or the bottom half may stick to the plate. I place small pieces of plastic wrap down on the plate, fill each sandwich, wrap each one up separately, and store them in the freezer to be eaten over the course of the week, during my coffee breaks. 

(B) Cover lightly: When using whipped cream, be sure place the top Brookie on very gently(C) Allow time to freeze: The whipped cream will freeze after two to three hours.

Prefer a richer buttercream
or whoopie pie marshmallow filling? 
For a richer dessert, put two Brookies together with a vanilla buttercream or chocolate frosting filling. For an easy, delicious Mocha Frosting Filling recipe, download my Cuppa Joe Mocha Drops recipe, which includes directions for this tasty chocolate-coffee frosting. Get the PDF by clicking here.

For a classic Whoopie Pie filling recipe, check out my reply to Sue in the comments after this post, where I posted a traditional filling recipe that uses marshmallow creme. Enjoy!

F O O D I E 


When making my "cheater" ice cream sandwiches

with either whipped cream or Cool Whip,
be sure to place the tops on very gently!

If using whipped cream in a can, you'll need to double dose
the cream after about an hour in the freezer. Here's why:
After the initial hit, the air in the cream deflates.
But no worries. The double dosing really does the trick.

See the results in the last photo below.

Enjoy Your
Memorial Day Weekend,

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes, enter to win
free coffee, or learn about my books, including
my bestselling 
Haunted Bookshop series, visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Conference season is here.  Avery, Sheila, Lucy, and I will be heading to Malice Domestic in Maryland soon.  But first, we'll be visiting Christine at Salt and Pepper Books in Occoquan, Virginia to do a signing from 5pm to 7pm.  If you're in the DC area on April 26th, please stop by to say hi!

Salt & Pepper Books in Occoquan

Now that they're available, I'm still on my strawberry kick.  I had planned to use them in something baked again, but stumbled across a strawberry recipe that is pure genius.  No cooking involved.  You could make these in a beach rental without any special equipment!  You could make these on the hottest day of the year without heating up the kitchen.  You can serve them at parties or bring them to an office function.  Remember my friend who was on a diet?  They are the perfect diet dessert. This brilliant recipe is the brainchild of the folks at California Strawberries.

Who doesn't love strawberry cheesecake, right?  They cleverly stuffed Neufchâtel cheese into a strawberry and rolled the top in graham crackers.  These truly have all the flavor and none of the guilt!  And they're as cute as they can be.  You can make them ahead of time and refrigerate up to six hours, but the graham crackers have to be added just before serving.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese (1 package)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
16 whole strawberries
8 graham cracker squares, crushed

Take the Neufchâtel cheese out of the fridge and allow to soften.

Beat together the cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon peel.

Wash strawberries.  Use a paring knife or a tiny melon baller to scoop out part of the strawberry at the top, taking care to leave a leaf.  The little hole should be about 3/4 inch deep.  Stuff with cheese mixture and roll the top in crushed graham crackers.