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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Writer's Snack: How to Make Apple Pie Fruit Roll-Ups by Cleo Coyle

Sitting is the new smoking. Have you encountered this phrase yet? It's making the rounds. If you have the sort of occupation that requires you to sit for long periods of time, the recent health news that "prolonged sitting is shortening our lives" is less than cheery. 

Like many writers, I do plenty of walking to counteract the sitting. Then, of course, there's the issue of noshing. One can only eat so many carrot sticks before one's nose begins to twitch, so I'm always on the lookout for snacks that satisfy without expanding my, er...assets.

These Apple Pie Roll-Ups fit the bill. They’re chewy and sweet with the flavor of apple pie so they taste great with a cup of coffee or tea, yet this "fruit candy" is low in fat and calories and insanely easy to prepare. 

As summer fruit becomes more plentiful, I’ll be posting recipes for more Roll-Up flavors (strawberry, peach, etc…) so stay tuned to this blog and I sincerely hope you'll continue to…

Eat with joy! 
~ Cleo 

Culinary mystery writer
Cleo Coyle is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
Cleo Coyle's
Apple Pie
Fruit Roll-Ups

The apple sauce, maple syrup, vanilla, and spices in this recipe blend together to make a sweet, chewy snack that tastes just like apple pie. It's guilt free, too. While store bought Roll-Ups can include such unsavory items as corn syrup, cottonseed oil, and artificial colorings, this homemade version uses better tasting (and better for-you) ingredients. Best of all, you’re in control of the recipe so you can make your Roll-Ups as sweet or as tart as you like. You can even use artificial sweeteners if you’re trying to cut sugar out of your diet. ~ Cleo

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

Makes 1 half-sheet pan (18" x 13") of Apple Pie Fruit Roll-Ups


1 23-ounce jar (2-1/3 cups) natural,
    unsweetened apple sauce 
    (do not use chunky apple sauce) 

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (or use your favorite sweetener, 
      adjust amount to your own taste) 

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

½ teaspoon apple pie spice (*or make your own, see directions 
    at end of recipe) 

Directions: Whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Line a rimmed half-sheet pan (18 x 13-inches) with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Pour the apple sauce mixture into the paper-lined (or silicone lined) pan. 

TILT the pan in each direction until the mixture is evenly spread over the entire pan. (For best results, do not use a utensil to spread the mixture. Tilting will give you the best results for an even thin layer over the entire pan.) Bake at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 hours (yes 8 hours). Do not increase the heat. The low heat and long cook time is necessary for the apple sauce to properly dehydrate. 

When is it done? As the roll-up slowly gives up its moisture, it will harden and “finish” from the outside edges in. Watch for the center of the pan to become as dry and un-sticky as the outside edges. Then you know the roll-up is done. Do not over-cook. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Carefully peel the fruit roll-up off the parchment paper or silicone sheet. (See my photos.) Wrap immediately in plastic to preserve the chewiness of the roll-up and prevent over-drying. 

How to store: You must wrap the roll-up in plastic fairly soon after it’s finished dehydrating to prevent it from over-drying. No need to refrigerate. It should keep up to two weeks this way.

*Apple Pie Spice: Here’s how to make your own: For every 1 teaspoon mix the following: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (some cooks replace cardamom with ginger).

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
12 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 
To learn more, click here. 


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, February 6, 2012

Low Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes

I was thinking about what a shame it is that Valentine's Day comes along just when some of us are beginning to make progress with our New Year's diets.

Oh, sure.  We could eat one chocolate and not ruin our diets.  After all, we have to learn to eat in moderation.  But some of us would have trouble with the knowledge that there were chocolates in the house.

Fill them with some sort of mushy unidentifiable middle, and I can pass on them altogether, no problem.  But put caramel inside them, and I'll search for them in the attic in the middle of the night.  Did I say I?  I'm sure I meant some hypothetical person.  Not me.  Nooo, the dogs never wake me in the middle of the night to chase some inconsiderate skunk, leaving me half awake in the kitchen looking for a midnight snack.

So I started thinking about low calorie Valentine treats.  In The Diva Paints the Town, Sophie bakes a Black Forest Cherry Cake for Wolf for Valentine's Day.  The calorie count in the whipping cream alone in that cake would blow anyone's diet.

At the moment, I'm working on Domestic Diva Mystery number 7, tentatively titled The Diva Frosts a Cupcake.  You can imagine what it's about.  But the great thing about cupcakes is portion control.  So I started playing with ideas and here's what I came up with.

Cocoa powder has all the flavor but considerably fewer calories than chocolate chips or blocks of chocolate.  A touch of coffee always intensifies chocolate flavor for virtually no calories.  Add beaten egg whites for volume and suddenly low calorie cupcakes seem quite possible.

Now, these aren't going to replace your favorite cake.  But they're a tasty treat for (drum roll here, please) 136 calories a cupcake! Not too shabby!  They remind me a lot of brownies in flavor and texture.  In fact, they might be a nice treat in a lunchbox for a kid who needs to cut back on calories.

I might just stick some of these in the freezer.  You know, for the next time a skunk comes by.

Of course, if you're one of those people who has to have frosting, well, you're on your own there.  To dress these up, I cut a heart out of aluminum foil, placed the cut-out over the cupcakes, and dusted with powdered sugar.  It does add calories, but if you're making them as a treat for a sweetie who is watching his or her weight, those few extra calories might be worth it.  It's your call.  I popped some nice healthy raspberries on top of some, too. 

Low Calorie Chocolate Cupcakes

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Pensey's)
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons olive (or canola) oil
1/4 cup fat free (0%) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Place cupcake wrappers in baking pan.

Combine the cocoa powder, coffee, 1/2 cup sugar, and flour in a bowl. Stir with a fork to combine.

Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites.  When they grow in volume, add the sugar and beat until they can hold a peak. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, and add the oil.  Alternating between the flour mixture and the milk, add them in small amounts, beating well, then add the vanilla and beat one last time.

Fold about 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate (to lighten the weight). Fold in the remaining egg whites.

Divide equally among 12 cupcake wrappers.

Bake 18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  They will shrink a bit as they cool.

Cool on a rack.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

136 calories!