Cozy and Warm

30 Jan

I swear, I am turning into more of an old lady/wuss every day. I’ve been driving 40 minutes a day for school the last couple of weeks, and went to meet up with friends out of town last weekend – and on several occasions, the weather was less than ideal for driving. So last Sunday, I decided I had it…I was sick of driving and I was not leaving the house…so I stayed in all day – did not get dressed until 3:30….it was wonderful! And for me, nothing completes a cozy, lazy day like some baking.

I wanted to bake something healthy that I could enjoy, so I turned to one of my Hungry Girl cookbooks. I had previously made a recipe for caramel pumpkin cupcakes that were quite yummy. So I took that recipe and played around with it a bit. I had some soft apples to use up, so I added that to the batter, halved the recipe, baked it in a pan and eliminated the caramel topping and came up with these pumpkin apple spice squares. Now you’ll notice in the photo, there’s a box of cake mix. Personally, I am not a big fan of cake mixes. I enjoy baking so much that I honestly feel that using a cake mix would take a lot of the fun out of making a cake. But, if I am making a recipe for something else that calls for a cake mix as one of the ingredients, I will follow along. Here’s my adapted recipe:

Pumpkin Apple Spice Squares

Adapted from Hungry Girl

1 cup moist style yellow cake mix

1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin

3 tbsp fat free egg substitute

1 tbsp sugar-free maple-flavoured syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp Splenda

Dash salt

1 apple, chopped (I didn’t peel it, but you could if you want to)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except apple in a mixing bowl with 3 tbsp water. Whip with a whisk or fork for 2 minutes or until well blended. Fold in the chopped apple.

Spray an 11 by 7 inch pan with cooking spray (this size is a little tricky to find…you could probably use 2 loaf pans). Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cut into 6 squares – each one will have only a little over 100 calories! I enjoyed one of these squares as is, and it was good. Not anything super-special, but nice and moist. But then I came up with a little sundae-inspired dessert, fancied up the square a bit, and it was FANTASTIC! I topped the square with one tbsp of fat free caramel dip. Then I scooped on a 1/4 cup scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt and added a dash of cinnamon. Of course, like any dessert enjoyed during the winter months, I washed it down with a cup of tea.

Do you like to bake when the weather is cold? Any winter favourites?

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