Baking Without Butter

Mar 22, 2014

Whole wheat lemon brownies? You betcha!

Whole Wheat Lemon Brownies

Any time I can make a recipe better or healthier, I’m always willing to try. I was craving lemon brownies today (maybe because my lemon tree is getting full!) so I decided to make lemon brownies and this time, I decided to experiment with whole wheat pastry flour. “These are just for me,” I thought, “so if they don’t turn out, nobody has to eat them.” I expected they would be too dense and heavy but you never know if you don’t try and any time I can bake with whole grains, I do it. I just assumed it would not work with my light and soft lemon brownies.

Guess what? They were fabulous!!! I seriously could not tell the difference from the original ones I made. All I did was replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour and now my lemon brownies are even healthier: no butter and no white flour! I could hardly wait to share this with everyone because “Easiest Lemon Brownies” is one of my most popular recipes. Even the picture looks the same.

Whole grains worked with my chocolate brownies and now the lemon ones too. I guess I should have known but this was a learning experience for me, to always be open to making things better. I’m so glad I decided to try this and I have just changed the printable recipe to include the whole wheat pastry flour. Everything else stays the same. If you haven’t tried them yet, you should. I just had one that was still warm. Make that two.¬†Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Mar 18, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons – easy!

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

I love easy cookie recipes where you just dump everything into a bowl, stir, drop, and bake. That’s how easy these coconut macaroons are to make. It only takes five ingredients to make these show-stopping cookies and that includes the chocolate. And there’s no butter! Chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons make perfect gifts. People will think you’re a gourmet baker but this is a foolproof, easy recipe.

I make these cookies every year for our annual holiday open house and there’s one guy who only comes to have these cookies. (Mark, you know who you are!) No matter how many I make, they always disappear too soon and now I think I may have to check his pockets when he leaves… ūüôā

Here’s how easy it is to make these chocolate-dipped macaroons. Everything but the chocolate goes into a bowl and you combine it with 2 forks. That’s the best way I’ve found to stir it all together. Then I shape the mounds on the baking sheet using the 2 forks but you can use spoons if you like.¬†While the cookies bake, I melt the chocolate. I used to do that in a double boiler where I placed a pyrex bowl over simmering water (the bowl can’t touch the water) but now I just microwave the chocolate to melt it. I check it at 30 seconds and a minute to stir so if you microwave, keep checking and stirring until it’s melted.

There are so many ways to add the chocolate. 1) You can cover half the cookie with chocolate and leave half plain. 2) You can drizzle strands of chocolate across the cookie back and forth with a spoon. 3) You can dip the bottom first and then add chocolate to the edges like in the photo. That’s how I usually do it. I found the first few were easy to roll around to cover the edges but when there’s less & less chocolate, I spooned it onto the edges. Then you place the chocolate-dipped cookies onto wax paper to set.

If you make them, send me a picture! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 15, 2014

Greek Walnut Cake

Greek Walnut Cake Recipe

There’s no butter in this moist and sweet walnut cake. The Greeks call it¬†karithopita and what makes it so moist is that you soak it in a spicy syrup made with cinnamon, lemon peel, and cloves. Just poke a few holes around the top of the cake and pour over a warm, sweet syrup. A lot of Greek desserts use a syrup – baklava is a great example.

I always feel better when I can bake something sweet for dessert without butter. This cake uses oil and since it’s a Greek cake, I use heart-healthy olive oil. Both olive oil and walnuts are considered heart-healthy.¬†Any time I bake with nuts, I always toast them first and I suggest doing it for this cake, especially because there are a LOT of walnuts in the recipe and toasted walnuts always make a cake or cookies taste better.

My stepmother is Greek so I have grown to love Greek food (and her, too). She is the one who told me to poke holes in the cake before pouring on the syrup since not all recipes use holes but it really helps soak the cake beautifully. My Greek walnut cake can be served warm or cold. Make it for your next party. Opa! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 19, 2013

Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake

Lightened Up Pumpkin Cheesecake

I’m sharing one of my prized recipes just in time for Thanksgiving. This is one people will talk about long after it’s gone and they’ll probably ask for the recipe. My lightened pumpkin cheesecake is made using all reduced fat ingredients so it’s a healthier dessert, perfect after you’ve stuffed yourself senseless with turkey. This lighter cheesecake won’t weigh you down and the recipe is fairly simple but you will need a springform pan.

The crust is just graham crackers sprinkled on the bottom so there’s no heavy butter-laden crust. And the secret to this light and airy cake is to beat the egg whites separately and fold them in at the end. I get the best results using Daisy Brand light sour cream and Philadelphia brand 1/3 less fat cream cheese. I tried neufchatel but didn’t like the result, and I would never use Knudsen reduced fat sour cream for anything!

So if you try this amazing holiday dessert, make sure you have all your ingredients at room temperature and leave enough time to let it cool for at least two hours on the counter and then refrigerate for at least two hours as well. This is my Thanksgiving gift to all you cooks who will soon be stuffing turkeys and faces! Click here for the recipe. РJenny Jones

Oct 1, 2013

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Wow! I love this incredibly easy recipe. It’s so simple.¬†One bowl. No mixer. No shaping. And no cleanup if you use parchment paper. There is no butter and no flour is this simple cookie recipe. And my version has less sugar than most. Wait ’til you try one – the taste is out of this world!

Even the most amateur cook can’t mess this up. Here are the steps: 1) Mix ingredients together in a bowl. 2) Drop on sheet and bake. 3) Done.

I’ve always used natural peanut butter, like Laura Scudder’s or Santa Cruz organic, but always chunky. You can use smooth… but why? With chunky peanut butter, you get some nice peanuty crunch with every bite. When cookies are this easy to make, anyone can make cookies from scratch – in 15 minutes. ¬†Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 18, 2013

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

CrispyCrunOatCk_600Baking without butter is a priority around here because I am not living without cookies. When I’m not having my lemon brownies, doughnuts, marble loaf, or apple bars (all made without butter) there is always a cookie on my dessert plate. I haven’t had a store-bought cookie in decades. Why would I when healthy cookies are so easy to make. We eat a few and I freeze a few, so there are always a variety of cookies in the freezer.

Crispy cookies like this one can be eaten still frozen – talk about crunchy! This healthy cookie can be made with extra light olive oil or canola and it’s 100% whole grain, made with oats and whole wheat pastry flour with crisp rice cereal added for even more crunch. You’ll see I added some mini chocolate chips although you can omit those… but I wouldn’t. ūüôā¬†Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

To see how to keep cookies crisp click here.

Jun 29, 2013

Lemon Brownie News

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I’m happy to report that my “Easiest Lemon Brownies” is one of the three most popular recipes on this website. The other two are my Pork Loin Dinner (I’m not surprised!) and Fresh Strawberry Cake (have you seen the picture!?). I’m always trying something new and baking is my favorite thing to do so today I tried making my lemon brownies with a different oil and they came out great. The original recipe called for canola oil but this time I used extra light olive oil and they were perfect. So if anyone wants to try it, you can make these brownies using olive oil with no olive taste whatsoever. But make sure it’s “extra light” which is very mild tasting and smelling. I use it in my healthy brownies, too. That’s just part of my news.

Someone asked about making my lemon brownies without the baking soda for a chewy brownie. I did that and it turned out okay but I would call it more dense than chewy. I still prefer the original recipe but they both still have a great lemon flavor. Click here for the original recipe.

IMG_1409Here’s a picture of the one I made today without the baking soda. – Jenny Jones

Jun 2, 2013

My Coffee Cake just got a Jenny Jones Makeover

Chocolate Chip Coffee CakeIf you know me, you know I am always trying to eliminate butter and it’s not always easy with baking. But my Streusel Coffee Cake just got a Jenny Jones Makeover! For starters, the chocolate chips used to be optional but now I’m calling it a Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake because that one tablespoon of mini chocolate chips needs to be there.

Now here’s the best part: no more butter. Well, there was only a tablespoon of butter in the old recipe so it wasn’t a lot but I always thought you needed butter to make a good streusel topping but not so, my health-seeking friends. I’ve discovered that my transfat-free spread (Canola Harvest) works beautifully in place of the butter so now there is no butter in this delicious healthy coffee cake with a crispy, nutty, chocolatey topping. But you can always stay with the butter if you like. Either way, it’s the best coffee cake I’ve ever had. Click here for the recipe.¬†– Jenny Jones

May 23, 2013

Easy Chocolate Brownies

QuickandEasy Brownies_9875_600 copyYou don’t need butter to make delicious and healthy, chewy, fudgey brownies. ¬†This is¬†another one of my popular one-bowl quick & easy recipes and this is the only chocolate brownie I will ever make. It tastes like it’s bad for you but it’s not. This is by far one of my best dessert recipes… for being healthy and for being so easy to make! You only have to wash one bowl. ¬†The baking pan is lined with foil so you can just put it away when you’re done.

There is no butter here. My healthy recipe uses extra light olive oil which has a very mild flavor and is perfect for baking with rich flavors like chocolate. Olive oil is proven to be heart-healthy. The nuts (toast them first!) add protein while dark chocolate chunks have benefits, too. Wait, there’s more: these easy brownies are 100% whole wheat – you gotta love that!

Here’s a time-saving trick when lining your plan with foil. Lay the foil flat and place the 9 x 9-inch baking pan on top of the foil. Press up around all four sides to create a “mold” which then fits nicely inside the pan. You’re welcome!

If you’re looking for an easy healthy brownie, try this recipe. You can call them whatever you want: Easy Brownies, Healthy Brownies,¬†Olive Oil Brownies, Whole Wheat Brownies, or you can just call them what I do… The Best Brownies Ever! ¬†Click here for the recipe.¬†– Jenny Jones

Mar 22, 2013

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Homemade Blueberry Coffee Cake

Wait ’til you taste this moist, delicious blueberry streusel coffee cake. It’s an easy recipe made with whole grain flour and no butter. And blueberries are in season right now so you won’t need a loan application to buy them! Click here for the recipe.¬†– Jenny Jones

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