They’re not too sweet, a little chewy from the cranberries, soft, and crumbly like your traditional butter cookie. Without a doubt it’s easy to lose track how many you’ve eaten in one sitting. I swear they magically appear in my hand, I’m not sure how it happens.
I love things during the holidays for a classy look on some dessert options but not much has stopped me from making these during any other time of the year in the past. If you’re in the mood for any kind of cook at any time of year, no one can tell you no and stop you! Just a fair warning, you’ll probably want to double up the recipe. You’ll see why! 🙂
WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BUTTER COOKIES
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
Cream the sugar and butter in your stand or hand held mixer then add the egg and extracts until well combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugared butter and beat until just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, especially the bottom.
Add the chopped white chocolate chips and cranberries. Use a large spoon to fold everything together in the cookie dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a medium (1.5 tablespoon) cookie dough scooper to scoop each butter cookie onto the baking sheet. Use the back of a teaspoon and flatten the center of the cookie with an imprint.
Bake at 350 F degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let them sit a few minutes to cool before removing.
You guys! One minute muffins. I mean, healthy one minute muffins. High protein, low carb, and super low sugar. Apparently this has been a thing for a while. Sure, we can call it a trendy thing. Which is more likely why I’m just now discovering these amazing things. I’m practically never late to anything… physically. But… trends… yeah… I’m usually always a few steps behind. The most important part about all of this though, I will not die not knowing what a “one minute muffin” is! Please, scroll through this yummy picture and keep reading… it won’t be long!
I’ve always had this love-hate relationship with the microwave. I hate it because… it’s a microwave. That’s not REAL cooking. And, all the questionable things said about the microwave over the years as to whether they’re safe. Look, as of yet I don’t know of any real science saying it’s bad. Which leads me to why I love microwaves. By all means I’m not a lazy person. It’s hard at times for me to truly sit down and relax. So, I will say that when I’m crunched for time or not feeling like putting time in the kitchen I’ve been known to cook up a mean egg scramble in the microwave. Now, better yet I can make these AWESOME one minute muffins!
Once I discovered such a thing as a healthy muffin that I can enjoy within minutes, I was changing up the recipe a little bit to make all sorts of one minute muffin flavors. In fact, my recent Keto Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and Maple Blueberry Muffins were inspired by this recipe and thus evolved from. So, with the couple tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce it helps keep the muffins moist while giving it a nice natural sweetness without making it carb heavy. I will admit I’m not a big breakfast person first thing in the morning; for the most part I like small and light things that will hold me over until lunch. These have been the perfect answer and they hold over really well into the next day. Okay, enough babble! Let me know how you like these and of course put your own spin on them.
1 MINUTE APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS
In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients and blend everything together.
Add the unsweetened apple sauce, egg, and unsalted butter. Then, whisk until well combined.
Divide the mixture between the two ramekins. Shake them a little bit side-to-side to help them settle.
Microwave one at a time for about 1 minute. Some microwaves may require an additional 30 seconds.
Stick a toothpick down the center. If it comes out clean, they're ready to enjoy!
Add a dollop of the unsweetened apple sauce on top for extra oomph!
Oh man, you guys are gonna love this one! But first let me confess how I’ve been spelling Shepherd’s Pie as “Shepard’s Pie” for a while now and no one ever corrected me! As I got started typing up this food blog entry I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to double check the spelling. Glad I did! I’m kinda hoping I’m not alone in this LOL! Okay, so seriously I’m not exaggerating. You-guys-will-LOVE-this! This makes a big batch and depending on the size of your family, you could have the best tasting leftovers for DAYS.
This is truly a Shepherd’s Pie because I use ground lamb. Trust me, I tried ground beef the first time and it’s not the same as the best Shepherd’s Pie you’ve ever had wherever that may be. It must be lamb. Not half lamb, ALL ground lamb. If you’re hesitant to try lamb because you think it’s funky, let me reassure you that if you’re going to try ground lamb for the first time or give it another chance, this is the absolute way to go. I’m not just saying that, promise. Now that has been established, if you insist using ground beef or any other red meat by all means go for it… I do believe that changes it to a Cottage Pie though. This is important to know in case you do some traveling.
If you’re looking to make this meal low-carb, you just simply replace the mashed potatoes with your favorite cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe. There are tons of different recipes out there you can choose from but personally, I would just make my cauliflower mash the same way I would as my usual Red Skin Mashed Potatoes recipe. Just keep your eye on the amount of liquid when making them to get the right texture you want your cauliflower mash to be. As for using real potatoes, I keep the skin for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals, and all that jazz but feel free to peel them. Keeping the skin saves on time too!
You’ll see that I use quite a bit of Worcestershire sauce than your typical recipe. I have reasons! Any time I’ve used a few dashes or a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to a recipe, I can’t taste it! It does nothing! Hardly at least. I want a big punch of flavor because that’s what comfort food is about. So just a heads up, start off not using salt at all. Maybe use half the amount of Worcestershire sauce to start, do a taste test. You can add more towards the end and also add salt to taste. It’s the only way you’re gonna master what you believe is the best Shepherd’s Pie!
One last thing, you can make this a day ahead. Just put the meat at the bottom of the baking pan, top with the mashed potatoes. When you’re ready to bake it, just pull it out of the fridge, top it with the cheese and bake. Some times I’ve made the meat filling ahead so that all I need to do was make the mashed potatoes or vice versa. It works in all ways.
Saute the carrots and onion with the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once the onions start to become softened after a few minutes, add the garlic. If the pan is starting to get dry, add a little more olive oil.
Add the ground lamb, rosemary, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Using a wooden spoon break up the ground lamb into small pieces letting it brown through.
Once the lamb is nearly cooked through add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, flour, and half of the vegetable stock. Stir every thing really well. Let the stock cook down most of the way and add the rest. Stir frequently, reduce the heat and let everything simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
Add the peas and salt to taste if needed. Turn off heat and set aside.
Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot, fill with water until it's about an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and stir every so often.
Strain the potatoes once they're softened. Turn off the heat. Place the pot back on the stove and add the butter. Pour the strained potatoes on top of the butter, add the pepper, milk, and half of the vegetable stock. Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
Add more milk and/or stock as needed to avoid the potatoes from drying. Stir. Add more salt and pepper to taste as well.
Place the meat filling evenly in a 9" x 11" (or 9" x 13") baking dish.
Then, top it with an even layer of the mashed potatoes.
Top the mashed potatoes with an even layer of the shredded sharp white cheddar cheese.
Bake at 400 F degrees for about 15 minutes or until everything is bubbling and the top is golden.
Lets face it. We all love cupcakes, if not cake. Cupcakes are the perfect dessert to share with minimal mess because you don’t have to cut into it to serve and they’re easy to transport. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never had enough people to help me finish off a dozen cupcakes much less the ability to feel some what healthy-normal eating more than one cupcake with all the sugar. SO! I discovered a basic low-carb, sugar-free blah blah muffin recipe and did all kinds of tweaks to it. Some times you need something simple to give you an inspiration kick-start. Long story short, I came up with this half dozen recipe of technically pumpkin spice muffins BUT it’s instantly an incredible tasty cupcake when you put a vanilla cream cheese frosting on top!
Feel free to omit the cream cheese frosting and enjoy these first thing in the morning as a decent start to your day. It’s loaded in protein and low in carbs to not give you the spike in blood sugar that’s ever so responsible for making people feel tired and more hungry after eating. And if you do need a dozen of these you can simply double up the recipe. One of my favorite things to do after making them is eating it with a big dollop of unsweetened apple sauce on top. Even though you use apple sauce to make them. It’s so yummy as a light breakfast.
And by the way, feel free to use store bought pumpkin spice but a lot of times you will find that the flavors fall weak when baking unless you know of a great brand. I stopped buying it quite a few years ago when I realized I tend to already have the spices in my pantry to make it at home. It always packs an amazing punch of flavor in my opinion. If you’re interested in spending literally two extra minutes making your own check out my Pumpkin Spice Blend recipe. You’ll have to double or triple the recipe to have enough pumpkin spice to make these muffins.
One more thing, make sure your cream cheese frosting is room temperature and the muffins are cooled before you put the frosting on. If the frosting is too cold it will tear the top of your muffin off and crumble. Oh and as far as sugar goes, I like using Stevia In The Raw for baking but feel free to use any sugar substitute that you like. Real sugar should work with this though!
LOW CARB PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES
Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
In a large bowl whisk the almond flour, ground flax seed, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and sugar substitute.
Then, add the unsweetened apple sauce, melted unsalted butter, and eggs. Whisk everything together.
Spray only 6 spots of a muffin tray with the cooking spray and evenly add the batter to each one about 3/4 of the way with a spoon.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Place the cream cheese, unsalted butter, sugar substitute, and vanilla extract in a standing mixer. Let it all incorporate over medium speed. Scrape the sides down if needed and continue a few more seconds.
These cookies are made with almond flour (blanched, but almond meal works too), and you’ll find that almond flour bakes a little bit darker than your usual all-purpose flour. So, don’t let the dark edges that appear almost burnt turn you away. These are crunchy, crumbly on the outside with a nice caramel flavor with a soft center. And I kid you not they taste even better frozen. Which is the weirdest thing I have ever heard of but it’s no joke. The best part about that is you can make a huge batch of these, keep in the freezer for longer shelf life, eat frozen or let them thaw. And, if you want them to taste like they’re fresh out of the oven you can stick a few in the microwave for 5-10 seconds depending on your microwave.
I’ve been on a mission the last few months to find healthier alternatives to pretty much anything edible without so much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Had I not gone on that mission I would’ve never discovered how amazing going keto with a chocolate chip cookie recipe would be. It’s so amazing that quite frankly, I don’t care to have another regular chocolate chip cookie ever again. For the brown sugar substitute, there are tons of brands with different ingredient options out there that you can choose from. But personally I like the ones that use stevia.
The carb count is ridiculously low at about 40 grams of carbs for the entire batch of approx. 3 dozen cookies should you use chocolate chips sweetened with stevia like Lilly’s Chocolate Chips. Which means just a few carbs per cookie max. Just keep in mind though, while these are much healthier to eat, they still are high calorie so that doesn’t mean you can eat a ton of them and not gain some weight! Lastly, when using a cookie dough scooper to portion out the cookies I like to use a spoon wrapped in plastic wrap to squash them a little for a proper cookie shape. Although, you don’t have to! If you don’t, you’ll want to bake them an extra minute or two so the center gets cooked through.
LOW CARB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
In a large bowl mix the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
Combine the butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar substitute together in a standing mixer. Then, add the vanilla extract and eggs.
Once everything is mixed well, add the flour in two parts.
Toss in the chocolate chips and use a large spoon to mix them into the dough.
Use a tablespoon cookie dough scooper to evenly portion out the cookies onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 F degrees for about 11-13 minutes. Let cool before transferring to a plate.