Holiday Cheer skinny Peppermint Merengue Puffs


I simply love these merengues!!  And, so does everyone I make them for.  In fact, just last night, my friend was asking me (or rather placing a polite demand) that I make them!  My kids are crazy about them too!!  Now normally that wouldn’t be a surprise, because after all, these ARE cookies.  But, I don’t actually mind my kids enjoying these delicious delights because they are made of just egg whites and sugar basically.  Here’s the magic in that!:  The protein pairs with the sugar and they bind together molecularly, causing your body to regulate and NOT spike your blood sugar, so you don’t store fat like you would if you ate sugar alone.  It also prevents the sugar crash later.  With four active boys, I love any treat that keeps my kids from getting wound up and crazy.

Another reason you will love making these,  they are extremely low calorie cookies!    If you pipe about 100 cookies from this recipe, they are each only 6.5 calories!!  Aside from their festive look, that alone is a great excuse to eat them!!! I originally found this recipe online at SkinnyTaste, and have enjoyed it for a few years now!

These little Merengues are an impressive bring-along for that office work party, your family gathering, or just for at home enjoyment.  For a little fun, throw one or two in your cup of cocoa and make Christmas just a little more playful!  Enjoy!!

Skinny Peppermint Striped Merengue Puffs

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1 tsp. extract flavoring)
  • For decorating: red gel food coloring, paint brush, piping bag

Directions:

Prep: Line a couple cookie sheets with wax paper  Set oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit

  1. Throw eggs  in a glass mixing bowl, and set it over a pot of boiling water so the steam can gradually warm your bowl and thus warm your eggs Without cooking them.
  2. Mix sugar and vanilla into eggs mixture and store continually until sugar is melted and dissolved (not gritty) and slightly foamy.
  3. Remove from heat (carefully) and turn on your beater or transfer to your kitchen aid mixer, and beat until mixture forms stiff white peaks. (Basically, they hold their shape when you lift and fold the mixture with a spoon)
  4. DONT FORGET TO ADD YOUR PEPPERMINT!!  I save this till the end so the oil of the peppermint doesn’t disturb the ability of the merengue to fluff up.  Oil of any kind will keep it heavy and flat.

Piping:

  1. With your brush, draw three evenly spaced GENEROUS stripes with the gel food coloring, starting deep inside near the icing tip, and draw upward to the top of the bag.  Make these lines distinct but generous because it has to last for the entire bagful.
  2. Fill the icing bag with merengue
  3. Pipe cookies about the size of a half dollar or slightly smaller in a beautiful twisted shape onto your lined pans.    Using a star shaped icing tip will help give this effect.

Bake:

  1. Bake in a preheated oven at 200f, for 1 hr. 15 min, to 1 hr 30 min.
  2. Take them out when they are crisp on the outside but slightly soft inside.
  3. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with decorative sugar to add a wintery effect.
  4. LET THEM COOL COMPLETELY!!!  About 15-20 min.

Store in an airtight container.  Humidity will ruin these delights!

Enjoy all your hard work!!!


  
  

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hCG Diet: Hot Cocoa, Apple Pie, and an Egg omelet!

If you are doing or are interested in doing the hCG diet, the food can feel limited quickly, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes with you thus far.  Here are three of my favorites so far…

HOT COCOA!!

  • 6-8 oz water in mug
  • 1 1/2 Tbs unsweetened Baking cocoa powder (Hersheys is awesome!)
  • Splash of Pure Vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 Tbs Fat free half and half

Warm up your water first, then add everything.  Its not as rich and creamy as regular cocoa maybe, but on this diet, it still feels like a splurge!!  Enjoy the coziness!

APPLE PIE!!

  • Honey Crisp apple chopped (or two small Gala apples)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
  • 2 spoonfuls baking Stevia, or use your liquid Stevia.
  • (Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice are optional.  Use to taste. )
  • Splash of water

Coat the apple pieces well with the other ingredients.  Place in a covered bowl, microwave for 90 seconds, remove and enjoy.  Be careful as it is piping hot!  Enjoy your dellcious dessert!

Egg Omelet

This would be your whole meal in phase 2.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 grape tomatoes, halved (or 1 roma tomato, diced)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients, cook in your saute pan and enjoy this delicious omelet.  Here, the tomatoes serve as your fruit for the meal.  Eat up and Enjoy!

Strawberry delight!

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Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Strawberry topping:

1 16 oz bag frozen strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 package strawberry jello
1 cup boiling water
8 small ice cubes

Cream filling:
1 8oz package cream cheese (regular or lite)
1/2 tub cool whip
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Cake layer:
1/2 box vanilla cake mix
1 egg
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp flour

Directions:
1. Combine cake mix (half package), egg, water, flour and mix on high for 2 min. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 min. Cool completely.

2. Cream cheese filling: beat softened cream cheese and cool whip together until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, whipping until smooth. Let chill in fridge until ready to use.

3. Strawberry topping: I thawed strawberries in microwave until soft but not soggy, keeping the juices. Coursely cut up in bowl with a knife so the strawberries aren’t whole. In a separate container add 1 cup boiling water to the jello mix and stir till dissolved. Add in 1/2 cup sugar till dissolved. Stir in ice cubes until they are melted. Add in the strawberries w/ juices and let it sit in the freezer to thicken faster but DO NOT LET IT FREEZE!

4. When cake is fully cooled, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over it.

5. If strawberry mixture is thick enough to easily pour onto the top of the cake, do so. If it is too thin which it may well be (I.e. not jello consistency) that’s ok bc it will just drain down and soak into the bottom of the cake which tastes really good! The strawberry mixture is pretty flexible on how it turns out. The only thing you don’t want is a frozen block of jello that won’t spread. If you get that, try letting it sit in a warm place to melt down a bit.

6. Cover and let entire cake chill until firm enough to be sliced into. 30 minutes should do depending on strawberry layer’s temp when you pour it on.

ENJOY!! This turned out fabulous and I will def be making it again!

No bake Energy Bites

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No Bake Energy Bites

So easy and delicious!  Loaded with protein, complex carbs, good fats, these things are a healthy energy boost waiting to happen, and so easy!

Ingredients:
-1 cup oatmeal (old fashioned oats is what I used)
-1 cup toasted coconut flakes (I put a cup of them out on a foil lined pan and put in the oven on broil for a few minutes till browned)
-1/2 cup chocolate chips
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup ground flaxseed
-1/3 cup honey
-1 tsp vanilla

If you are short a dry ingredient (like flaxseed, which I was) just substitute in another dry ingredient.  I did half oatmeal half choc chips.)

Try to keep the p.b. and honey accurate bc it will alter the flavor.

Refridgerate in a container for an hour and then hand press into balls.  I rolled some in powdered sugar to keep them from sticking to each other.

Makes 20 to 25 1-inch balls.

Snappy snacky dessert!

Being pregnant, I’m more innovative than normal.  Now, this really isn’t THAT innovative, but it sure is good!!  And, its pretty healthy! (minus the coolwhip).  If you have these staple things on hand, whip up a bowl and see what you think!

Mmmm...doesn't it just make your mouth water? 🙂

Ingredients:
-Fruit!  (Here I used frozen strawberries I warmed in the microwave for about a minute, and a sliced up banana).

-Cool Whip! (I just glop it on until it looks satisfying. 🙂  Put as much or as little as you like.)

-Sprinkle with cinnamon… great flavor booster, and is super healthy for you with antioxidants and is an appetite controller.

-Drizzle with honey.  Somehow, the honey with the strawberries is such an AWESOME combo!  The honey flavor really shines here.

-Mini chocolate chips- optional- I don’t do this every time, but I did this last time and it was yum!  Also a healthy addition since darker chocolates are good for you!

Enjoy!!  Warning, you may get addicted!  And, its actually really filling…