Mini Maple Walnut Cupcakes

I have been on a baking frenzy these past couple of weeks.  Seriously I’ve been baking up a storm between Friendsgiving, regular Thanksgiving, and my mom’s birthday dinner.  Hence all the sugary recipe posts lately.  This one is no different.

I brought these mini maple walnut cupcakes to Tim’s aunt’s for Thanksgiving on Thursday and they were a huge hit.  I feel that if you are going to bake cupcakes for Thanksgiving they need to be mini ones.  Reason being that there are so many other wonderful desserts out at Thanksgiving that if I’m limiting myself to my favorites, I would definitely choose pumpkin pie, pecan pie, etc. over a boring cupcake.  A mini cupcake; however, can always find its way onto your dessert plate.  Same with these mini pecan pie phyllo tarts.  I mean, they’re bite sized.  You’re pretty much guaranteed everyone will try at least one.  So why not?

Mini Maple Walnut Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker, makes 48 mini cupcakes
Ingredients
For the maple cupcakes…
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
For the maple cream cheese frosting…
  • 4 ounces (half of the 8 oz package) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • chopped walnuts, as desired

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place mini paper baking cups in each of the mini muffin cups.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl; set aside.
  4. In large bowl, beat the applesauce and the granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Then beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Stir in 3/4 cup walnuts and 1 teaspoon maple flavor.
  6. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each almost full.
  7. Bake 17 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.
  8. Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter until blended in medium bowl.  Gradually add powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon maple flavor, beating until smooth.
  9. Frost cupcakes, then garnish with walnuts.
  10. Enjoy!

Not to toot my own horn, but I think my cupcakes are getting tastier and tastier.  I mean, I don’t ever come up with the recipes on my own, so I cannot take full credit for the recipes themselves, but seriously.  These are good.  Better than good.  And just wait until I post ONE more cupcake recipe this week.  Then I promise to start writing about salads and quinoa and oatmeal again.  Maybe.

“A burst of maple flavor followed by a nice walnut crunch.” <— Direct quote about these bad Larry’s.

Thanksgiving was kind of weird this year, only because it was the first year I didn’t see any of my family on Thanksgiving itself.  I guess that’s what happens as you get older, are in a more serious relationship, and need to split holidays.  We did have a nice day at Tim’s aunt’s house though, and ate SO much food as expected.  I did well not overeating cheese and crackers and chips and dips before the meal, so I didn’t feel overly full like usual.  Seriously those appetizer munchies are my WEAKNESS.  I had one serving of everything, and a few too many sweets afterwards but I didn’t feel gross.  I think teaching Turkey Trim & Tone that morning helped too.  But more on that later.

How was everyone’s holiday?  Where did you celebrate?  What’s your Thanksgiving weakness?  Did you make anything?

Have a wonderful Sunday!  I see some Christmas decorating in my near future.  Bye friends!

Mini Pecan Pie Phyllo Tarts

If you still haven’t decided on a dessert to make for Turkey Day tomorrow, and/or you are crunched for time over the next 24 hours, I am here to save the day with a recipe I stole this weekend from Skinnytaste.  These mini pecan pie phyllo tarts only took me 10 minutes to prep and 10-15 minutes to bake when I made them on Sunday for Friendsgiving.  They are super easy, they have WAY fewer calories than a full slice of pecan pie (68 cals each), but they still give you that sweet taste you crave in a dessert.  Enjoy!

Mini Pecan Pie Phyllo Tarts

Makes 15 mini tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 15 Mini Phyllo Shells (Athens)

Directions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Once mixed, stir in chopped pecans.
  4. Arrange mini shells on a baking sheet, then fill each one with a heaping teaspoon of pecan mixture.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and let cool before serving.

Athens Foods has a similar recipe up on their website that you could use too!

Anyone cooking or baking for Thanksgiving this year?  What are you making?

Last year I baked these turkey cupcakes (decorated like turkeys, not cupcakes made from turkey meat – gross!), and this year I am planning to bake mini maple cupcakes to bring with me to Tim’s aunt’s house.

I may catch you guys later, but if not… I hope to see you in my “Turkey Time & Tone” class tomorrow morning at 9am!  Come get fit before your feast!

…I am a loser.

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting

I highly recommend against marking this post as read.  Do you guys do that to my posts?  I am SO guilty of doing that to so many blogs in my Google Reader.  Typically if I find myself “marking as read” over and over, I will try to remove that blog from my Reader list to keep it manageable.

But I know you guys don’t do that to me.  And for all you readers with a sweet tooth, you’re welcome for this one.

I didn’t even try to make a healthy version of these.  And I’m not really sorry about it because there are just some times where a healthier version just won’t do.

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting

Recipe inspired from my Bars & Squares cookbook

Ingredients

For the Blondie…

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped and peeled apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

For the Brown Sugar Frosting…

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups confectionery sugar
  • Dash apple pie spice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla (all from blondie ingredients) in a large bowl until thick and smooth.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add to the above mixture on low-speed, mixing until blended.
  4. Stir in apples and nuts, mixing well.  Spread evenly in a 13×9 greased pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until set and golden, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. While blondies are baking, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  7. Stir in the brown sugar and milk.  Bring mixture just to a boil then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
  8. Stir in confectioner’s sugar and apple pie spice, mixing until smooth.
  9. Spread evenly over bars, making sure to wait until bars cool before frosting.
  10. Cut into bars or squares, and enjoy the sugar high!

I think it’s safe to say that Sunday was a cheat day, food wise.  I did get my workout in though (thanks, Emily!).

#cheat day   #sundayfunday   #friendsgiving

Let’s just say I felt like I had to unbutton my pants all night.  And they didn’t even have buttons.

If you are looking for a dessert to make for your Thanksgiving plans this year, this would be a great choice!  Something different, a crowd pleaser, and these blondies were pretty easy to make too.

When’s the last time you had a cheat day?  Are you baking for Thanksgiving this year?

Back on track today!  As I always say, living a healthy lifestyle means being mindful of when you will have a “splurge” day.  Not feeling guilty about it is so important, especially for your mental health.  I fully embrace the 80/20 rule (the recommendation to focus 80% of your food choices coming from wholesome and nutritious foods, with 20% from the things you enjoy that might not be the absolute best for your body).  I know when I have cheat days, I’m usually back to embracing that balance the next day.

That being said, it was greens for lunch today, and I plan on getting in a fab cardio sesh of my own in before subbing for Monique’s Dynamax class tonight.  Heading to the gym now… can’t wait!