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Food: Lemon crinkle cookies

I’m a sucker for anything lemon. I’m especially a sucker for lemon recipes with less than 5 ingredients.

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I first discovered this crazy easy recipe on Pinterest, via Kitchen Meets Girl. And since the only thing I didn’t have in my pantry was lemon cake mix, the decision to make this cookie wasn’t even really a decision at all. It just had to be done and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Go ahead, gather your ingredients. It’ll take you 5 minutes. Here’s what you need:

    1 box of lemon cake mix
    8 oz cool whip (thawed)
    1 egg
    1 cup of powder sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 and then mix your cake mix, cool whip, and egg together in large bowl.

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Your batter will be sticky and awkward. Don’t worry, powder sugar will come to your rescue. Put your powder sugar in a small bowl and then place a dollop of batter in the bowl. Note: the original recipe recommended a tablespoon size dollop and that’s what you see below; however, I’d recommend smaller. Smaller cookies means more cookies.

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Cover your batter in sugar completely. Move from hand to hand to shake off excess sugar.

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Place your cookie on a greased cookie sheet.

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Bake for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown on edges. Because my cookies were probably larger than intended, my cooking time was probably closer to 12-13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then move to wire rack to cool completely.

Now, the hard part – try to resist eating all of them. They are so perfectly soft and moist, I couldn’t believe it.

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I’ll be making these again soon and might even try other cake mix flavors!

Food: Strawberry shortcake cupcakes

I’d consider this cupcake experiment a direct product of fate. There were 2 things that happened in order to not only make this a delicious recipe, but also a healthy treat!

1. I found the idea on Pinterest, via Lady Behind The Curtain

But, I knew her awesome recipe was a little too complicated for me. Plus, I wanted to find a way to reduce the calories. That’s when #2 popped into my inbox.

2. An updated, healthy HungryGirl version of tie-dye (or funfetti) cupcakes

After a little planning, I instantly knew exactly how I was going to make this work. First, I started with a healthier cupcake option, using part of HungryGirl’s recipe. So simple, it fell under my 5 ingredient rule and made these perfect looking cupcakes…

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Cupcake recipe (servings: 12)

  • 1 3/4 cup of moist-style white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of egg whites (4 eggs for me)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of water

Mix together until batter is smooth. Fill your cupcake liners at least 3/4 of the way so you get nice puffy cupcakes. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes.

While my cupcakes were in the oven, I mixed together my frosting.

Cupcake frosting

  • 1 container of Fat Free Cool Whip (8 oz)
  • 1 box of Sugar Free Vanilla Jello pudding mix

Mix together and whip. Refrigerate after mixed thoroughly.

After the cupcakes have cooled, carve out the center and add a small strawberry.

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Next, put your frosting into a small ziplock bag. Cut the corner off and voila – instant piping bag. Swirl around and top your cupcakes with frosting.

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Add small chunks of strawberries to the top for a little extra color and flavor.

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And finally, it’s time to enjoy your low-calorie strawberry shortcake cupcake. Even though YOU made them, the little strawberry surprise inside is just divine and the cool whip/jello frosting is perfect without being too heavy.

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Nutritional facts:

HungryGirl puts her tie dye cupcakes at 135 calories which includes a modified real frosting and sprinkles. I don’t know the exact calorie count, but these should easily come in under 135 since a.) the center of the cupcake has been replaced by a strawberry, b.) the frosting is not only sugar free, but fat free, c.) we nixed the sprinkles. But just to be on the safe side, we’ll say they’re 135 calories.

135 calories for a strawberry shortcake cupcake? Sure why not! I might just even have 2.

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