Spring Garden Malted Milk Blondies – #FillTheCookieJar

Spring has sprung!  And so have my treats!  Yes, I’ve been a little quiet for awhile, adjusting to working remotely from home and accommodating the kiddos all day long.

I’ve also been on an awesome fitness journey and was trying to avoid treats like these.  But I do have many healthy ones to share and to come.  I’ve even been doing weekly meal preps!  You can check them out on my Instagram page!

I figured what better time to pop back in than the beginning of the month for Fill the Cookie Jar!  I love these ones!  My kids get some goodies and I get to create in the kitchen.  Everyone is winning here!

So anyways, I ran into a recipe on Facebook the other day for some *chocolate chunk blondies and the idea of filling them with crushed Robin Eggs popped in my head.  You know those malted milk balls coated in a candy shell that come out around Easter?  When I was a kid, I used to lick the candies and then rub them on my lips for a colorful pastel and sweet lip color.  Anybody else do the same?  (Shh, I still do!)

So spinning off the colorful candies, I wanted to top these bars with a cute garden of springtime animals.  Aren’t these Marshmallow Peeps adorable?

I have to give credit to Wilton’s awesome frosting pouches too!  So convenient!  These bars are sinfully sweet, so make sure you grab some milk.  You can really taste the malted milk from the candies and they really give it that extra addictive chewiness.  They are also filled with gooey chocolate chips and buttery walnuts.

When you bite into these, make sure you eat it with the marshmallow.  (My kids, being kids, ate their peeps first, haha.)  But the marshmallow really gives it a great texture combination.  Love it!!!

So, so, so good!  Give them a whirl.

I had to stash a tray of these in the freezer for Easter.  I can’t wait to share them with the family!

 

And in case you are looking for more Spring cookies and bars, check out these other treats from my friends over at Fill the Cookie Jar!

 

Don’t forget to see how they are made!

First gather all your mix-ins! These are 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, and one 10oz bag of crushed mini robin eggs.

Spring Garden Malted Milk Blondies

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Number of servings: 24

Per Serving 288 calories

Fat 15 g

Carbs 35 g

Protein 5 g

24


Spring Garden Malted Milk Blondies

Gooey blondies filled with malted milk candies, walnuts and chocolate chips and decorated with "grass" and springtime animals.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed lightly
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 10 ounce bag mini robin eggs, malted milk balls, crushed
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pouch Wilton green frosting fitted with piping tip
  • 24 marshmallow peeps, chicks or bunnies or both

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare a 8x12x2 inch baking pan or dish by greasing with cooking spray or butter and dusting with a bit of flour.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on high until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time. Mix well, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture with the mixer running on low.
  5. Add the candies and nuts at once and mix on low for about 5-10 seconds, until incorporated.
  6. Carefully spread the batter into the prepared pan, pressing and smoothing the top to cover to the edges.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. The edges will be slightly more set than the center, but a gooey bar is what you want.
  8. Cool completely in the pan and cut into 24 even bars.
  9. Using the green frosting, pipe "grass" edges around the outside of each bar. Top with a marshmallow chick or bunny. Enjoy.

Notes

You can crush the candies and nuts by placing in a ziptight bag and pounding with a meat mallet or rolling pin.

*Base blondie recipe derived from Ina Garten and can be found here.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

In my house, we love fruit. And in my baking, I love to sneak it into my goodies. And the family always loves it! You can never go wrong with hidden vitamins in pastries and baked goods! I realize I’m shouting, but this is exciting!

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

My favorite substitution is applesauce in cake mix.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky SharkQW

But we’ve had an abundance of kumquats at our house this season. So crazy me decided to throw those into some baked goods too! Brownies in particular.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

And after pureeing these sweetly bitter citrus fruits into pulp, I discovered they were a perfect consistency to use as an applesauce substitute for the oil in my brownie mix!

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

My husband said these were the best brownies he’s tasted. Something about combining citrus and chocolate is just perfect. And they were so moist with a deliciously fudgy consistency.

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Okay, so I threw away the package to this brownie mix and I have no idea what the ingredients were or the bake time, but just follow along the package directions of your brownie mix of choice (we used Betty Crocker), skip the oil and add 1 cup of pureed kumquats (seeds removed) instead. You’ll still use the eggs and water that is called for on the package. Follow the baking directions as noted and viola!

Lowfat Kumquat Brownies | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

That’s really all there is to these citrus spiked brownies. And a generous dusting of powdered sugar, of course!

What is your favorite fruit to throw into your baked goods?

You may also enjoy Vegan Carrot Raisin Cookies

Sweet Cravings-Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

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I’d been craving brownies.  And cheesecake.  And pumpkin anything.  What’s the quickest way to satisfy such cravings?  Put it all into one delectable dessert!  Oh, but why can’t all these things be healthy?!?

Oh, but they can.  And they can be just as rich and satisfying, too.  Especially these little gems.  With just around 100 calories each, you’ll want to make these again and again.  And they freeze well too!

These Pumpkin White Chocolate Brownie Bites have a sweet chocolate soft brownie crust and a rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake topping with bits of white chocolate folded in.  You would never guess it’s lightened up.

Here is my famished fish original ingredient line up.

1 family size box brownie mix
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 – 29 oz can pumpkin purée, divided
2 – 8 oz packages Neufchâtel cream cheese
2 Tb light sour cream
3 eggs
1 cup, plus 2 Tb sugar
2 Tb flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

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First preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine brownie mix and half the can of pumpkin puree.  Mix well.

You see what I did here?  The pumpkin puree stands in for oil and eggs, knocking of unnecessary fat grams.

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Spread into a large 13×9 inch baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

In another large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix in the eggs and remaining pumpkin puree.  Fold in white chocolate chips.

Again, I used LIGHT cream cheese and LIGHT sour cream with just a small amount of white chocolate chips.

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Pour mixture over brownie crust in baking pan.

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Spread cheesecake batter over brownie bottom to cover evenly.

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Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Remove from oven and cool pan on wire rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 5 rows of 9 squares, making 45 brownie bites.

Or cut one piece out right away, because you just can’t resist.

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Enjoy warm or refrigerate overnight.

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Oh so good, oh so rich, and oh so indulgent.

Makes 45 bars

What is your favorite cheesecake combination?

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Number of servings: 45

Per Serving 106 calories

Fat 3 g

Carbs 18 g

Protein 2 g

36


Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Family Size Brownie Mix
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 - 29 oz can pumpkin purée
  • 2 - 8 oz packages Neufchâtel cream cheese
  • 2 Tb light sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup, plus 2 Tb sugar
  • 2 Tb flour
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

You may also enjoy  Lowfat Caramel Cheesecake Dip for Fruit

Double Chocolate, Doubly Delicious, and Seriously Guilt Free

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I’ve been on a serious, and I mean serious, clean eating kick for the past three weeks.  I love it!  I have more energy to make it through my 18-hour day, I feel great and I’m gaining a new body and healthy image!  Processed junk foods no longer have the same appeal it once did. I go to a buffet and long for the colorful salad bar!  And I find it challenging to see what clean eating sweet treats I can create without tearing open a bag of Chips Ahoy.
I’d like to thank Chris Freytag for a lo-ot of that.  I’ve been committed to her circuit workouts for nearly two years now and just recently purchased her new eBook about clean eating.  I thought I was doing well before and I have several Eat Clean cookbooks, too.  I was way off kilter.  I was doing it wrong!  I was inconsistent.  I purchased Chris’s eBook which uses recipes from Slender Kitchen and the menu suggested a Cookie Pie recipe.

Omg it sounded heavenly. And I made the cookie dough dip before, too-also sinfully delicious. But I didn’t want a Cookie Pie. I wanted more chocolate. More goodness. More.  I honestly don’t think any other decadent food can top the health benefits of sweet and sinful chocolate.  Yup, this dessert packs in healthy yumminess!

 

This recipe calls for garbanzo beans in place of flour.  Yes, this is a Gluten Free dessert!  I’m sure you may have heard of this substitution, if you are familiar with gluten free subs. Even black beans are common substitutes. But did you know garbanzo are super good for you?  I mean, top notch, get your blood moving good!  Like, the healthiest bean out there!  Not to mention the chocolate!!!  That’s my kind of MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acid) right there.
Okay so I had to do it; I added more chocolate!  And yes, I kept the calories way down.
Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies-Gluten Free
 
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup PB2 peanut butter chocolate flavor [if you can’t find the PB2 (I ordered mine online), you may use 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter and omit the 1 Tb]
1/4 skim milk (I used soy)
3 Tb uncooked oatmeal
1 Tb cocoa powder
1 Tb creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/6 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Grease 8″ square baking pan lightly with   cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor or blender until smooth.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread into prepared pan and bake for 35 min or until set about 2 inches from edge.  Cool slightly and cut evenly into 16 bars.  Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
I served these up immediately because my 9-year old couldn’t wait to try the cookies, since he had to suffer smelling them while they baked. I didn’t tell him they were healthy. And he ate two!
These are surprisingly satisfyingly filling!  I came home from work tonight famished.  You know when you can’t wait for dinner to be ready and you are serving your kids their afternoon snack and you so want to stick your hand into their bag of chips or cookies?  And I’d had plenty a fill of fruits and veggies today.  So I had a square of gooey Double Chocolate Brownie Cookie with a glass of water and I felt content not to nibble on dinner while cooking.  Every bite-guilt free goodness.  Yep. You’ll love it. No picky shark version needed here!  This one is especially good for them.