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Holiday Desserts Living Smart 

Holiday Desserts

We always want to impress our families and friends with new and original recipes for special occasions. But with all the candy, cookies, cakes, muffins, and those extra special seasonal drinks – you know the ones we mean, like the super tasty candy cane martinis – it would be nice to have a few options that will help you avoid the extra calories during the holiday season and offer up some delicious alternatives that will leave you feeling satisfied and healthy.

Delicious Crumbly Apple Cranberry Mix

The Filling:

3 cups (about 4) peeled and sliced gala apples
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup honey or lite maple syrup
Low calorie cooking spray

The Topping:
3/4 cup dry quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp light butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325°F. First, lightly spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Combine the apples and cranberries with the rest of the filling ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a baking dish and even out with a spoon. In another bowl, combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle over apple/cranberry mixture. Bake uncovered, for 55-60 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

If you’d like, top if off with a thin layer of lite or fat-free whipped cream. Serve warm – and most importantly, enjoy!

Spiced Holiday Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters

Ingredients:

About 16 small shot glasses
4 oz low-fat fat cream cheese, softened
3 (1.5 oz total) whole chocolate graham crackers
1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp dark brown sugar, unpacked
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8 oz light whipped topping

Crush graham crackers in a food processor. Set aside. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until well combined and creamy. Use a spatula to fold in 5 oz (1-1/2 cups) of the whipped topping; combine until no streaks remain. Place in a ziplock bag with a corner snipped off.

To assemble: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom of each shot glass. Pipe a layer of pumpkin cheesecake onto the graham cracker crust (about 1 tbsp) followed by a layer of whipped topping. Repeat a second layer and finish with another sprinkle of crumbs. Insert small spoons and refrigerate until ready to serve. Yum!

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