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04
Nov 14

Halfway Cookie PIE

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and we’ve been plotting pie flavors. We were thinking chocolate. So…we’ve turned our favorite Halfway Bars into a luscious cookie pie. Oh my!

Halfway Cookie Pie

 

Earlier this Fall, we were invited to create a healthy dessert recipe for the approaching holiday seasons with NOW Foods products! They kindly sent us some healthy products to use and sample for our recipe testing. What a treat it is to open up a box of products that you know are totally natural. NOW Foods range from flours to chocolates to natural sweeteners like xylitol and we’ve loved everything we’ve tried of theirs. We were excited to get recipe testing using these goodies!

Halfway Pie RecipeTo be honest, it’s not a challenge to ask us to create a healthy dessert recipe. We’ll gladly accept the invitation to linger in our kitchens for an afternoon, and test away on something sweet and delicious. With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, we were thinking pie for this particular project. But the flavor?! Where to start? We know most people like to turn to spiced pies like pumpkin or apple but here is a nice new twist!  What does “halfway” mean? It’s a cookie with the eggs and chocolate baked separate from the cookie dough. Instead of the egg whites baked into the cookie, they are whipped into a lovely meringue to cover a chocolate layer and a cookie base. This version is in pie form and it’s easier than it might sound! It’s also healthier without any refined white sugar, white flour or dairy! This chocolatey pie is oh so delicious that it might become as much of a tradition as your favorite family recipes. Healthy Halfway Cookie Pie The crust of this pie is a chewy dense cookie crust that just so happens to be dairy-free and gluten-free! Don’t worry, it’s still full of the fabulous buttery, vanilla flavors of a real chocolate chip cookie. To the center, we load it up with a thick layer of melted dark chocolate. The final and most beautiful layer is a sweet meringue, gently baked until it is every so slightly “toasted”. These lovely layers combine for absolute perfection in this gooey cookie pie! Enjoy!

Healthy Halfway Cookie Pie (gluten-free and dairy-free)
Print Recipe

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons Living NOW All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
1 teaspoon Sea or Pink Salt
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup Soy Free Earth Balance Butter
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup plus 5 tablespoons Coconut Sugar, divided
3 Large Organic Eggs, whites separated from yokes
11/4 teaspoon Cornstarch (organic, non-GMO), divided
1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
3/4-1 cup Chopped Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate

Grease 10″ pie pan. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the first 3 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch. In another bowl, cream together the earth balance butter and 3/4 cup of coconut sugar. Add the 3 egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. Press the dough in the prepared pie pan, giving about a 1 inch edge.  Pour the chocolate chips in the center of the pie.

Wipe out the bowl that was used for the dry ingredients. Place the 3 egg whites in the bowl and begin whisking the whites. Slowly increase speed to medium speed. When they begin to look froth and lighten in color, add the cream of tartar and 3/4 teaspoon corn starch.  Continue gradually increase speed until the egg whites double in volume and begin to look glossy. Begin adding in the remaining coconut sugar very slowly. Be careful to add slowly – if you dump the sugar in at once, the meringue will lose it’s air. Beat until the sugar is completely dissolved and eggs are very smooth and firm, at least 1-2 minutes. The meringue should hold a soft peak and be light in color. Spread the mixture over the chocolate.

Cover the pan with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. You can cut into while warm or refrigerate for firmer, cleaner slices.

The pie pictured is in a 10″ deep dish, but this recipe can stretched into a 12″ dish for a thinner crust.

This recipe post was created as part of the NOW Foods Holiday Smart Swap Recipe Challenge.


30
Oct 14

Happy Birthday, Annie!

Happy Birthday to the Queen of Natural Sweet Recipes! Annie’s birthday is today! She is the one who makes this blog awesome and who inspires the whole family with her hard work and dedication to the beautiful foods and healthy recipes found here. Our mom (The Queen of Birthdays) couldn’t resist joining today’s celebration and creating this recipe especially for Annie.

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Besides being creatively-gifted, Annie is an amazing friend and sister. She is thoughtful, kind, funny and patient. She is devoted to her faith, her husband and family, and of course, her little (big) dog Enzo. She also knows how to have a good time and is probably the person I’ve laughed with (and at, ha ha) the most in my whole life. And she’s absolutely beautiful, inside and out.

Without further adieu, let’s get to the delicious treat we have for you today. As you all know, we love recreating favorite desserts to make them sugar-free and hopefully healthier. These coconut blueberry cordials are no exception. They are easy to make but fancy enough to wow people at any holiday gathering.

Close Up

The Queen Anne brand of chocolates has been around for over 60 years, and we certainly aren’t trying to compete. But we couldn’t resist gifting OUR Queen Anne with a box of healthier chocolates, wrapped in Queen Anne candy packaging.

Queen Anne

Happy, Happy Birthday, to our Queen Anne!!

Coconut Blueberry Cordials (gluten-free

Yields: 10 cordials

1 cup Coconut Butter
1/2 cup Freeze-dried Blueberries
4 tablespoons of Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons of Honey
2 tablespoons of Vanilla flavored Protein Powder
1 3.5 ounce Chocolate Bar

Pulse freeze-dried blueberries in a blender until they become a fine powder. Transfer the blueberry powder to a food processor and add coconut butter, maple syrup, honey, and protein powder. Mix everything together until well incorporated. Use hands or a 1-inch scoop to form 10 1-inch balls and set on a plate. Refrigerate balls for 30 minutes to set. Melt the chocolate bar over low heat on the stove or in the microwave, stirring often. Once chocolate is melted, dip refrigerated balls into the chocolate and roll until well covered. Set on parchment or wax paper and return to the refrigerator to set up.

And in case you want to see a few more #tbt photos:

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27
Oct 14

Behind The Scenes

Healthy Kitchen

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to blog? What about when THREE girls are behind one blog?  Today, Natural Sweet Recipes is participating in the Behind the Scenes Blog Tour!

We were invited by Kelly from Hidden Fruits and Veggies to be apart of this little project. We love Kelly’s vegetarian blog and we really loved reading about her process. We thought it would be fun to participate! After we share how we work, we’ll nominate 3 other bloggers to participate next. Let’s get started!

1: What are we working on?

Right now, we are suuuuper excited for all the Fall and Christmas goodies we can get our hands on. Especially pie. You’re probably thinking, “Duh, it’s Thanksgiving soon”. We are working on a very special post for a pie recipe that is going to be deliciously different from apple or pecan or pumpkin. We shoot recipes in our own kitchens/dining rooms/living rooms and we’ll often be on speaker phone with each other while making or photographing recipes! We get dessert ideas on a daily basis so there is literally never a lack of blog “work” to be working on!

Natural Sweet Recipes

2) How does our work differ from others of its genre?

First off, we’re not nutritionists, we’re not dietitians. We’re just hungry for sweets all. the. time. With our busy lives, we want recipes that can be made all the time. We also have a passion for healthy eating and nutrition. Most desserts do not associate with that at all, but that’s our goal here!

Second, our site is about natural sweeteners and whole foods in general. We don’t JUST share desserts that are sugar-free. We focus on replacing sugar and other unhealthy ingredients (like white flour or butter) in all types of recipes like main dishes, breakfasts and salads.

3) Why do we write/create what we do?

We could eat desserts all the time! So when we were diagnosed with Candida, we needed to make some changes. After we took care of the Candida, we needed a way to maintain this new relationship with sugar and a way to stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. What better way to do this than to have support from your best friends (i.e. sisters) and ALWAYS ensure you have healthy treats around than to blog about those treats? What’s more, we are so thrilled when family, friends and readers are benefiting from our naturally sweetened desserts. When people tell us they loved a recipe and the ingredients we use – well, there’s nothing better!

4) How does your writing/creating process work?

Natural Sweet Recipes Kitchen

Our creative process can change from post to post depending on our schedules! With three sisters, and three different schedules we have to have good communication and flexibility. We have a Queen Bee (Annie) who manages most everything on the blog and what needs to be done. With Chelsea in Brazil right now and Holly running after three kids, it’s often when things are posted entirely by Annie. Whenever possible, we collaborate, make, photograph and write recipes when we are together and love it! We love working in Holly’s big kitchen best (photo above)! Sadly, we usually aren’t together so there are a lot of recipes that were done by one person or are a collaboration of all our work. For example, Chelsea will come up with the recipe, Annie will photograph it and Holly will write up the post. Our Healthy First Birthday Cake is a great example of all of our help in making, photographing, writing and editing a recipe.

healthy birthday cake recipe

To make it more fun, our mom also loves creating healthy desserts and will send us a recipe or will help with writing and editing. With full-time jobs, families, church work and travels, it’s really nice to have each others help and makes the blogging process more fun!

Here are the next three bloggers that we have nominated for next Monday!

 

Needs salt

Abbie at Needs Salt

Needs Salt is an incredible blog devoted to natural foods, starring pink salt! We love that Abbie chooses whole foods in her recipes as well as natural sweeteners. She has a great selection of recipes and everything she posts is mouth-watering.  Abbie even guest posted for us a few weeks ago with some amazing doughnuts! What’s even more impressive about Abbie is that she runs her blog while being in High School – she’s only 17!

 

PENTAX ImageSusan at Bright Bold and Beautiful Food

Susan isn’t just a blogger friend – Annie and Susan went to High School together in D.C. This picture is from their senior year at prom! Susan shares beautiful recipes! She incorporates fresh produce and the best ingredients she can get her hands on. Her approach to cooking is simple but elegant. It’s the prefect balance from our overly sweetened blog and if you are new to cooking or just need some culinary inspiration – her blog is perfect!

 

desserts with benefitsJessica at Desserts with Benefits

We love Desserts with Benefits! Jessica shares our passion for sugar-free, healthy desserts and her blog is packed full of them! What is different about Jessica’s blog is that as a student studying nutrition, she takes the term “healthy” in her recipes seriously and doesn’t use a lot of traditional ingredients like butter, white flour or eggs in her baking.. but everything you’ll see on her site looks completely delicious!

We can’t wait to see what these bloggers come up with for their tour! Thanks for participating guys and thanks for reading!

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