Slimmed Down Betty Crocker: Part 2

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As you may remember awhile back I posted about how I slimmed down the Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie/Cookie Bars by replacing the butter and eggs in the recipe with unsweetened applesauce (for butter) and Egg Beaters (for eggs).  The result was good, but it was a bit dense and not as fabulous as I would have liked.  I know that with cutting out a bunch of the oil and fat in things will result in some sacrifices in the gooey-ness department, but I was convinced there still had to be a better way.   As you all know by now, I’m slightly obsessed with canned pure pumpkin.  One of my favorite uses is to put it in cake mix and voila, a moist and delicious cake.  That’s when the lightbulb went on:

If I already use pumpkin with cake mix and the result is amazing, why don’t I try using the pumpkin as my butter replacement instead of the unsweetened applesauce?!

Off to the grocery store I went, anxious for take 2 of the Supreme Bar adventure.  I did the exact same thing as before: Follow the directions on the box, but use my substitutions.  THis time I used pumpkin instead of butter and an egg white rather than egg or egg substitute.  The result was fantastic!

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First, you can see how much less runny the cookie dough ended up.  With the applesauce, it practically could be poured on top of the brownies.  With the pumpkin the dough actually came out the consistency of cookie dough. Right off the bat I knew I had to be on to something with this.  It baked well and came out looking like it had more moisture than the old one

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Can you see the amazing difference?  These were taken in same spot on the stove.  The one on the right is my old way with the applesauce, and the left is with the pumpkin.  Clearly the one on the left looks more decadent (and it was).  As you can see, Erik couldn’t wait to give this a try, and all of the sudden I hear “Baby, this is much better than the first time.”

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So the bottom line here is that in baking, canned pure pumpkin is an amazing 0 Point substitute for butter.  Added bonus, you know you’re getting a vegetable in while having your guilt free treat!  4 Points per serving.  Enjoy my friends.

Slimming Down A Betty Crocker Boxed Favorite

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Yesterday I went to the grocery store to get some fruit to last us until our usual grocery shopping trip that Erik and I do together, and I was given the mission to find something sweet for dessert for the evening.  I went to the store with the intention of experimenting with PB2 anyway (post on that to come later), so I was on the “let’s see what we can substitute” kick.  After looking at my options in the baking aisle I decided that the Betty Crocker Supreme Bars were going to be the other experiment of the night.

Now, for those of you who have not picked up this wonder in a box, you’re missing out.  Miss Crocker basically took two of the world’s greatest things (brownies and chocolate chip cookies) and put them in the same box.  As with most boxed sweets, butter/oil, eggs and water are the only add-ins before the batter hits the pan.  There are two separate bags; first you whip up the brownie mix and put that in an 8 x 8 pan, then you make the cookie dough and distribute little balls of it on top of the brownie batter, bake and enjoy.

Now enter the substitutes.

1. A round cake pan because I somehow failed to realize that we had no square baking pans in our apartment.  With a wedding in 5 months, I figure at this point it isn’t worth it to buy one since it’s on our registries.

2. Rather than whole eggs, I used egg substitute (the Harris Teeter brand of Egg Beaters).  This knocks out some of the cholesterol and fat from the regular egg

3. Instead of using butter/oil I used unsweetened applesauce.  Rather than the 92 grams of fat (!!) and 24 PointsPlus that the recipe calls for, the unsweetened applesauce costs 0 PointsPlus.  HUGE difference.

I just followed the directions as written using my little substitutes rather than the ingredients listed.  The result was not as scary as I expected.

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The cookie dough batter did come out a little runnier than what I presume is normal, so rather than balling it up to place around the pan I was able to practically coat the brownies in the cookie dough.  Once out of the oven, we sliced it pizza style and gave this experiment a try.

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The most notable difference is the fact it turned out to have a cakey consistency rather than an ooey gooey brownie, which is not a surprising thing considering I eliminated 95% of the fat in the recipe.  When slimming down a decadent dessert you know you’ll have to make some sacrifices in the gooey department, so when taking the whole diet-substitute thing into consideration this turned out really well.  We tested it on our guests last night, and it seemed to go well.

After pondering the cakey result of this mix and my peanut butter cookie cup experiment (I got slightly dense cake rather than gooey peanut butter cookie) I think I’ll be giving this one more go and I will replace the applesauce with canned pure pumpkin.  I’ve made several things with pumpkin and the amount of moisture it keeps in cakes is incredible.

Tell me about your recipe slim down secrets.  I’m always anxious to try new ones.

Have a decadent (yet guilt free) day!