We are snowed-in, yet again. The south just isn't equipped to handle this amount of snow, or any snow for that matter. I set off to baking. I've been baking a new cookie every week for about 4-6 weeks now. This started as a way of purchasing fewer store-bought, processed cookies.

We skipped last week since I was trying to see how I would handle watching my sugar intake, keeping it under 25 grams. It didn't go well. I'm grateful I lost 5 pounds but that's no way to live. Whole grains are good for you! I don't care if they have sugar/carbs in them, I gotta have them, no, my body neeeedddss them to function properly.

Potato chips, sweets, juices, and anything white, I can stay away from, and pretty much do anyway. But I gotta have oats and brown rice and fruit for cryin-out-loud, and sweet Jesus, agave nectar or demerara/raw sugar in my coffee in the morning. One week with Splenda in my coffee...not a palate-pleaser. Why does Coke Zero taste soooo good but coffee with the same sweetener tastes soooo bad?! Needless to say, I'm making a compromise between the 25g of sugar per day and eating real food and sugars in my life. I'll watch it but it's not going to watch me...I'm back in charge.

Here's our cookie for this week: Oatmeal (that's right...carbs) Chocolate Chip (uh huh...sugar and fat and caffeine) Pecan Cookies. I used a secret ingredient in these, well a couple. I substituted vegetable baby food for half the butter, the dreaded Splenda (since I now have a huge bag of this stuff) to replace 1/4 of the brown sugar, and whole wheat flour instead of white. I also cut back the nuts and chocolate chips to 3/4's cup instead of a full cup of each.

None of us could tell there were veggies in this, of course there wasn't really enough to count as a veggie anyway. We also didn't recognize the Splenda. I did, however, get the calories down from 400 to 140; the fat down to 5g. from a whopping 20g., the fiber up to 3g. from 2g.; the protein up to 4g. from 2g.; and the sugars down to 9g. from 21g. Not too shabby and they're really super delicious!
P.S.- making Smitten Kitchen's White & Dark Chocolate Heart Brownies this weekend and Strawberry Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting for Valentines Day...stay tuned!
UPDATE 2/13: Smitten Kitchen's brownies DID NOT work. Way too greasy and sticky, crispy sweet....do not recommend.

dough before baking
Click on recipe title for a printer-friendly version
Yield: 24

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups oats, not quick oats
3/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
6 Tbsp. mild-flavored baby food puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated Splenda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Using a standing mixer or bowl with a hand mixer, whip the butter, baby food, brown sugar, and Splenda until somewhat smooth. Add the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix for about 10 seconds. Add the pecans and chocolate chips and mix again until it comes together as a cookie dough. Place 2 Tbsp. worth of the dough about 1-2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 2 hours. This will help the cookies stay crisp on the outside when they are stored together.

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