Hey there, people! How are you doing today? Well, even though my crazy stressful project is over, I am still swamped at work (does it ever end?) and am running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I’m sure you can imagine.
Then, right in the middle of the afternoon I got an IM from the front desk assistant saying I received a package. Usually they just bring packages right to my desk (you know, really exciting things like thousands of fact sheets being shipped back from a conference) so I was wondering why I had to go pick up this package from the front office.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting there!
Aren’t the beautiful?! They came from my wonderful, sweet, mom, who has been worried about me the entire time I was captaining this crazy stressful project at work. She was also really appreciative that I was able to go down to my grandparent’s house this weekend even though I knew I also had to go in to work. She is the best mom in the world, isn’t she?
I have to admit that my bootcamp could be going better. Yesterday I had to be at work an hour earlier than usual, so the hour that I usually spend at the gym in the morning went right out window. Then, after work, Fabio and I met up with some friends of his family since they are visiting D.C. We drove them around, showed them the monuments, and went out to dinner. Although it was a really nice evening, we didn’t get home until late and then it was too late for the gym 🙁
Today’s workout was better, but it wasn’t technically the plan I was supposed to be doing as part of the bootcamp. See, every two weeks Tina sends the next set of workouts to everyone via email. While you can just print the document and work from there, I always need to watch the demonstration videos and draw myself little hints and reminders of what the moves should look like (I’m a nerd- I know).
I didn’t have time to look at the new workouts yet this week (fail) so this morning I just continued one of the workouts from last week. That was fine for today, but now my schedule is all off. Womp womp. I’m going to make sure I print out those new workouts and write down the tips for myself today. No more procrastinating. Sheesh.
Anyway, I have a really great recipe for you all today! I saw this recipe on Iowa Girl Eats, which is probably my favorite blog, hands down. Kristin is the blogger behind the site and she is sweet, down to earth, and an amazing cook. She is also really creative and great at photography! Plus I think we just have really similar tastes because everything she makes seems exactly like something I would love. I have recreated a ton of her recipes and they always turn out great. As soon as I saw her Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies, I knew I just had to try them out!
First, I mixed 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room temperature butter, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/3 cup each brown and regular sugar and then beat everything for a couple of minutes until it was well-blended. Then I added 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. The applesauce is really great here, since it acts as a replacement for any oil or extra butter. I love you when you can make a healthy swap in recipes!
Then I mixed together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Into the bowl went 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Then I made sure to whisk this mixture really well because lumps of baking powder or baking soda can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Blech.
One day I’ll get a KitchenAid, but for now, a hand mixer works fine!
Then it was time for…the zucchini!
I took my medium-sized zucchini and used the small side of my grater to grate it all up.
Then, I placed a few paper towels in a bowl and squeezed the extra moisture out of the zucchini.A lot came out!! Kristin assures me that squeezing out the excess water keeps your cookies soft, but not soggy. FYI.
Then I gently mixed everything together, and popped the cookie dough into the fridge for about an hour so it could solidify a bit. I have to admit, the color of this cookie dough is…interesting. At one point I thought of gross cat food (or vomit?), but I quickly wiped that thought from my mind lol. Gross! Whatever, it tasted great.
While the cookies were baking, I got the cream cheese icing ready. The original recipe used the icing for whoopie pies, but I wasn’t crazy about the idea so I cut the recipe in half and used it as icing instead. Yum!
To a bowl I added 1 tablespoon of room temperature butter, (I used Brummel & Brown yogurt spread), 2oz of room temperature fat free cream cheese, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.
As a helpful hint, I actually ran out of powdered sugar, so I pulsed regular sugar in the food processor until it resembled powdered sugar. It took a little while, but it worked out perfectly!
I mixed these ingredients together really well, and soon I had icing!
These were so delicious, and weren’t too unhealthy, especially since they were made with whole wheat flour, applesauce, and zucchini. Win!
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (4oz) unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup finely grated zucchini (squeezed of excess moisture then measured)
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- For the icing:
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature (I used Brummel & Brown)
- 2oz fat free cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- Combine butter, applesauce, and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes.
- Add egg then beat to combine. Add vanilla then beat to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together both flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add to the dry mixture to the wet ingredients slowly, mixing well between each batch.
- Add zucchini and mix to combine. Then add oatmeal and mix to combine.
- Cover bowl then place in the refrigerator for one hour, or until dough holds it’s shape when scooped.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets then bake for 10 minutes, or until set on top.
- Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, combine butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Scoop into a piping or Ziploc bag, snip off the corner, then pipe onto cooled cookies.
These cookies are nice and soft, sort of like Zucchini bread. I have been handing them out to my coworkers all week and everyone has loved them! You gotta’ try these for yourself.
So tell me, what are your favorite cookies? I love peanut butter and chocolate chip, but I get super excited over any healthy cookie concoctions haha!