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Know Your Ingredients, Know Your Costs

Tag: dessert

$1.50 and 10 Minute Gluten Free Mug Cake

$1.50 and 10 Minute Gluten Free Mug Cake

Today’s the day to have some cake. Why? You deserve it. You’re awesome. How do I know that? You’re reading this post! Also, this “cake” is gluten-free and is only sweetened with fruit (with options for vegan and whole wheat substitutes in the Tips Section!). Kinda hard to call it cake based on the ingredients, but it sure tastes like one! With the knowledge that you’re only $1.50 and 10 minutes away, every day is a day for cake.

$0.25 and 20 Minute Peanut Butter Cups

$0.25 and 20 Minute Peanut Butter Cups

New Recipe on the blog today! $0.25 and 20 Minute Peanut Butter Cups!

Peanut butter cups were my favorite candy growing up. Every Halloween, they were that candy that I would set aside for last because I knew they would be the best! As I’ve embraced unprocessed foods, I figured that I had eaten my last peanut butter cup. But that was not a world I could live in. Turns out by combining a few of my favorite recipes ($2 and 5 Minute Almond/Peanut Butter and the chocolate topping from $5 and 30 Minute Cardamom Raisin Squares!) they can quickly be created in your own kitchen for a fraction of the cost of those store-bought peanut butter cups I grew up craving! And better yet, they only have 4 ingredients! This healthy dessert is truly worth your time – your inner child will thank you!

$0.50 and 30 Minute Pralines

$0.50 and 30 Minute Pralines

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is pretty much the opposite of everything this blog and I stand for when it comes to healthy eating. But it’s Christmas time and everyone is posting cookie recipes full of added sugar. This recipe’s first two ingredients: added sugar. We all have a list of guilty pleasures and this recipe is at the top of mine. Please enjoy responsibility!

Ingredients (~20 cookies):

  • 1.5 cups of organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 cups of organic light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of 2% Fairlife milk
  • 6 TBSP of organic salted butter cut into 1 TBSP pieces (if unsalted, add 1/8 tsp of salt)
  • 1.5 cups of pecans
  • 1 tsp of organic vanilla extract

Praline Ingredients

For chocolate or whiskey flavored pralines, see the Tips section below!

Tools:

  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • Medium sized pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Thermometer (read more on Apartment Chef Tools post!)

Instructions:

  1. Lay out approximately 3 feet of aluminum foil or parchment paper on an empty countertop.
  2. Combine all ingredients in the pot.
  3. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally to make sure that nothing gets stuck to the pan.
  4. Boil until mixture reaches 238F-240F, stirring constantly (~5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat, continue to stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken and you can hear the sugar against the side of the bowl (~5 minutes).
  6. Work quickly to scoop ~20 cookies out onto to prepared aluminum foil.
  7. Wait 10 minutes for the cookies to cool and enjoy!

Total time: 25 Minutes (10 to prep, 15 to cook)

Tips:

Step 2 – For Chocolate Pralines, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. For Whiskey Pralines, add 1/2 cup of whiskey. Step 3 – Take advantage of this time to clean up you took out while everything is heating! The pot and spoon should be the only thing to clean at the end of this recipe!

Step 3 – It should look something like this once the sugar and butter heats up and combines:

Praline Mixing

Step 4 – Why 238-240F you ask? Once sugar temperature passes 238F it will solidify into a solid once it cools. You can read all about it here.

Step 5 – This takes practice! Maybe at first they will be a little too runny, next they’ll be a little too solid, but before you know it they will be just right! A wooden spoon will do just fine, but a small ice cream scoop is perfect for the task. This is me scooping furiously:

Praline Scooping

Step 6 – If they cool too much and form a giant praline in the pot, reheat until the mixture is liquid again and then continue to spoon out pralines.

Step 7 – I have never successfully waited 10 minutes.

Cost:

  • 1.5 cups of organic cane sugar ~ $1.25
  • 3/4 cups of organic light brown sugar ~ $0.50
  • 1/2 cup of Fairlife 2% milk ~ $0.25
  • 6 TBSP of organic salted butter ~ $1
  • 1.5 cups of pecans ~ $5
  • 1 tsp of organic vanilla extract ~ $0.25

Cost per batch of 20 pralines ~ $8.25

Cost per praline ~ $0.50

Conclusion:

So why post this recipe after the disclaimer? This was a first recipe that opened my eyes to how delicious and cost-effective it is to cook. Before I made my first batch, I thought the taste of a Southern Candymaker’s praline couldn’t be matched and $3 was a fair price. After my first batch, I concluded my sugar filled treats taste just like theirs and that I was overpaying.

I recently received some life advice from a kitchen towel: “Life is short. Eat what you want.” To the end of that quote, I’d add “in moderation!” Usually, what I want is a healthy dessert such as $6 and 30 Minute Avocado Key Lime Pie or $0.10 and 25 Minute Banana Coconut Cookies. But sometimes my cravings can only be satisfied by a couple pralines. Pralines made with all organic ingredients that only cost $0.50 per cookie. A guilty pleasure at its best!

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs.

Praline Plate

$6.50 and 15 Minute Pumpkin Pie Fudge

$6.50 and 15 Minute Pumpkin Pie Fudge

In desperate need of pumpkin pie, but not all the calories and added sugar? Wish there was a healthy way to get the fall flavors you crave? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered with this perfectly dense, delicious and healthy pumpkin fudge. The entire batch of fudge, chocolate icing and all, only contains a little over 1/4 cup of sweetener and organic or pure ingredients. Plus, it only costs $6.50 per batch. Pass the fudge, please!

$6 and 30 Minute Avocado Key Lime Pie

$6 and 30 Minute Avocado Key Lime Pie

Want to eat pie all day? Now you can! Thanks to this guilt-free avocado key lime pie. All you need is $7, 6 ingredients, and 30 minutes to prepare a treat you won’t soon forget!