4×4 Recipes for the Holidays

It’s officially November which means we are on the cusp of holiday season. Whether for your holiday party, your child’s coach, a cookie swap or just because, we all seem to enjoy baking during the holidays. As a very active person, I am always looking for ways to simplify my life, especially during this time of year. I’m guessing you are too, which is why I’d like to share with you my favorite four 4 ingredient dessert recipes. These aren’t just any desserts, though, they all have one added bonus for the health conscious.

Peanut Butter Cookies (Bonus: Gluten Free)

ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla

instructions:

-preheat oven to 350

-line large baking sheet w/parchment paper

-mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla on low speed (or by hand) until well combined

-scoop dough on baking sheet, flatten the dough balls w/fork, making a cross pattern on the cookies

-bake for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges

-let sit for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Nutella Brownie Mini Muffins (Bonus: Great Recovery Snack)

ingredients: 1/2 cup nutella, 1 large egg, 5 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

instructions:

-preheat oven 350

-put liners in mini muffin pan

-combine nutella and egg in bowl, wisk until smooth

-add flour, wisk until blended

-spoon into muffin tin and sprinkle with hazelnuts

-bake 11-13 mins (tooth pick will come out w/ wet/gooey crumbs)

-cool on rack

Spice Cake (Bonus: Lycopene)

ingredients: spice cake mix, 10 3/4 ounce can tomato soup, 1/2 cup milk or water, 2 eggs

instructions:

-preheat oven 350

-grease and flour 9×13 pan

-mix ingredients on low speed just until combined

-mix additional 2 minutes on medium to high

-pour into pan

-bake 25 mins or until tooth pick can be removed clean

-cool on wire rack for 10 mins

-frost (optional)

Three Musketeers Bars (Bonus: Vegan)

ingredients: 4 cups (diary free) semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 carton (dairy free) whipped topping-thawed, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon flavoring of choice (almond, amaretto, mint, etc)

instructions:

-line 8 inch baking pan w/wax paper

-melt 2 cups chocolate chips in microwave (1 minute, stir, continue at 15 min intervals until melted)

-whip whipped topping according to directions

-add whipped topping to melted chocolate and beat until combined and fluffy

-spread into pan

-put in freezer for 30 mins

-remove from pan, cut into squares, return to freezer for another 30 mins

-melt 2 cups of chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl (as instructed above)

-add coconut oil and choice of flavoring, stir until smooth

-dip frozen chocolate squares into melted chocolate mixture

-place finished bar on wax paper lined baking tray

-put tray in freezer and allow to set