Wholly Healthy Momma

A site meant to share healthy versions of delicious food so that more people can enjoy living a healthier lifestyle!

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars

I was opening a package of butter the other day and the recipe printed on the inside caught my eye.  This, of course, happens frequently.  Normally, I clip it and squirrel it away in some location, never to be seen again.  These poor recipes never seem to find their way out of the dark abyss once they’ve been clipped.  But this recipe looked so good that I had to make it. Now I am so happy I did; they are so good! So, without further ado…

The original recipe came from a Land O Lakes package and can be found here 

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars 

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bars


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
7/8 cup honey plus 1/8 cup molasses
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups pecan halves

Caramel Layer

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup honey plus 1 Tbsp molasses


1 cup chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350°F.

  1. Combine all crust ingredients except pecans in food processor. Beat at medium speed until well combined.
  2. Press onto bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan.  Spread pecans evenly over unbaked crust.  Bake about 5 minutes.
  3. Start the caramel layer. Combine caramel ingredients in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until entire surface of mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove crust from oven and pour caramel evenly over pecans and crust.
  4. Bake 18-22 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. (Do not overbake.) Remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle with chips; allow to melt slightly. 
  5. Cool completely; cut into bars.
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When my little monkey said she wanted a new kind of cookie I decided to try snickerdoodles because Grammy has always said they were her favorite cookies.  So this recipe is Grammy approved, unfortunately her new favorite is peanut butter blossoms with the Hershey’s kiss in the middle… I don’t think I will be making those anytime soon so we will stick with snickerdoodles for now.

Since the baby is still under a year I used agave nectar for this recipe but it could easily be swapped with honey.

I adapted the recipe from one with a 5 star rating on food.com.  you can view the original at http://www.food.com/recipe/soft-snickerdoodle-cookies-97496




1 cup butter

1 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp stevia (cup for cup like sugar)

2 eggs

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping ingredients:

2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp stevia (cup for cup like sugar)

3 teaspoons cinnamon



Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix butter, agave nectar, stevia and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.   Combine flours, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.  Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.  Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.  roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll each ball in the topping mixture.  Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.  Immediately transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

This is for you Nana!


Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-bake Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3 cups oatmeal flakes

1 1/2 cup coconut

In a sauce pan, mix first 5 ingredients together.  Bring to a boil, mix until smooth.   Remove from heat and fold in oatmeal and coconut  until well coated.  Drop by spoonfuls or roll into balls (more work but they hold up better) and place onto wax paper.  Cover and keep refrigerated.  Enjoy!

These are usually gone at our house within a couple of days.  YUMMY!

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

Today I was fighting with my 2 year old as I tried to get her hair done and I told her “just tell me what you want and I will give it to you.  It’s not safe to stand on the changing table.” (She likes to grab and play with things while I do her hair). After a minute or two she says “I want a cookie”.  Well that was not an option at the time since we had no cookies in the house… but, I had been dying to try a recipe I found recently (you can view the original recipe at http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/03/lemon-sugar-cookies/ )  so I said “We will make some when I get your hair finished”  and we did!   These turned out to be some of the best sugar cookies I have ever made!   They were yummy, rolled out great, and didn’t stick all over the counter!  I will definitely make them again!

I want to add a couple side notes for the substitutions I have made in this recipe.

Whole wheat baby cereal – we were on WIC for 2 months and ended up with tons of baby cereal and baby food that my daughter refused to eat… so, I found ways to use it.  The meat flavored baby food adds substance to gravies, soups, stews… the fruits I mixed with yogurt as a treat or blended into my pancakes to replace the oil… the cereal was more difficult, but eventually I had the idea to substitute it for flour.  This is the most I have ever used in a recipe but it worked beautifully, I will be using it more often!

Eggs – the original recipe called for 1 large egg and 1 egg white.  I hate wasting half an egg so I usually don’t separate the  eggs.  I used 2 medium eggs instead.

Apple sauce- the original recipe called for vegetable shortening, since we don’t use this anymore I looked up a substitution for it.  I found a website that said to substitute it with half as much applesauce in baking recipes.  So for 1 cup vegetable shortening use 1/2 cup applesauce.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup whole wheat baby cereal

2 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/8 cup applesauce

1/4 cup honey

2 packets stevia

Zest of 1 large lemon (1 Tbsp)

2 eggs

1 tsp lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl combine flour, cereal, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, mix well, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip butter, applesauce, honey and lemon zest on medium speed until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add in eggs and mix until combined. Add lemon extract and vanilla extract and mix until combined.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 during the last 10 minutes of refrigeration. Roll out dough and cut into shapes.  Bake in preheated oven 6-10 minutes. Transferr to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely, then frost with Lemon Frosting


1/3 cup salted butter, at room temperature

2 packets Stevia

¼  cup honey

1/2 tsp lemon extract

2 1/2 – 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

yellow food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy.  Mix in food coloring.  Spread on cooled cookies.

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Homemade Oreo Cookies

oreoSo these are more of a cross between an Oreo and a moon pie, but they are yummy!

Here’s the story:

After I had my first child my Mom informed me that there was a tradition in our family, Grandpa gives each of the grandchildren an Oreo when they are 8 months old.  I wouldn’t want to break tradition… so, if my child was going to eat an Oreo, it would have to meet my standards.  I knew I would have to make my own… somehow.

The resulting cookies were tasty enough for us healthy people, messy enough for Grandpa and healthy enough for me so I think we did pretty well!  Although I will admit that Grandpa was a little less than thrilled about it not being a REAL Oreo.

My biggest trouble was with the filling, since I have cut shortening out of my diet I needed something else.  I decided to use a marshmallow recipe I had found on the internet.  So the final product is an Oreo like sandwich cookie filled with marshmallow fluff.


Homemade Oreo Cookies 

Cookie Wafers:

2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp stevia (about 3 packets)

1 tsp canola oil

3/4 cup honey

2 tbsp butter

1/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Blend in remaining ingredients.  Knead dough with your hands until it becomes like playdoh (add water a little at a time if needed).  Form into 3/4 inch balls, place each ball on a greased cookie sheet and press flat with the bottom of a glass,leaving about 1/2 inch between each cookie.  bake 4-6 minutes, or until cookies are crunchy.    Remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling racks immediately (if they cool on the pan they are very difficult to get off).  Separate cookies into like size pairs, pipe filling onto one side (almost to the edge) place the other side on top, repeat until all pairs are filled and sandwiched together.

Marshmallow Filling:

1 cup agave nectar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla (has a little bit of a cinnamon flavor)

3 Tbsp cold water

1/8 tsp salt

Mix gelatin into water, microwave about 10 seconds and stir to dissolve gelatin.  Put gelatin mixture and agave nectar and remaining ingredients into a bowl.  Beat for 10-15 minutes until mixture becomes thick white and fluffy.  Put marshmallow fluff into a pastry bag with a wide mouth tip and pipe onto cookie halves.

Makes about 3 dozen sandwiches

I like to use the pastry bag because I always have leftover marshmallows, I make the remainder into mini marshmallows by piping the excess out onto waxed paper that has been dusted with cornstarch.  to do this you place the tip of the bag close to the paper press out a dollop of marshmallow and ease off the pressure as you pull the bag straight up (it will look like a large white chocolate chip).  After letting them sit for a while you dust your hands with corn starch, take each marshmallow off the paper, roll it in your hands gently to coat it lightly in corn starch and place it in a baggie.  They make a perfect little mini treat!

Make sure to rinse your bowls right away because it is really sticky and a lot more difficult to remove after it dries!

On a side note, I am not sure that cornstarch is the best ingredient to use as it is not a whole grain but I have not been able to find any alternative and it takes half as much to thicken things than using white flour.

For anyone who may want a more traditional Oreo, here is the original filling recipe- if you know of a better alternative for shortening let me know.

Creme Filling:

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tbsp granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup shortening

3 tbsp hot water

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  form into 1/2 to 3/4 inch balls, place in the center of each sandwich and press until the filling nearly reaches the edge of the cookie.

I don’t know that there is any way to make the filling healthier- I will stay with the marshmallows!

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Pumpkin Cookies

When I was making pumpkin soup a few days ago, the baby asked for cookies.  Since there was some leftover pumpkin, I thought “how about pumpkin cookies?”  So I looked up a recipe on allrecipes.com fixed it to fit my diet and voila!  These are awesome! I’ve eaten many, and they even won a seal of approval from my sweetheart.  We will definitely be making these again!
Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp Stevia
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Combine pumpkin, honey, stevia, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.
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Nanna’s Peanut Butter Bars

When I told Nanna about my blog she said: “you don’t have my peanut butter bars recipe on it!”  After she began eating like me she said she would not be able to do it if she didn’t have sweets.  so we converted grandmas cookie recipe and we found this recipe in “Whole Foods For the Whole Family” but Nanna made much better! So… here’s her recipe:

Nanna’s Peanut Butter Bars

1 cup rolled oats (I like to blend them first)

1 cup very hot water

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 heaping cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips (I use 1/2 bag)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Soak oats in hot water in a bowl. Cream butter, honey and egg in another bowl.  Add oats and next 4  ingredients to butter mixture, mix well.  Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.  Spread in greased 9×13 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Cool on wire rack; cut into bars.  (These freeze well, simply separate individual bars wrap in foil and freeze)


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Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

When Nanna started eating like we do she said that she missed the sweets, and especially her mom’s cookies.  So what did we do?  well of course we called up grandma got the recipe and converted it!  Nanna said they came out just right.

Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup honey

1 egg

5 pkg stevia

Mix all the above ingredients together then add:

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup oatmeal flour (I usually put oatmeal in a food processor until it is chopped fine)

Mix together then add:

1 pkg grain sweetened chocolate chips

bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes


after making this recipe my husband said “could you add cinnamon, cloves and raisins instead of chocolate chips to make oatmeal rasin cookies – so we did

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for Daddy

using the above recipe, add the following ingredients to the dry mix

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

omit chocolate chips and add

2 cups raisins


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