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Our final night in Boston, we went out to dinner with my husband’s family at a seafood restaurant. Much like Thanksgiving, we all gathered around a long table to talk, to eat…to just enjoy each others’ company.

I’m already looking forward to the holidays. It’s taken a couple of years, but I’m slowly getting used to them to the point that I’m not as uncomfortable around them. (Seriously, I’m that shy.) They’re all very warm, loving people, and they’re funny, to boot.

Maybe it was my lemon tart victory that finally let it sink into my head that they won’t find a reason to hate me. My self-esteem is sort of crap; there is a part of me that is irrationally worried that they think I’m making up my back problems to avoid them. I tend to catastrophize.

Anyway.

After we’d all eaten our fill of seafood, the waitress brought out the dessert menus. Dessert is a weakness, both for me and my husband. We both wanted the Toll House Cookie Dough Pie that was advertised, my allergy to nuts be damned. (What’s a little time spent feeling sick to my stomach when dessert is on the line, right? …Yeah, my priorities were a bit messed up.)

Thankfully, we split it, because that thing was addictively good. As a matter of fact, the dessert was delivered as my husband was away from the table, and I snuck a couple of tiny bites before he returned (which felt like forever). Everyone else was able to dig into their desserts immediately, but I waited as quietly as I could. Eventually everyone realized what was taking him so long.

The guy was over by the TVs, watching something sports-related.

Did he not remember that dessert was on the way when he walked off to the bathroom?! I would have thought, if anything, the guy would have rushed back so as not to miss dessert. His sweet tooth is bigger than mine.

His mother tried to tell me that I could go ahead and eat my half, but I had to tell her…it was so darn good, I would eat the whole dang thing by myself.

Eventually, one of his cousins finally went over there and sort of dragged him away from the TV.

As we ate the cookie dough pie, I made a mental note to myself to look up the recipe to try to replicate it at home, except healthier.

The original recipe for this pie packs a whopping 580 calories per serving, 38 grams of fat (18 of which are saturated fats), 36 grams of sugar… No wonder it tasted so good! My recipe cut the calories almost entirely in half, while reducing the fat and sugar, without sacrificing the delicious taste.

This definitely isn’t a dessert you should eat every day, but enjoyed in moderation, it’s perfectly fine for you. And just look at that chocolate!

Lighter, Nut-Free Toll House Cookie Dough Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 deep-dish cookie pie

Serving Size: 1/10 pie

Calories per serving: 266

Fat per serving: 12.7 g

Saturated fat per serving: 5.8 g

Carbs per serving: 45.4 g

Protein per serving: 4.5 g

Fiber per serving: 1.1 g

Sugar per serving: 29.6 g

Sodium per serving: 208 mg

This healthified version of the original Toll House Cookie Dough Pie is lower in calories, fat, and sugar. Delicious, with about half the guilt of the original recipe! Indulge a bit -- this is definitely not an every day kind of dessert, but it definitely works...in moderation, of course!

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (macros are for unsweetened flax milk)
  • 1 tablespoon Smart Balance Light spread or butter, melted (macros are for Smart Balance)
    Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup erythritol (or sugar or other sweetener that measures like sugar; macros are for erythritol)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or erythritol mixed with a bit of molasses or sweetener that measures like brown sugar; macros are for brown sugar)
  • 3/4 cup Smart Balance Light spread (or 1/4 cup Smart Balance/butter and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for a lower-fat version; macros use all Smart Balance spread)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips of choice

Instructions

    Prepare the crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork to stir in milk and Smart Balance.
  3. Spread a layer of plastic wrap on a flat surface, then dump the dough onto the plastic wrap. Pat out to a rough 4-inch circle, then wrap the dough with the plastic wrap.
  4. Freeze the disc of dough for 10 minutes, or until the dough has solidified a bit and you can unwrap it easily.
  5. Place the dough in the bottom of a deep-dish pie pan or a tall cake pan. Pat out the dough to cover the bottom. If you're using a pie pan, pat the dough up the sides of the pan. If you're using a cake pan, pat the dough up 2-3 inches up the sides of the pan.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and bake the crust for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
    Prepare the filling
  1. Beat eggs on high until they are light and foamy. Add the flour, erythritol, and brown sugar, then combine until just mixed. Add Smart Balance (or Smart Balance and applesauce, if using), and combine one final time until just mixed.
  2. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the filling into the pie crust, then bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted about halfway between the center and the crust comes out clean.
  4. Let cool. Serve slightly warm, and enjoy!

Notes

To make this recipe lower in fat, use 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce in place of 1/2 of the Smart Balance in the filling (still using 1/4 cup of butter or Smart Balance to add just enough fat). I also used a combination of large and mini chips in the filling -- it should make it easy to get a good amount of chocolatey goodness in every bite!

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