As the holidays roll around, it seems that there's temptation around every corner — leftover Halloween candy, pumpkin and pecan pies at Thanksgiving, and the endless array of Christmas cookies. But making your own treats, to keep at home, share with friends and give as gifts might make it easier to control your sugar intake during the season. Here are recipes for a selection of desserts that are all less than 200, er, 202 calories, so you can indulge your sweet tooth without going overboard. With options for chocoholics, fruit lovers and those who crave the classic fall flavors of cranberry, pumpkin and orange, these recipes will ensure that you're not missing anything.
See also: Lose weight but eat great
- Eat your brownie or slice of pie hot, rather than at room temperature or straight out of the fridge. You are likely to savor hot foods more slowly and enjoy smaller portions.
- Top desserts with sliced fresh fruit rather than ice cream or whipped topping.
- Take a half-portion during holiday celebrations: share with a partner or friend!
- Limit variety: in a situation where there's a tempting dessert spread filled with options, stick to one or two items. It's easier to control your intake when you aren't eating "just a little bit" of 10 dishes.
- Prioritize your favorites: not all indulgences are created equal. It might make it easier to pass up store-bought cupcakes when you know you have one slice of family-recipe pumpkin pie to look forward to.
Fudgy Brownies by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger: This truly is a case in which less is more. A two-inch square of these luscious brownies clocks in at under 200 calories, and they're every bit the real thing.
Glazed Orange Cookies by Michele Urvater: At 64 calories a pop, you can enjoy three of these cookies and still stay under 200 calories! The orange glaze gives them a pretty sheen, but if you're bringing these cookies as a gift, sprinkle them with granulated sugar instead to make them more portable.
Chocolate-dipped Fruits by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner: Elegant enough for entertaining, these berries coated in bittersweet chocolate are less than 100 calories apiece.
Nanaimo Bars by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt: These no-bake gluten-free treats are named after the city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Without the optional custard powder, they'll only set you back 117 calories each.
Grown-Up Chocolate Bourbon Balls by Abby Dodge: It's easy to make a batch of these the day before a party — try them with rum, liqueur or orange juice, too! Each bite-size treat is under 100 calories.
Pumpkin Souffle by Kate Zuckerman: This crustless, light soufflé mirrors the familiar comfort of pumpkin pie: maple, cinnamon, clove, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. But shaving off the calories contained in a regular pie crust takes this dessert down to 161 calories per serving.
Cranberry Oatmeal Bars by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim: Moist, chewy and textured, these bars are excellent with a hot cup of tea on a cool, crisp afternoon. They get some of their sweetness from the dried cranberries and applesauce, coming out to 163 calories in each bar.
Sweet Potato Muffins by Ann and Scott Goodfellow: Tired of pumpkin? These pecan- and raisin-studded muffins will have you singing the praises of the sturdy sweet potato. The recipe makes 24 muffins, at 150 calories each.
Marshmallow Chocolate Cups by Matt Lewis: Reminiscent of beloved childhood candy, these sweet treats are a well-portioned indulgence at 75 calories apiece.
La Befana's Stars by Gina Palma: These classic butter and sugar cookies are spiked with anisette and orange zest for grown-up appeal. They're well worth the 111 calories in each cookie.
Orange Upside-Down Cranberry Muffins by Esther Brody: These 201-calorie muffins are citrusy and moist with cranberry sauce, while pecans add crunch.
Cranberry Pear Brown Betty by Judith Finlayson: Craving juicy cooked fruit alongside the crunch of pie crust? This dessert will fit the bill at just 131 calories per serving, and can be made in a slow cooker for extra ease.
You might also like: Want to banish fat from your diet? >>