Pick Your Treats

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Halloween’s a-coming and, let’s face it, many of us are more frightened of what’ll come home in the goodie bag (or beckon from the basket long after the last trick-or-treater has come calling) than even the scariest ghoul. The good news is; practicing mindfulness now can help ward off those wicked pounds that often appear between now and the new year. Here are three questions to ask yourself before delving into any kind of sweet:

  • Is there a lighter option that would still satisfy me? And by lighter, I don’t mean Snackwells or low fat. I mean angel food versus pound cake, poached pear versus triple chocolate torte. Desserts that get their fluff from egg whites and sweetness from fruit or fruit purees tend to be lighter on the whole.
  • How badly do I really want this? If you’ve been craving chocolate gelato from that little Italian place on the corner all week (am I giving away too much?), a frozen yogurt probably isn’t going to cut it. But if you’ve simply got a generic sweet tooth, then it might just do you fine. Save the decadent splurges for when the urge hits hard.
  • Can I eat just a few bites? Cheryl’s piece from last Friday, Making Sense of Moderation, touched on this point. If you’re opting for opulence, think about serving yourself a miniature portion; our sense of flavor wanes with each bite, so even if you just have a taste you’re still getting the very best.

This week, as you’re tempted to nibble, be mindful and pick your treats wisely.

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Cookies and Cream

Cookies and Cream is our spin on a classic ice cream sandwich. These oatmeal cookies are thin and chewy. Sandwiching a scoop of ice cream between them makes for a crumbly mess. But trust me, you won’t mind. Use whatever flavor ice cream (or frozen yogurt) you choose . . . with the more virtuous versions, this healthy dessert still comes in at under 200 calories.

Cookies and Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Yield: Serves 16 (makes 32 cookies, 16 ice cream sandwiches)

Cookies and Cream


  1. 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  2. 3/4 cup rolled oats
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 4 ounces butter, softened
  7. 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 4 cups ice cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In an electric mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar for one minute, until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, scrape down sides, and continue to blend until incorporated. Add flour mixture a little at a time until incorporated.

Spray two large cookie sheets with cooking spray and mound 16 rounded tablespoonfuls on each sheet (32 total). Bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly and slide cookies onto a cooling rack.

To serve, mound 1/4 cup ice cream onto half of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies. If you’d like to freeze leftover ice cream sandwiches, just wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then seal all in a zip-top freezer bag and pop in the freezer.


Cook Time: 8-10 minutes