Bourbon Baked Apples with Creamy Peanut Butter

Are you craving dessert, but you made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy? Dessert does not have to be off limits. Instead of depriving yourself, select recipes made with nutritious ingredients like this dish with fresh apples, protein-packed peanut butter and non-fat Greek yogurt. Cheers to a healthy year filled with delicious and nutritious sweet treats.

3 apples, such as Braeburn
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon skim milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a baking dish.
  2. Core and slice apples, leaving the skin on, and place in prepared baking dish. Drizzle apples with maple syrup and bourbon, and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with a spatula to evenly coat and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until apples are tender.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium bowl with a handheld mixer, combine peanut butter, Greek yogurt, honey, vanilla and milk. Mix until creamy and smooth.
  4. Serve apples with a dollop of creamy peanut butter.

Servings: 6

Tripple Chocolate No-Bake Christmas Cookies

If you are craving Christmas cookies and do not have time to bake this holiday season, you are in luck. With three types of chocolate, oats and peanut butter, this is my wreath-shaped-take on the classic no-bake cookie. Throw together this simple recipe and let it chill, while you finish decorating your Christmas tree, and you will be ready to relax with your cookie, a glass of milk and a Hallmark movie.

I once lived in a tiny apartment in Manhattan without a stove. I had the strongest desire to bake cookies during the Christmas season, so I purchased a hot plate and made no-bake cookies to satisfy my sweet tooth. Now these cookies always remind me of the magnificent Christmas decor New York City has to offer, much like the enchanted towns in Hallmark holiday movies.

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup chunky peanut butter
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup dark chocolate baking chunks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup white chocolate chips


  1. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar, milk, peanut butter, coconut oil and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, stirring until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in oats, vanilla and salt. Gently fold in chocolate chunks.
  4. Scoop around ¼ cup of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet using an ice cream scoop. With a small spoon, scoop out the center portion and add it back to the bowl of cookie dough. Use your hands to gently press the cookie into wreath shapes.
  5. Place white chocolate chips in a small saucepan set to medium-low heat. Melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. Slowly drizzle white chocolate over the cookies, creating decorative stripes.
  6. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until cookies are chilled and firm. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Servings: 12 (1 cookie)

Pink Lemonade Blueberry Pizza

Named after their color, pink lemonade blueberries are as beautiful as they are delicious. They taste like traditional blueberries with a hint of lemon flavor. I amped up the sour tones by adding lemon juice and zest for a sweet and tangy dessert pizza with a nutty almond crust. This is a great recipe for a summer party, served with refreshing glasses of pink lemonade. If you cannot find pink lemonade blueberries, just use regular blueberries or your favorite seasonal berries.

1½ cups almond flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 egg
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4.4 ounces pink lemonade blueberries
honey for drizzling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir almond flour, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl. Add canola oil and egg and mix with an electric mixer to combine well. Form into a ball of dough.
  2. Lightly grease a pizza pan and place ball of dough on top. With your hands, gently flatten the dough to form a small disc. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to form a thin round crust, about ¼ inch thick. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly brown.
  3. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Zest entire lemon and add to bowl. Cut the lemon in half, remove seeds and juice one half into bowl, adding about two teaspoons of juice. Mix together to create a lemon cheese spread.
  4. Remove pizza crust from oven and top with lemon cheese spread. If dough is warm, dip knife in hot water occasionally to help spread evenly. Top with pink lemonade blueberries and drizzle with desired amount of honey. Serve immediately.

Servings: 8

Bourbon Apple Pie Ice Cream Drink

What better way to stay cool this summer than with an ice cream dessert drink, and this one is served in true Kentucky style with a splash of bourbon. In the dairy state, Wisconsin locals love their ice cream, and alcoholic ice cream drinks like the Grasshopper, Golden Cadillac and Pink Squirrel are popular after-dinner beverages. This is my version of a dessert drink that incorporates good old American apple pie and vanilla ice cream with Kentucky’s favorite beverage — bourbon. Cheers to celebrating National Ice Cream Day.

¾ cup apple pie filling (preferably homemade)
4 ounces bourbon
2½ cups ice cream
2 cups ice


  1. In a blender, add apple pie filling, bourbon, ice cream and ice. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into four glasses, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

Note: I use homemade, canned pie filling with locally grown apples. You could also make this with seasonal berry pie or cobbler filling in place of the apple. You can also leave out the bourbon for a kid-friendly version.

Servings: 4