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For those of you who don’t know, my husband is a teacher. I love something that his school has put into place. Every month my husband gets together with a small group of boys, and they discuss real life issues together. He has the same kids for all four years they are in high school, and I think it is the coolest way to develop relationships beyond the classroom. Whenever they meet together, treats are always encouraged. And that’s where I come in! I always bake for my husband’s small group, and, let me tell you, teenage boys can down the baked goods! HA!
This past month, I wanted to make something seasonal for them. After looking at the ingredients I had on hand, I decided on snickerdoodles. I actually can’t remember the last time I made snickerdoodles. I enjoy them, but they aren’t necessarily my first choice. I’m pretty sure it’s because of the lack of chocolate! But I tried one of the cookies, and I remembered that they are super delicious. There is something so unique about their spicy but somewhat tangy flavor.
So, after I decided I do like snickerdoodles after all, I knew I had to try to make them more macro friendly. I began to think that it might work out to make them into a protein bite. You know, something you can eat quickly to satisfy a sweet tooth, but that would be able to fit into your day fairly easily.
I experimented a little bit with this recipe. First, I began with all peanut butter as the binder. They were delicious, of course, but they were a little higher in fat grams than I would like. I wanted to see if I could add in a lighter binder to make the serving size bigger and help keep the fat grams a little lower.
That’s where my good friend pumpkin enters in. Pumpkin is a great binder and helps keep things moist. I love that about it! It’s also very low in calories and adds a nice compliment to the cinnamon flavor that is in a snickernoodle. I want you to know that these bites have just a hint of pumpkin in them. In fact, my husband didn’t notice it until I mentioned that. So if you’re sick of pumpkin (is there such a thing?), know that this isn’t going to scream pumpkin to your taste buds.
Besides the pumpkin and peanut butter, you’ll add some honey and vanilla to help sweeten the recipe and add moisture. Then you’ll stir in some protein powder (I used this one, but any vanilla flavor will do. Keep in mind macros may change), some Krusteaz protein pancake mix (or Kodiak cakes buttermilk mix. May change macros, too), cinnamon, and cream of tarter. I know that cream of tarter seems like a weird thing to add, but it is what helps give snickerdoodles its iconic slightly tangy taste.
After the dough has been prepared, you’ll roll the balls into about one tablespoon scoops (mine measured out to about 27 g a piece). To make it even more like snickerdoodles, I decided to roll my protein bites into a little bit of granulated sugar. When they were finished, they were perfectly soft protein bites. My kids and husband loved them! And I love that I can give my kids a delicious treat that is super balanced in macro nutrients.
Snickerdoodle Protein Bites
- 64 g peanut butter (or nut butter of choice) (4 tablespoons)
- 30 g Pumpkin puree (~ 2 tablespoons)
- 84 g honey (4 tablespoons)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 16 g protein powder (I used PE science cake pop) (1/2 scoop)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cream of tarter
- 82 g Krusteaz Protein Pancake Mix (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon)
- 12 g granulated sugar (~ 1 tablespoon)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Add in protein powder, cinnamon, cream of tarter, and baking mix. Stir until completely combined and all ingredients are incorporated.
- Scoop into 10 equal balls. Mine weighed about 27 g and were close to a tablespoon each. Place granulated sugar into a small bowl. After balls are formed, roll the balls, one at a time, into the sugar until sugar coats the outside. Repeat with remaining balls.
- Refrigerate for two hours or so for a firmer texture, or enjoy as is for a softer texture. Store any leftover balls in the refrigerator.