Buttoni's Low-Carb Recipes

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This was my mother-in-law’s favorite cake.  While still living in her own home, she made it every year at Christmas.  What didn’t get eaten at Christmas Eve dinner, was finished off with breakfast coffee Christmas morning.  She always made hers  with 1 c. chopped pecans, but I leave them out as my husband isn’t so fond of nuts.  To be more authentic, you could substitute sour cream in for the heavy cream, but carbs will be  a tad higher if you do. This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) carb ladder.  Carbquik, much like Bisquick, has some flour in it, albeit specially processed to reduce the carb load. I order my Carbquik at Netrition.com, but you might be able to buy it at your local health food store.

More delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 10-volume set TODAY for special pricing! (also available individually) from Amazon or: here


2 T. granular Splenda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid Low Carb Bake Mix (for gluten free, use her Gluten-Free Bake Mix)

1½ c. CarbQuik or other low-carb bake mix (for gluten free, use 1½ c. more Jennifer’s Gluten-Free mix)

½ c. plain whey protein

2 T. golden flax meal

1 T. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ c. + 2 T. erythritol

3 large eggs, beaten

3 T. sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 tsp. maple extract

4 T. melted butter, unsalted (for batter)

2 T. melted butter, unsalted (to drizzle on cake)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

liquid Splenda to equal 1/3 c. sugar (about 20 drops)

2 T. water

¼ c. + 1 T. heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A FULL-SIZED 9″ CAKE.  Grease an 8″ round, deep cake pan or 8″ round ceramic baking dish (the Corning “French” vegetable dish I used is 8″ in diameter, 3″ deep and the cake rose all the way to the top without overflowing).   Mix 2 T. granular Splenda with cinnamon (and nuts, if using) on paper plate and set aside for now.  In a large mixing bowl,  measure and mix all the dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, microwave melt the 4 T. butter.  Beat in egg and add all other wet ingredients and whisk until fairly smooth.  Stir wet ingredients into dry.     Blend well.   Drop approximately 1/3 of the batter onto bottom of baking dish by tablespoons sort of randomly.  Sprinkle with about 1 T. of the cinnamon topping.  Drop another layer of 1T. blobs of batter on top.  Again sprinkle with about 1 T. cinnamon topping.  Drop the final 1/3 of the batter on top in 1T. blobs and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.  Drizzle 2 T. melted butter across top of cake evenly.  Pop into 350º oven and bake for about 30 minutes.  Gently remove from oven and check for doneness with toothpick stuck in center.  Mine took exactly 40 minutes.  It is done when toothpick stuck in center comes out completely dry.  Cool 5-8 minutes before tipping out onto serving platter.  Can be enjoyed either warm or cooled.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 slices, each contains:

250 calories, 20.7 g  fat, 14.23 g  carbs, 9.96 g  fiber, 4.27 NET CARBS  (4.6 NC if you add 2 , oz. chopped pecans), 18.49 g  protein, 218 mg sodium


011One of life’s culinary pleasures for me is lobster.  Only thing that comes close is a cooked-to-perfection char-broiled ribeye steak.  We either do lobster on Christmas or New Year’s Eve (my birthday).  This year we decided on the lobster for Christmas as we’re going out to our favorite steak house for my birthday.  Lobster is soooo good and sooooo simple to make.   The lobster I get at Sam’s Club every year is usually from the Bahamas.   The tails we bought this year weighed around 9 oz. each and all were tender as they could be.  They are, I find, a little sweeter than cold water lobster from New England, in my opinion.   This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins.

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own cookbooks from LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS, by Jennifer Eloff and low-carb friends (me included).  Chef George Stella of Food Network fame, also brings to the table a wealth of delicious recipes added to the collection!  You’ll LOVE these recipes!  Order your copy today from Amazon  or our direct order site: amongfriends.us/order.php.  Special priding going on right now for the complete 10-volume set!


1.25 lb. lobster tails (yields about 12 oz. tail meat after removing shell)

½ stick salted butter, melted (clarified if you prefer, but I do not bother)

DIRECTIONS:    Put about 1½ cups water in a deep boiling pot and bring to a boil. Run two skewers from the base of the tail up the center of the belly, all the way up to the center of the thickest part.  This will keep the tail from curling so tight while cooking.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, insert skewered lobster tail up in the pot.  I usually lean the skewers out the top.  Set a lid on the pot slightly offset to reduce water evaporation, but it really doesn’t have to be 100% closed.     Lower to medium heat and let steam for about 10-13 minutes, depending on their size.  Alternately, you can use more water to cover the tails entirely and boil for 10 minutes if large 9 oz tails, or just for 6-7 minutes if they are the small 4.5 oz tails usually purchased at the grocery store.  Remove lobster tails from pot, remove skewers (if steamed) and holding shell with one hand (using tongs or a kitchen towel) cut with kitchen shears straight up the thinner belly shell (top to base of tail). Pull sides of tail shell apart a wee bit and fork out the tail meat (I like to leave the tail fins attached and in tact as shown in the photo above).  Splay the tail fins out when serving lobster meat on plates or platter.  Makes for a pretty presentation with the tail fins attached!   Serve along a nice green salad or roasted asparagus, along with perhaps my Rosemary Onion Dinner Rolls:  https://buttoni.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/rosemary-onion-dinner-rolls/

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings and each contains (including ¼c. of the butter):

367 calories, 23.9 g  fat, 2.2 g carbs, 0 fiber, 2.2 g NET CARBS, 34.8 g  protein, 1350 mg sodium



cranrefrigerator cookies

I created a tasty refrigerator cookie some time ago:  these Pistachio Rosewater Cookies) were my inspiration for this holiday version.  These are delicious and so easy to make!  My mother loved refrigerator cookies you just slice off and bake like these.  A little dessicated coconut (maybe 1/4 c.) would transform them yet again.  Those changes would require you add the numbers to the nutritional info provided below.  It’s nice to be able to freeze this dough and just slice off the number of cookies you want to bake.  Lowers the chance for constant temptation.  I bake a little pan of 6 refrigerator cookies at a time.  This recipe is not suitable until the grains rung of the OWL phase of Atkins.


2 sticks butter, unsalted, softened

1 large egg, beaten

¼ tsp. salt

2/3 c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (pulsed in processor 4-5 times)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ c. granular Splenda

¼ c. erythritol

1 c. KevinPa’s Bake Mix (see below)

½ almond flour

½ c. Jennifer Eloff’s Splendid LowCarb Bake Mix

2 T. Carbquick Bake Mix

1 T. oat fiber

VARIATIONS:   Add ½ c. unsweetened coconut or orange zest (or both) to the batter.

Kevin’s Bake Mix (slightly modified):

½ c. Carbalose flour

¼ c. wheat protein isolate 5000

1 T.  wheat protein isolate 8000

1½ T. almond flour

1½ T. resistant WHEAT starch (Kevin used resistant corn starch)

1¼ tsp. Splenda

½ tsp. xanthan gum (Kevin used Not/Sugar)

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium bowl, soften the butter and beat the egg into it well.  Add the salt, sweeteners and vanilla.  Measure and mix in each of the bake mixes.  Add chopped cranberries and gently fold in to get berries evenly distributed in the batter.  Shape into a log about 12″ long and 1½” in diameter on waxed paper.  Roll the log up snugly, closing ends of waxed paper and chill in refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until firm enough to slice.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Slice off in ¼” slices and place on silicone or parchment lined baking sheet (these don’t spread much during cooking.   Bake for 10-12 minutes (don’t let get too brown) and remove to cool.  Roll any unused dough in waxed paper and store in refrigerator or freeze if you prefer.  If freezing, slightly defrost dough a half hour before attempting to slice or the cookie will likely “break” under the knife pressure.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 48  (¼” cut ) cookies, each contains:

58 cals, 5.13 g fat, 1.94 g carbs, 1.05 g fiber, 0.89 g NET CARBS, 1.6g protein, 17 mg sodium

It just isn’t Christmas without sugar cookies frosted with my “cherry/almond” butter frosting.  So I took my low-carb favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut star shapes with my mini cookie cutter and piped with a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of low-carb butter frosting that has almond extract for a cherry flavor.  Both of us just love these just-a-biteful mini cookie treats at our parties!  My recipe usually makes around 40 mini cookies, but of course, your cutter size and rolled dough thickness will make a difference on the per cookie nutritional stats.  I will provide the info below for the entire recipe of batter.  You need to divide those numbers by the number of cookies you get.  Then be sure to add in the nutritional value for your chosen frosting.   These are suitable once you get to phase 2 Atkins.


1 recipe my Sugar Cookie dough

About 1 c. low-carb frosting of choice

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make up the cookie per that recipe’s instructions.  Instead of making balls and pressing the cookies out onto pans, roll out the dough on plastic wrap with another sheet of plastic wrap on top.  Roll to about 1/4″ thickness.  With a floured cutter, cut into 40 1″ mini star shapes (or whatever mini cutter shape you have) and place onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Pop into 350º preheated oven for about 15 minutes.  Watch them so they do not get over-browned.   Remove from oven and completely cool.  While they bake, mix up your preferred frosting recipe.  I made a quick frosting mixture of:  1 stick softened butter, 1 c. powdered erythritol, 1 c. granular Splenda, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. almond extract and some food coloring.  Fill a piping bag (or use a plastic bag with corner clipped off) and with a star tip, pipe 1/2 teaspoon frosting on each cookie.   Plate and serve.  Refrigerate them if you have any leftover.  We rarely do, as I only make them for special occasions and they disappear quite fast.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Entire recipe of cookie dough has 1589.4 calories, 152.64 g fat, 64.26 g carbs, 35.46 g fiber, 28.80 g net carbs, 31.32 g protein and 140 mg sodium.

If you get 40 mini cookies from the dough, each cookie (minus any frosting) will contain 39 cals, 3.8g fat, 1.6g carbs, 0.88g fiber, 0.72g NET CARBS, 0.78g protein, 3.5mg sodium

Einkorn Sausage-Cheese Balls

This is an ever-popular party appetizer that never goes out of favor with your holiday guests.  I’m hosting the appetizers phase of our neighborhood annual Christmas round-robin dinner and this easy treat will be easy to make ahead, heat and serve.  I have another Sausage Cheese Ball recipe on my website that rings in at only 1 net carb per ball but I like this one a bit better.  With fewer ingredients it’s a little easier to put together.  This recipe features my convenient homemade Einkorn Low-Carb Bake Mix (similar to Bisquick and Carbquick).  These tasty treats only have 1.76 net carbs per ball!  Not bad for the convenience of just reaching for 3 ingredients in lieu of a whole bunch of ingredients.   These are not suitable until the grains rung of the carb re-introduction ladder of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.  They are OK for Keto diets if you can fit a few into your daily carb limits.


12 oz. breakfast sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage recipe)

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 c. my Einkorn Bake Mix  (For gluten-free version, use Jennifer Eloff’s Gluten-Free Bake Mix or another GF mix of your choice)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands as you would a meatloaf mixture.  When thoroughly blended, form into 30 1″ balls and place on non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment or silicone sheet for ease of clean-up. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove to paper towels to drain off any excess grease (mine had none actually).  Serve warm and ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 30  1″ balls, each sausage ball contains:

95 calories, 7.81 g  fat, 2.4 g  carbs, 0.64 g fiber, 1.76 g  NET CARBS, 4.82 g  protein, 81 mg sodium

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Click to enlarge

When I was in high school in Kansas, my best friend (also named Peggy) often had me over for dinner (we were neighbors).  Her mother was a former stage actress from Budapest who married an American Army officer during WWII.  To say her mother was a good cook would be a gross understatement.  Dinner at my friend’s house was quite the culinary experience, and as my parents were quite into gourmet cooking, I felt my ability to judge good food was well-honed by high school.

This wonderful apple dessert was like her signature dessert and it has since become a family favorite holiday dessert.  She gave my mother the recipe and I have cherished it ever since.  I have now reworked it for a low-carb lifestyle, using an entirely different crust.  I have also low carbed the filling.   The original recipe is made with all apples, a few raisins and the original crust had 1c. sour cream!  To be more authentic, you could go ahead and use sour cream for the cream called for in my pie crust below without much of a hike in carbs.  🙂  I have omitted the raisins entirely and have made mine with mostly chayote squash, with only one apple for flavor impact.  These bars definitely improve in flavor on day 2 as the rum mellows considerably overnight.

Just so I would know for myself, I worked up the nutritional numbers for making this with 5 small apples and no chayote squash and provide that info below for anyone interested in making this with all apples.  Doing so ups the carbs approximately 2 carbs per bar, which isn’t that bad a price for all apples, really.  🙂  For the holidays, I will definitely make this with all apples.  But the chayote/apple combo wasn’t bad and I would consider doing it this way again.

I hear zucchini makes a wonderful apple sub, but its moisture content in a pastry worries me a little, so I haven’t tried that apple sub yet.  I absolutely do not think this would be good with ALL chayote squash.

This dish should not be enjoyed until late in Atkins Phase 2 OWL due to the rum and apples.  I store my bars in an airtight container in the bottom of my fridge.  To be honest, they don’t usually last long enough to worry about freezing!  I’ve never frozen any of my low-carb pastries, so I don’t know how they’d freeze.

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)

Chayote Squash (also called mirletons)


2  recipes Peggy’s “Flour” Pie Crust   (for gluten free, use your favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe)

1/3 c. granular Splenda (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2 chayote squash, peeled and sliced ¼-3/8″ thick

1 small delicious apple (2½” diameter), peeled and sliced ¼” thick

3/4 c. pecans, chopped

2 T. rum

1 T. fresh lemon juice

lemon zest of 1 lemon

3/4 c. granular erythritol (or equivalent sweetener of your choice)

2½ tsp. cinnamon

3 egg whites, beaten to frothy/soft peaks

DIRECTIONS:   You need a 8½” x 11½” baking pan for this recipe.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Make the double recipe of pie crust dough per that recipe’s instructions, adding the 1/3 c. Splenda to the mixture.   When pastry is kneaded into a solid ball of dough, form a log and break apart into 60% and 40% (bottom crust takes a little more dough than the top crust).

BOTTOM CRUST:  Take the larger piece of dough, shape in a rough log and place between two pieces plastic.  Roll out dough into a rectangle the size of the pan’s bottom plus the depth of the sides.  Dough will be fairly thin but still manageable.  The dough must be large enough go up the sides of the pan completely to the top and over the edge in order not to fall when baked.     Peel top plastic off carefully and fold in half/lift pastry into the pan.  Adjust pastry to fit.  Carefully remove second piece of plastic and fit pastry well into the walls and corners of the pan without tearing.  Allow pastry to lay over the top edge of the pan to “hold on” and not fall inward during baking.  Prick pastry with a fork at 2″ intervals to avoid it bubbling up during baking.  Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350º oven just begins to lightly brown.  Remove and cool while you make the filling.

FILLING:  Peel and slice chayote squash and microwave covered on HI for 8-10 minutes until soft.  Peel apple and place in bowl with chayote. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl with electric hand mixer until thick (thick and frothy/soft peaks).  Add nuts, rum, lemon juice and zest, erythritol and cinnamon to the apple/squash mixture and then fold in the beaten egg whites until the fruit and nuts are well-moistened.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the filling into the half-baked crust.  Spread as evenly as possible, pushing up into corners of pastry.  Level the apples and squash pieces so no pointy bits are sticking up as they may tear the top pastry.  I’ve had that happen before.

TOP CRUST:  Roll the remaining ball of dough between the two plastic sheets, rolling it into a rectangle just a tiny bit larger than the top of the pan. Peel off top plastic and fold up/lift gently onto the filling, being sure the edges are fitting over the bottom crust.  Crimp the top crust onto the bottom crust with your fingers to seal it well.     Pop into hot 350º oven for about 22-25 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and done in the center.  Dough will be a tiny bit soft but dry to the touch.  It will look like the final product below/right when done.  Cool completely before slicing and refrigerating.

More delicious low-carb desert recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ best-selling cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a wealth of delicious recipes you are going to want to try.  Even a few of my recipes are in her cookbooks! Order your 5-volume set TODAY! (also available individually) from Amazon or here: http://amongfriends.us/order.php

DISCLAIMER: I do not get paid for this book promotion or for the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so merely because they are GREAT cookbooks any low-carb cook would be proud to add to their cookbook collection

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 bars/servings, each containing:

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Click to enlarge

74.14 calories

6.43 g  fat

7.1 g  carbs, 5.33 g fiber, 1.77 NET CARBS

2.68 g  protein

61.33 mg sodium

40% RDA copper, 22% iron, 29% manganese

FOR THE CURIOUS:  With all apple filling, using 5 small 2½” apples:  93 calories, 7.5g fat, 10.06 g  carbs, 6.36 g  fiber, 3.7 net carbs

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Sorry, I just couldn’t resist when I named this Christmas creation. 🙂  I bought the pictured 14″ tall Wilton Gingerbread Man cookie pan a couple years ago and haven’t really used it with any of my low-carb gingerbread recipes to date.  But I came across a recipe on Robb Wolf’s website, posted by a Kim Ludeman, that inspired me to test this “behemoth” pan.

I changed up the sweeteners considerably to lower carbs and also added currants and raisins for decoration.  Original recipe had no flaxmeal and used all almond flour.  My longtime favorite gingerbread recipe has a bit of vinegar in the dough, so I also added a tablespoon to this recipe (don’t worry, you won’t taste it).  I think it improves rise, but this stiff dough did not rise too much during baking.  The resulting gingerbread cookie was moist and sort-of chewy on the edges, and most DEFINITELY tasty!!  This cookie is less stiff than classic Gingerbread cookies, so it will tear apart in pieces nicely for you.  Next baking I want to try this dough as individual cookies next baking, as I liked the chewy browned edges.

This recipe is fairly carby, since it has molasses in it, so I would not indulge in these unless you are in Atkins Pre-Maintenance or Maintenance phase.  You can eliminate the raisins/currant decorations and decrease the molasses and increase the sugar-free maple syrup by that amount to reduce carbs a bit.  My Paleo-Primal subscribers will of course want to use REAL maple syrup instead of the sugar-free maple syrup.  The Steviva called for is a blend of erythritol and stevia and is about twice as sweet as sugar, but you could use another sweetener (2 T. sugar equivalent) if you prefer.


½ c. flax meal (I use 50:50 golden and dark mixed)

2½ c. almond flour

2 pkts. stevia

1 T. Steviva (a blend of erythritol and stevia)

1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger

½ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ c. blackstrap molasses

¼ c. sugar-free maple syrup (or regular maple syrup, or omit and use ½ c. total molasses for Paleo/Primal version)

1 T. white vinegar

DIRECTIONS:  Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with coconut oil.  Preheat oven to 350º.   Beat all wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Measure the dry ingredients on top.  Slowly stir the dry into the wet below until smooth.  Dough will be fairly stiff.  If making a giant single cookie, spread the dough evenly onto the baking pan using plastic gloves or baggie “gloves”.  My gingerbread man pan is approximately 14″ tall x 9″ wide.   Use raisins for eyes and button, currants for his nose and mouth.  Pop into preheated 325º oven for about 18-20 minutes.  Do not overcook so you should remove from oven when the cookies are just browning a wee bit around the edges.  Cool and enjoy.

If making individual round cookies, this dough should make about 24 small 1½ round cookies.  I would roll dough into 1″ balls and then press flat into 1½-2″ cookies with your fingers or the bottom of an oiled glass.   The individual cookies should only require 10-12 minutes to get done.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 1 huge gingerbread man or twenty-four  portions town off.  It will make around 24 round 1½-2″ cookies, each round cookie or approximately 1/24 of the giant cookie has: (calculated using sugar-free maple syrup).  If making smaller cookie cutter gingerbread men, this recipe (I’m guessing) would make 8-10 of them, depending on the size of your cutter and how thick you roll out the dough.

107.8 calories, 8.73 g  fat, 6.18 g  carbs, 2.08 g  fiber, 4.1 g  NET CARBS, 2.96 g  protein, 76.5 mg sodium

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