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Archive for the ‘SWEETS’ Category

Butter Pecan Toffee Candy

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This recipe was inspired by two different low-carb toffee recipes: one called Toffee, by Pami on now-closed Low-Carb Friends forums; one called Heath Bar Candy by Elaine Smith, also on the same closed forums.   I first tried Elaine’s recipe and it basically failed on me, in that when the boiled sugar mix reached the “brown paper bag color” specified in the recipe, I don’t think it had cooked long enough, so the final candy was too grainy and fragile when I tried to get it out of the pan.  Just wasn’t cohesive enough.

So as not to waste the nuts, I basically reheated the candy so I could strain out the pecans and recooked the sugar mix longer, but also decided to add in a little polydextrose, as Pami does in her recipe.  If unfamiliar with polydextrose, you can read about it here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydextrose I added a few other things as well.  This time I boiled the candy until it would form a nearly firm, but still stretchy/pliable, like a stiff caramel or SloPoke candy bar being stretched out (if you ever ate one of those).  In other words, I cooked it to “just short of hard ball stage” in candy making terms, or around 300º-310º on a candy thermometer.  Hard ball stage would end up like peanut brittle, and you definitely don’t want it that hard.

So cooking longer seems to have been what was needed!  The result is very tasty (I’m munching down on it as I type this.  Mmmm.)  The texture is just about like the toffee center of a Heath® bar.  This batch came out VERY close to my Mom’s sugar-based Butter Brickle Candy she made at Christmas every year!  This recipe is not acceptable until the nuts and seeds rung of Atkins Phase 2 OWL.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Special Christmas prices as low as $9.77 on some books (free shipping in USA).  Hurry and place your order today for any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

INGREDIENTS:

1¼ c. erythritol, powdered

2 T. hazelnut sugar-free syrup (DaVinci or Torani)

2 T. caramel sugar-free syrup (DaVinci or Torani)

¼ tsp. vanilla

2 sticks butter, unsalted (8 oz.)

2 T. water

Dash salt

1/2 c.+ 2 T. polydextrose

2 c. pecan halves, chopped coarsely

DIRECTIONS:  Liberally butter a 12½ x 17½ sheet pan (even if it is non-stick, butter the pan!).  Chop the pecans and place in a bowl and set by the stove top.  Powder the erythritol in a food processor if you are using granular.  Using a large saucepan (3-4 qt.), melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Place a saucer of cold water beside the stove. Add the erythritol,  polydextrose, vanilla, both syrups, water and salt to the saucepan and whip with a whisk.  It will eventually get smooth (add a T. more water if not) as you bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.  As with most candy-making, you should stir the mixture continuously throughout the preferably with a whisk.  The mixture will slowly change from a slightly yellowish color to a tan and eventually dark caramel color when it is ready.  When the color starts to go browner, drop a few drops of mix in the water and see if it will clump together when you try to form a ball with your finger.  If it won’t, keep cooking and stirring.  Repeat the ball test in fresh water again in a few minutes.    When it will come together and form a ball or clump that feels pretty stiff but is still a little pliable, the mixture has cooked long enough.  Remove from heat.

Very quickly stir in the chopped pecans.  Working just as fast as you can, pour it onto the greased sheet pan, spreading quickly with a rubber spatula out to the edges of the pan.  It will set up real fast, so you really must work quickly.   I have never been able to work fast enough to be able to mark off square pieces with a knife, but maybe you’re faster than I.  🙂  When it is fully set (about an hour) , lift it up with the edge of a metal spatula and break into pieces.  Store in a VERY air-tight container at room temperature, as humidity (even in a refrigerator) really messes this candy up.  It will get softer and grainy if it gets damp.  If in an air-tight enough container, I found mine got a little more brittle on day 2, which pleased me greatly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Because I can’t know how your pieces will break up, an exact nutritional count is virtually impossible for this candy.   So I will give you the info for the entire pan full and you will have to estimate based on your number of pieces.  I got around 100 1″ pieces, maybe more, I’d guess, which made mine averaged around .18 net carbs per piece, or 5 pieces for 1 NC.  Some pieces broke small, some broke off larger.   Although per piece counts are impossible, clearly the count is so low (since polydextrose is full of deductible fiber), I never worry about it. Basically only the pecans really rack up the few carbs that are in this.

Entire batch:  3233 cals, 339g fat, 139g carbs, 121g fiber, 18g NET CARBS (for the entire batch!!), 22g  protein, 199 mg sodium

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Rum Balls

 

Click to enlarge

I modified my old rum ball recipe to be suited to a low-carb lifestyle and they taste just like the rum balls my mother made when I was growing up.  I’m hosting one course of our annual neighborhood round-robin dinner this week (20 people) and these will be on the goodie table for sure.  These are not acceptable for Induction unless you leave out the rum, which kinda takes most of of the flavor away, honestly.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies for your holiday entertaining.  Special Christmas pricing as low as $9.77 on some books (free shipping in USA).  Hurry and place your order today at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review here.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ c. almond meal

¼ c. unflavored whey protein

1 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans

½ c. cocoa, sifted

¼ c. erythritol, sifted

4 T. melted butter

14 drops liquid sweetener of your choice (I use EZ Sweets)

2 T. rum  (or bourbon, if you prefer)

FOR OUTER COATING: 2 T. more erythritol + ½ c. more finely chopped walnuts or pecans mixed together in a small bowl.

DIRECTIONS: Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add liquid sweetener and rum to melted butter and stir into batter until well mixed.  It should begin to form a smooth batter.  Spoon up and using hands, form into eighteen ¾-1″ balls.  To finish them off, roll around in pecan coating (I found I had to press firmly onto surface) for as even a coating as you can get.  Store in air-tight container with wax paper between layers.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  These can be frozen.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 18 balls, each containing:

136 cals, 12g fat, 3.75g carbs, 1.71g fiber, 2.04g NET CARBS, 4 mg. sodium

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cranrefrigerator cookies

I created a tasty refrigerator cookie recently.  My Pistachio Rosewater Cookies) were my inspiration.  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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

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Cran-Orange Pastry Bites

I got the idea for these from a holiday recipe posted on Pinterest this month.  It was basically two layers of pie crust rolled with a sprinkling of chopped cranberries and pecans inside (my husband hates nuts in desserts) and then cookie cutters were used to cut out holiday shapes, baking them like cookies.  Well, I really liked the idea and they were real cute, but didn’t want to go to that much trouble.  So I used my own fav low-carb pie crust, processed a few raw cranberries and orange peel right with the crust dough and pressed the sweetened pie crust dough into some Christmas Tree silicone molds.  You could use any shape oven-safe mold you like to make these or even use a mini-muffin pan.  These are delicious and I can’t wait to take some to our annual neighborhood Christmas round-robin dinner coming soon.  They are somewhere between a pie crust and a cookie in texture with a nice mouth feel.

This recipe is not suitable until you reach the grains rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb-re-introduction ladder.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Special pricing and limited-time free shipping so hurry and place your order today.  You can order these or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review at this site.

VARIATIONS:   Use extra virgin coconut oil (chilled and firm) for the shortening to give them a hint of coconut taste.  Or add ½ c. chopped pecans or almonds.   

INGREDIENTS: 

1 recipe my Carbalose Pie Crust

½ c. fresh cranberries

1½ T. orange zest

½ c. granular erythritol

½ c. Splenda

DIRECTIONS:   Make up the pie-crust dough per that recipe’s instructions.  Crumble slightly into the bowl of a food processor.  In a small bowl mix the two sweeteners well. Reserve 3 T. and add the rest to the food processor as well.  Next add the whole, raw cranberries and the orange zest to the processor.  Pulse several times until the mixture is well blended and all the cranberries are chopped up.  Spoon a rounded teaspoon of the crumbled dough into each of the slots of your mold.  Press down firmly into the bottoms of the shapes.  If your mold is flexible silicone you will want to set it on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle the 3 T. sweetener mix on the tops as evenly as you can.  Pop into 375º oven for about 25 minutes.  They should be lightly browned around the edges only.  Allow to cool and firm up before tipping them out of your molds as they are a little fragile when hot.  I had to bake mine in two batches since my mold has just 24 slots.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 32 bites, each contains:

62 cals, 4.6g fat, 4.81g carbs, 3.2g fiber, 1.61g NET CARBS, 0.15g protein, 6.34g sodium

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0023

I absolutely LOVE trail mix.  And such a healthy snack!  It has the added bonus of being very transportable, for hiking, biking, camping, or taking to the office in a little baggie.  This apricot-coconut mix was a Christmas favorite of a relative.  She always brought some to the holiday gathering. The stuff is so good I have to dip my ½ cup portion out and put the bag away, or I’ll just keep eating and eating it.  Wrapped prettily with a ribbon, this makes a lovely gift when going to parties or for the holidays.  Just place in a pretty clear glass container and affix a pretty bow on top!  This very nutritious dessert/snack is not suitable until the highest fruit rung of the Atkins OWL carb re-introduction ladder (pre-maintenance or maintenance).  This recipe is suitable for Paleo-Primal eaters.

VARIATION:  Substitute dried pieces for the dried apricots. I also have a Cranberry Trail Mix recipe you might like.

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INGREDIENTS:

5 oz. pumpkin seeds, hulled, roasted (unsalted)

5 oz. sunflower seeds, hulled, roasted (unsalted)

2 oz. walnuts (about 28 halves), coarsely chopped/broken up

6 oz. fresh coconut meat, slivered thinly

4 oz. sliced almonds

6 oz. dried apricots, no sugar added (I buy them at Sam’s)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 200º and spread thinly sliced coconut onto a sheet pan. Dry for about 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven before coconut begins to brown and cool.  You don’t really want to toast it for this recipe, just dry it out a bit.  In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together.  Using kitchen shears, cut apricots into small pieces and add to the bowl.  Stir to mix well.  Store in a zipper plastic bag in your pantry.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes about 6 cups or twelve ½ cup servings.  Each ½ cup serving contains:

301.6 cals, 23.5g fat, 18g carbs, 5.3g fiber, 12.7g NET CARBS, 9.8g protein, 53.6 mg sodium

 

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Blueberry-Lemon Snack Cake

Blueberry-Lemon Snack Cake

I was trialing a new bake mix and this was my first experiment with it.  Boy was this ever good!  Smooth texture and great taste!  I only had on hand 1/2 cup dried blueberries left in an open bag in my freezer and I needed to use them up.  Fresh berries would have been healthier and tastier, but the dried is what I had and not many of those.

My husband was out of town all weekend and this was hot out of the oven when he walked in the door. He really liked it, too, and downed a second slice.  Any berries, chopped fruit or nuts you can fit into your daily carb limits will work in this basic batter.   This recipe isn’t suitable until you are near goal weight at the grain level of carb-re-introduction of the Atkins program.  The carbs are low on the basic lemon cake batter (4.02 NC per slice).  With 1/2 cup dried berries added, it jumps to 9.02 NC per slice.

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 T. (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

½ c. egg whites (I used from carton), but 4 whole egg whites will work

Zest of 1 large lemon

Juice of w large lemon (2 T.)

1½ c. Buttoni’s Low Carb Bake Mix

½ c. each Splenda and erytrhritol (or 1c. sugar equivalent other sweetener)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Butter the inside of an 8×4″ loaf pan.  Or you can butter the ends only and line sides & bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment, which is what I like to do. Set aside while you prepare batter.

Soften the cream cheese on counter or in microwave.  Whip until smooth with a whisk.  In a separate medium bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy.  Add the 2 whole eggs to the egg whites and beat the two well together a couple minutes.  Add sweeteners.  Add melted butter slowly and beat until you have a smooth mixture.  Add the bake mix next and beat by hand with a rubber spatula until batter is smooth and well-blended.  Add your berries (or chopped fruit/nuts) and stir to distribute berries throughout batter.  Scrape the batter into prepared pan and pop into 350º hot oven for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick stuck in center comes out clean/dry.  Slice into approximately  ½-5/8″ thick slices to make 12 nice portions.  After serving, wrap remainder in plastic wrap or place in plastic bag.  Refrigerate as with all low-carb baked goods that lack the preservative quality of real sugar.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 12 slices, each contains: (using ½c. dried berries).  You must recalculate if you use other berries/fruit/nuts

166 cals, 11.1g fat, 11.44g carbs, 2.42g fiber, 9.02g NET CARBS, 7.21g protein, and 84 mg sodium

 

 

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Tarte Tatin

Gluten-Free apple Tarte

Holidays always make me remember desserts my mother loved to serve at this time of year.  The well-known French apple Tarte Tatin is one of those.  My low-carb version has a much thinner cake layer than is typical of this famous dessert.  My husband and I really liked this conversion.  I serve mine with a dollop of whipped cream on top.  I apologize for the photo quality, but this picture was taken with my very first digital camera, in the evening when natural light just isn’t there.  I’m going to have to bake this again and get a prettier picture next time.  But the photo can’t take away the fact that this recipe is absolutely delicious!  If you decide to give this one a go, you’ll be glad you did!

VARIATIONS:  Although Tarte tatin is only made with apples, this basic concept can be made with strawberries or raspberries and carbs will go down.  Pear or peach slices also do well in this but carbs will go up with those choices.

This recipe is not suitable until the higher carb fruit rung of the Atkins Phase 2 OWL carb re-introduction ladder, as you approach Maintenance.  This dessert would be acceptable for a Paleo-Primal liefstyle provided you substituted REAL honey for the sugar-free honey and subbed in REAL maple syrup for the Cary’s sugar-free maple syrup called for below.

Our latest three volumes of LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks are calling you.  Volume 8 and Volume 9 are almost exclusively comprised of my recipes!  Included in both editions are a few tasty new creations of my dear friends George Stella and Jennifer Eloff.   Volume 10 is hot off the press with more delectable goodies.  Early orders can be delivered by Thanksgiving.  EARLY BIRD SECRET SALE!!  Special pricing and limited-time free shipping so hurry and place your order today.  You can order these or any of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/Secret-SALE.php.  When you purchase our books, we would sure appreciate you stopping by Amazon to leave a review at this site

INGREDIENTS:

For the Apple filling:

4 T. total unsalted butter or ghee

11 oz. apple, peeled and sliced thin (I used 1 large JonaGold)

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

2 T. sugar-free maple syrup (I used Cary’s)

¼ tsp. grated lemon zest

For the bottom Cake Layer:

½ c. almond butter

2 T. coconut milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 T. sugar-free honey (I buy at Walmart)

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ c. almond flour

1 T. coconut flour

¼ glucomannan powder (for best texture)

DIRECTIONS:  Grease bottom and sides of a non-stick tarte pan with 1 T. of the butter and set aside.  Melt remaining 3 T. of the butter in a non-stick skillet.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg to the skillet and stir.  Add sliced apples and saute them for 3-4 minutes until apples begin to soften.  Turn off heat. Using a fork or small tongs, remove apples and layer them in the bottom of the tart pan.  You should have enough apple slices for a single layer of apples in a standard tart pan.  with the help of a spatula or heat-proof rubber spatula, scrape out and drizzle any buttery juices left in the skillet over the apples.  You don’t want to wast any of that rich flavor.  Grate lemon zest over the apples and finally drizzle the maple syrup over the apples.

Now to make the cake.  Preheat oven to 350º.  In a medium bowl, measure out the almond butter.  Add the coconut milk, imitation honey and stir with a rubber spatula until fairly smooth. Add the vanilla and beaten eggs.  Beat a minute or two to achieve a smooth liquid batter.  Measure the almond flour on top, then the coconut flour and finally the baking powder.  Beat with the spatula until smooth.  Evenly pour the cake batter over the apples, gently coaxing it out to the edges of the pan.    Pop into 350º preheated oven for about 20 minutes.  This does not rise very much and it will be completely dry to the touch in the center when done. Toothpick test will come out clean at the center.  Remove tart from the oven and cool for awhile.  While still a little warm, invert your serving plate over the tart pan or pie plate and using two hands, holding tightly, flip tart pan and serving plate over and the tart should fall neatly onto the serving plate.  Gently re-place any apples that may have stuck to the pan.  Cut into 8 slices and serve with sweetened whipped cream if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 8 servings each contains:  (does not including any whipped cream topping)

235 calories, 19.5 g  fat, 11.6 g  carbs, 2.76 g  fiber, 8.94 g NET CARBS, 5.1 g  protein, 125 mg sodium

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