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Creamed Spinach

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We just LOVE creamed spinach!  In India they have mastered this wonderful way to prepare spinach.  With the addition of a few aromatic spices, it takes this dish to a new flavor profile.  This dish is Atkins Induction friendly and suitable for other Keto diets as well.

(Plain Version INGREDIENTS):

2 T. butter

Saag Paneer (Indian variation_

Saag Paneer (Indian variation)

2 oz. yellow onion

16 oz. frozen chopped spinach

1 c. water

3 oz. cream cheese

1/3 c. heavy cream

Dash salt and pepper

INDIAN VERSION:  To the above ingredients, add 1 tsp. my Garam Masala spice blend, ½ tsp. grated ginger root, ½ c. chopped cilantro, and ½ seeded jalapeno chopped and paneer cheese cubes (if you know how to make it or can buy frozen at an Indian grocery).

DIRECTIONS:  Sliver up the onion very thin or chop finely.  Melt butter in skillet and saute onion over medium heat in non-stick skillet.  Add spinach and water, cover and simmer just until spinach is done (about 5 minutes).  Drain off any remaining water.  Now dot the surface with cream cheese and stir in to melt.  If making the Indian version, add all spices and jalapeno pepper now.  Stir.  Lower heat to lowest setting and add cream.  Simmer uncovered for 2-3 minutes to allow  flavors to blend.  Sometimes I pop it into a 350º oven for 15-20 minutes, but that is not actually necessary.  The dish shown in the pic above WAS baked in the oven a bit.   Great with grilled kebab, chicken or fish.  Mmm Mmm Mmm.  I just love this stuff!

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings each contains

193 cals, 16.4 g  fat, 7.9 g  carbs, 3.9 g  fiber, 4g NET CARBS, 197 g  sodium

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We were in Sam’s Club last month and picked up what was labeled “Cowboy Ribsteak”.  What it was was a small bone-in rib roast about 3″ thick.  We bought one for my birthday dinner last night.  Yes, I’m a New Year’s Eve baby.  We used my dad’s favorite beef grilling marinade on it and WOW, was it ever good!  My husband grilled it about 15 minutes on a side and it was medium-rare to perfection!

This marinade recipe was truly my Dad’s creation and “pride and joy”.  In his 83 years on this earth, he never found a marinade he liked better.  I confess I have not either.  It’s unique; it’s DELICIOUS!  You grilling fanatics MUST try this recipe sometime!  This recipe makes enough marinade for an 8 lb. boneless rib roast, but my “Cowboy Steak” was only about 3.5 lb, so I made up a half recipe of marinade for this one.  This meat marinade isn’t as tasty reheated, so leftovers are best consumed in sandwiches unheated.

This would also be delicious for grilling a nice lean chuck or sirloin roast.   It is Atkins friendly (after you finish Atkins Induction 2-weeks).  Leaving out the wine just isn’t an option for this recipe, so wait until the Atkins OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) Phase to enjoy this wonderful hunk of grilled melt-in-your-mouth beef.  I guarantee, this is so good you’ll be fighting over who gets the two end slices, just like at my house.  🙂

Many more delicious low-carb recipes can be at your fingertips with your very own set of Jennifer Eloff and friends’ latest cookbooks LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS.  She has collaborated with famous low-carb Chef George Stella and several other talented chefs to bring you a myriad of delicious recipes you are going to want in your collection.  Order your set of cookbooks (also available individually) TODAY from Amazon or here:  http://amongfriends.us/order.php

MARINADE INGREDIENTS: (remember, it is not all consumed)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

1/8 c. low-sodium soy sauce (1/4 c. if you can tolerate the sodium, I don’t though)

1/2 c. dry red wine (I use burgundy or claret generally)

1 T. tomato paste (or tomato sauce)

1½ T. coarse ground black pepper (or enough to entirely coat your meat thickly)

DIRECTIONS:  Pound the coarse ground black pepper over all surfaces of a nice rib roast or extra thick rib steak using the butt of your palm or a meat cleaver. Use less pepper if doing a smaller piece of meat. Place meat in glass dish. I drizzle marinate every half hour (as often as you can remember to stop and do it) most of a day (minimum 6 hours). Most efficient way to marinate without disturbing pepper coating is to use a basting brush. Do not touch the meat with your brush, or you’ll wipe all the pepper off! Hold it over the meat and let it drip off the brush. When surface is soaked, put in refrigerator to marinate.  Baste hourly with my drip method until cooking time.

COOKING:  This recipe really is not good cooked inside in an oven. Not sure why, but trust me on this one, it just isn’t, so grill it for sure.  It seems the marriage of the marinade with charcoal smoke makes this recipe flavor profile so magical.

Prepare your charcoal fire and when coals are white hot, set the meat slightly off to the side (not directly over the coals).  Discard marinade now and do not baste again during cooking so raw meat juice doesn’t contaminate your meat at the end of cooking. You need to grill a 3-3½# piece of meat for about 30 minutes total time (15 minutes on a side) for medium-rare (125º internal).  Larger roasts of 4-6# will take around 20 minutes on a side.  If cooking a 6#-8# roast for a large dinner party, I would cook for 60-80 minutes total cooking time, (30-40 min per side) checking often with meat thermometer until an internal temp of 125º is reached for medium rare.  You should turn the meat every 10 minutes during cooking.  Rib roast/steak is best if not cooked past medium-rare or medium stage unless you like dry, tough meat.  I take mine off when my meat thermometer reads 120º degrees and let it sit on my cutting board for around 5-7 minutes to “rest” before slicing to avoid juices being lost when sliced.  Always remember that a piece of meat over 3# will continue to climb to higher temps while resting on the board (why I err on the side of removal at 120º).

This recipe always gets the WOWS when I serve it so I hope you folks will try it sometime! You won’t be sorry you did!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  The marinade is discarded when you cook the meat.  No further basting should be done while cooking as there is now raw meat juice in the marinade.   Calculating how much marinade is consumed is difficult.  It would also be impossible for me to know how many servings you are able to get out of your roast.  So I’m providing the totals for the entire batch of marinade and you will have to see how much it makes and how much is left in the pan before discarding to determine roughly how much is staying on the meat and thus consumed by how many people you are serving.   Most of the sauce goes down the drain, to be perfectly honest, so you’re getting mostly sodium from the soy sauce and a few carbs from the wine and tomato paste that cling to the surface of the meat (a little more if you get the end slices).  The figures below DO NOT INCLUDE THE MEAT.

The entire batch of marinade has:

131 cals, 0.7g fat, 18g carbs, 4.6g fiber, 15.4 NET CARBS (entire batch), 5.5g protein, 1070 mg. sodium

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

I haven’t cooked a pork tenderloin in ages and picked up a couple twin-packs at the store this week on sale.   I prefer mine pan-seared for sandwiches, but decided to roast a couple tonight for a change of pace.  Just started putting things on top and popped them in the oven.  They were done in 25-30 minutes flat as they were fairly small tenderloins (from a small pig)!  My kind of quick meal prep!  I served these with a combo of butter-sauteed red radishes and onion along with some some green beans seasoned with ham drippings from my Christmas ham.  We loved this particular seasoning tonight!  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins and Keto programs provided the wine is omitted for those still in their first 2 weeks of Induction.

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 on many of our books, some as low as $9.77 (also free shipping in USA!).  Hurry and place your order today for any of our books 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:

2-2½ lb. pork tenderloin (mine weighed 2#)

2 T. any dry red wine (optional, omit for Atkins Induction)

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce

½ tsp. onion powder

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

1½ T. sliced fresh shallot

½ c. homemade pork or chicken broth (as needed)

1-3 T. olive oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 375º.  Place the two pork tenderloins on an appropriate size baking pan (I used metal, but any oven-proof pan will do).  Stir the onion and garlic powders with the black pepper in a little saucer.  Holding each piece of meat up for easy handling, sprinkle this mixture on both sides of meat and lay them back down on the pan.  You can sear off the meat in a hot skillet of oil first if you prefer.  I did not, but did pop mine into the boiler for 5 minutes at the end of cooking.  Sliver the shallot and lay separated slices atop each piece of meat.  Mix ½ c. of the broth with the wine and soy sauce and baste each strip of loin.  Drizzle meat with olive oil if desired (I did).  Pop in 375º oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 130º-140º.  Check pan halfway through cooking and gently pour the broth mixture around the outside of the pan.  Remove when meat reaches temperature.  Broil 5 minutes if you prefer yours browner.  Rest the meat on a cutting board with a piece of foil laying on top (to retain heat) for 5-8 minutes.  This wait will help retain the juices in your meat.  Slice on the diagonal about 3/4″ thick.  Baste slices with any pan juices and serve at once with your favorite sides.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 5 adult servings, each contains:

2131 cals, 6.3g fat (more if you use olive oil drizzle), 1.26g carbs, 0.08g fiber, 1.18g NET CARBS, 38.9g protein, 228 mg sodium

Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast

The Perfect Rib Roast

Well, I made it through yet another Christmas feast!  This year I served a baked ham with my Chipotle Sweet Potatoes and roasted asparagus rather than a rib roast.  But I thought I’d post my favorite method for cooking rib roasts in case some of you plan on cooking one for New Year’s.  This is how my mother roasted them for years and years and folks, it just doesn’t get any easier or any tastier! This method has never, EVER failed me.  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Ketogenic diets and Primal-Paleo if you use coconut aminos.

My roasts are usually bone-in as I think they cook more evenly with the bones in them.  But I do remove them after cooking to make slicing the meat easier.  I usually served my rib roast with horseradish sauce and typically, French-style green beans or broccoli and a tasty cauliflower mash along with a lovely Grand Marnier fruit salad on the side.  All I can say is……………Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

We like rib roast medium rare and you can see, it cooks perfectly effortlessly with this method.  My roasts average 3.5 pounds after removing the bones, so I shoot for a 4-4.5 pound bone-in roast at the market.  I usually get 8 nice 8-oz. servings (3/8″ thick slices) from this size roast.   My little rat terrier usually gets one of the meaty bones for her Christmas dinner.  She is in sheer heaven along with the rest of us.  🙂  My husband usually gnaws on the remaining bones for a late night snack.

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.

Prime Rib Christmas Dinner 2014

INGREDIENTS:

4½ pound beef rib roast (bone-in)

1 T. coconut aminos, tamari or low-sodium soy sauce

½ clove garlic (or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)

¼-1/3  tsp. coarse cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat the oven to 325º.  Place the roast on a cutting board or right in your roasting pan if you prefer.  If using fresh garlic, the first step is to cut your clove in half and rub the cut surface all over the surfaces of the meat (all sides, including the bony side).   If not using fresh garlic, step 1 is to drizzle the coconut aminos or soy sauce over the meat surfaces and rub it in with your fingers.  Step 2 is to sprinkle the garlic powder on the meat surfaces.  Last, sprinkle the black pepper all over the meat surfaces.  Place roast bone side down in your roasting pan.  Roast at 325º for 15 minutes to the pound.

Check center of the roast with a meat thermometer (be sure the thermometer tip isn’t touching bone).  The meat is rare at an internal temperature of 115º; medium rare at 120º; well done at 125º and probably overcooked and thoroughly “dead” (dry and tough) at 130º or higher.   I personally think it is a crime to eat such a wonderful cut of meat well done, but to each his own preference.    Since we like our rib roast medium rare, I always take it out of the oven when it reads (115º rare) as it will continue to cook as you let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before carving.  You don’t want to bypass the sitting period or the minute you start slicing, all the wonderful juices will ooze out onto the cutting board and be wasted.  Carve off the bones and set aside.  Carve up 8 nice 3/8″ slices and serve at once.

I like to deglaze the roasting pan with a dab of water over low heat while the meat is “resting” awaiting slicing. Just stir to get up all the brown bits to make your “au jus” sauce.  Add a dash of salt and pepper to the juice if needed.  Serve your roast with horseradish sauce if desired.  My recipe for that sauce is here:  Horseradish Sauce

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes eight 8-oz.servings (plus the meaty bones leftover).  Each 8-oz. slice contains:

846 cals, 69 g  fat (less if you trim all visible off), 0.7 g  carbs, 0.2 g  fiber, 0.5 g  NET CARBS, 52 g  protein, 209 mg sodium

Hungarian “Apple” Pastry

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This is the dessert I am making for Christmas this year.  It’ll just be the two of us and my husband’s brother visiting from up around Dallas.

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 after WWII.  To say Peggy’s 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 also well-versed in gourmet cooking, I felt my ability to judge really good food was well-honed by this age.

This wonderful apple dessert, much like hand pies, was Peggy’s mom’s signature dessert.  My family fell in love at first bite!  It has since become a family favorite holiday dessert offering.  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 as they add so many carbs.  I use 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 so I like to make them the day before I plan to serve.

Just for the heck of it, I worked up the nutritional numbers for this made 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.  Holidays are supposed to be “special occasions”, non?  🙂  Today I plan to make this with all apples, as it’s Christmas once again.

I hear zucchini makes a wonderful apple sub, but the unpredictability of its moisture content in a pastry worries me greatly, so I haven’t tried that in this recipe.  As it is consumed hand-held a soggy crust can’t be tolerated for hand eating.  I absolutely do not think this recipe would be good with ALL chayote squash, so I will never go down that road for this favorite.

This dish is not suitable 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)

INGREDIENTS:

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 (or zucchini) , 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.

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.  Books are on sale right now (some as low as $9.77) with free shipping in the USA.  You can 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.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 24 bars, each contains:

Click to enlarge

Hot from the oven

74.14 cals, 6.43g fat, 7.1g carbs, 5.33g fiber, 1.77g NET CARBS, 2.68 g  protein, 61.33 mg sodium

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

Indian Chicken-Eggplant Curry

Water/broth version.

This particular base curry recipe is the one I keep coming back to again and again.  One can substitute tomato paste or sauce in the gravy, rather than whole tomatoes, but I prefer the fresh tomatoes in my curry. This is easy to make and incredibly delicious!  This dish is OK for Induction and is also suitable for Primal diners.  Paleo followers need to use coconut milk instead of cream, but coconut milk is GREAT in Indian curries!  The sky’s the limit on what vegetables or meat you use in this basic curry recipe.

Cream-based version

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:

1 T. cumin seed (or 2 tsp. seed + 1 tsp. ground)

2 T. each olive oil and butter (or any combination of same)

3 oz. sliced onion

2 deboned 7-8 oz. chicken breasts, cut into 1-1½” chunks

¼ tsp. salt

¼-½  tsp. cayenne pepper  (use ½ tsp. only if you like it HOT)

1 tsp. ground cumin

½ T. minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. my homemade Garam Masala 

4 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

1½ c. chicken broth

2 Roma tomatoes (3″) , cut into 1″ cubes (use 1 Tbsp. tomato paste for a redder Butter Chicken look and taste)

10 oz. eggplant, cut into 1½” large cubes

1 jalapeno, seeded and slivered very thin

¼ c. heavy cream (Paleo-Primal folks should use coconut milk)

VARIATION:  Omit cream or coconut milk in the sauce and have what is called a “water-based” curry gravy. 

DIRECTIONS:  In a dry non-stick skillet or wok, dry roast the whole cumin seed, stirring, just until they become fragrant but not burned (about 1-2 minutes).  Add olive oil, butter and onions & saute a few minutes.  Add chicken, turmeric and continue to saute until chicken is opaque.  Add all remaining ingredients except heavy cream (if using). Simmer covered on lowest heat about 30 minutes until tomatoes are tender but not falling totally apart.  Add heavy cream and continue to simmer 5-10 minutes longer.  If desired, slightly thicken with a few successive, light dustings of xanthan gum or glucomannan powder, whisking or stirring vigorously between additions to allow it to “develop/thicken”.  Optional:  serve over steamed cauliflower or basmati rice for non-low-carb dinner guests.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: Serves 5, each serving contains: (includes cream, but not suggested cauliflower or rice “bed”.

425 cals, 34.3g fat, 7.7g carbs, 2.64g fiber, 5.06g NET CARBS, 21g protein, 404mg sodium

 

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