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Winter has arrived and cookies in the oven..

12 Nov

A very chilly day here in Minnesota and our first snowflakes are flying around.  What could be better to help deal with reality of winter than the smell of gingersnaps baking in the oven.  I am not totally convinced about using sugar substitutes. There is no denying there is a cloying taste but until I find a better substitute I will just deal with it.  I love to bake and and a cookie and cup of coffee sometimes just essential.  Going back to using white sugar is just not happening so I am learning to adjust.

Low Carb Ginger Snaps                                    

1/4 C coconut flour

2 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened

1 T shortening

1 C granulated Splenda

3 large eggs, room temp

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In small  bowl, mix together first 6 dry ingredients.  Set aside. In mixing bowl cream softened butter with shortening and splenda.  Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl.

Add dry ingredients slowly until combined and smooth.

Suggest putting in refrigerator for 30 minutes to help firm up the dough.  I made cookies immediately and the dough was a bit hard to work with.  Lightly flatten each cookie with the back of a spoon before baking. Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I used a small scoop to form each cookie. Approximately 1 T each cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes for soft cookies, a bit longer if you want them harder.  Cool on rack, store in airtight container.

These are a very delicate light cookie.  Each cookie is around 2 g carb.

Just have to tell you…

6 Oct

I mentioned earlier today that I was making Butter Pecan Creme Brûlée for dinner guests tonight.  Ok, just so you all understand, this was amazing. So easy to do ahead of time and your guests will LOVE it!

I followed the recipe exactly as Sarah (from Winter Park, CO) sent me and it was really perfection.  I don’t say this lightly.  Make this ASAP! You will be very happy you did. It is a perfect fall dessert.  Serve with a little whipped cream and a raspberry and everyone will be happy.

Who needs a huge piece of cake? I am telling you this is better. Dig in…

Meringues-a perfect little treat

6 Oct

Fall has arrived and the chill in the air really inspired me to bake today.  I was already making Low Carb Butter-Pecan Crème Brulee, for dinner guests tonight and it left me with 4 egg whites. I hated to waste the egg whites, so meringues seemed the perfect choice.

Low Carb Chocolate Meringue Cookies (makes 50+)

(a delicate little cookie with nice chocolate taste, great with coffee)

4 egg whites

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5 T + 1 tsp Splenda sugar blend (yellow bag in baking section of grocery store)

2 T unsweetened Cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla. Beat this mixture until soft peaks form. Slowly add Splenda; beat til stiff peaks form and looks glossy.  Gently fold in cocoa powder. 

Using pastry bag with star tip, twirl in small circle to form cookie on a parchment lined baking sheet. Alternatively you may drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. 

Less than 1 carb per cookie. 

Tip-these may be placed close together on baking sheet as they do not spread. Move along quickly when making these as the meringue tends to deflate! My last batch looked a little flat.

Dining out with Friends or so I thought!

5 Oct

Look at what they are eating! Even in my carb heydays, I don’t think I ate desserts like this. Maybe my talking about low carb eating during dinner and how great it was drove them to it?  Maybe I said too much and this is their way of shutting me up? I have to say it looked so good, I was getting weak. But somehow I just have this resolve because I feel so much better not eating like that anymore. Somedays I wonder where is Patty and who is this person I have become? Bon Appetite ladies…I promise to lighten up!

Sweet treats~Macaroons

13 Sep

I love to bake cookies, and that is not easily done when avoiding sugar. I am slowly venturing into uncharted territory-using sugar substitutes. I had good luck with the Almond cookies I made in July.  So when I found this recipe I decided to give it a try.  They are really good! A perfect little sweet and great with a cup of coffee. My husband is the official tester and he loves them.

Just a disclaimer, for the baking purists out there, I was you. Flour, sugar and chocolate were my favorite things. Using substitutes was never considered.  The reality is, once I stopped eating those things I felt healthier, more energetic and have lost 20 pounds. So bear with me as I try to satisfy my love of baking, cravings for the occasional sweet all while maintaining a low carb life.

Coconut Macaroons

2 C unsweetened shredded coconut

4 egg whites  (large eggs)

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 C Splenda sugar blend

2 T Water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat.

Measure egg whites, vanilla and water into a small bowl.

Mix dry ingredients (coconut and splenda) into mixing bowl and stir a few times to mix. Add the wet ingredients and mix for less than one minute on low speed. Let sit for a minute.

Use small scoop or teaspoon to shape the cookies.  Leave an inch apart on cookie sheet. Flatten with spoon if you want the cookies to be flat. Otherwise they retain their original shape. (cookies do not spread out when using splenda as they do with regular sugar)

Turn oven down to 325 degrees and bake cookies for 18 minutes. May take a bit longer. The bottom starts turning brown and top stays very light. You may bake longer for a crisper result. This is personal preference.

Yield: 34 cookies (less than 3 carbs per cookie)

Tips: I used an organic unsweetened coconut which was a fine shred. Might be nice with a coarser shred. Or a mix of larger flaked coconut and shredded coconut. Consider using  almond extract in place of the vanilla.  Leave out on the counter for an hour or so on cooling rack and they crisp up a bit.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found on about.com-low carb diets.

One word~Gelato

11 Sep

The Italians know how to do ice cream. Somehow the word gelato does not sound fattening, so it seemed perfectly fine to succumb to all the seductive flavors. It was hot and we walked miles, so gelato was a perfect treat. It is everywhere and everyone is eating it. The choices were amazing and Grom was by far the winner! Located very near the Duomo, there is always a line, but so worth it.  I am quite sure, standing in line, equates to exercise, so it all worked!

I am hoping to find a wonderful sorbet or ice cream without all the sugar that tastes good.  Any recipes to share out there?

My official taste tester. Someone has to do it! 

Crème Brulee from Colorado

29 Aug

Sarah (foodie, baker, busy mom) from Winter Park, CO sent me this and raved about it.  Perfect for a birthday celebration.  Her husband Chris (foodie, home chef, wine connoisseur) said it was the best crème brulee he ever had!  Happy Birthday Chris!

Low Carb Butter-Pecan Crème Brulee~ 3 carbs per serving

 2 C heavy cream

4 egg yolks

½ tsp vanilla

dash of salt

2 T Truvia

Heat cream over medium heat, just until bubbles start to form around side of pan. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (Sarah barely let it cool and it was fine)

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, salt and Truvia.  Gradually whisk in cream. Strain. Divide into 4 ramekins.

Bake in a water bath for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. (see Tips below)

Custards should be set, but still jiggly.

Chill for one hour. While chilling, prepare the butter-pecan topping.

Butter-Pecan Topping:

 1 T butter

1/4 C finely chopped pecans (even more if you want a lot of topping on each ramekin)

1 tsp Truvia

Heat just until pecans begin to color, being very careful not to burn! Divide between ramekins. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

Tips: Place ramekins in large roasting pan and set pan on pulled out oven rack. Then add water to reach ½ way up side of ramekins.  Sarah baked for 30 minutes and they were perfect.

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