Low Carb Desserts

NOTE:  I have recently read information relating to the sugar alcohols I discuss in this post.  In short, some sugar alcohols, like Xylitol, are no better than sugar (especially Malitol).  For more information, which is important to low carb dieting, please read the following article to apply context to the recipes below:
Sugar Alcohols Post

So, as I have mentioned, I have found flax seed.  Well, add almond flour to that list as well.  And Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa (only 4g/serving…half of regular cocoa).

So I have been trying some dessert recipes, and have had some “iffy” failures/near failures.  But this weekend I really, really worked it out.  Below are two desserts that knocked my families socks off (and the wife isn’t even on the low carb diet on purpose):

Chocolate-Almond Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using salted butter, omit salt here)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons powdered erythritol (Truvia, by name brand)

Whip the butter to make it nice and fluffy.  Add in Splenda (use the Splenda that has fiber in place of maltodextrin…just check the math for the “net carbs” on the back).  Whip in the Almond and Vanilla Extracts, then whip in the cocoa and erythritol.  Add in the salt, and by now when you add in the almond flour you will likely have to resort to working it by hand to get it fully blended and resembling a shortbread cookie dough.

Roll up 1″ balls, then mash flat onto a lightly greased, foil covered cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 13 mins (give or take…you be the judge).  These cookies are about 2g carb apiece.  But, by my calculations, you can simply divide 28 by the number of cookies you get, and that is the total net carbs per cookie.

Chocolate Brownies

This is a decadent dessert by any standards.  And it is completely guilt free.  I would have never thought I could get a real, chewy, moist, thick brownie that was packed full of hearty chocolate flavor.  The toppings at the end, however, make this over the top.  Completely unbelievable that I can eat this and lose weight (13 lbs in 2 weeks since I restarted my low carb diet):

  • 1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
  • 2 cups erythritol
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs (room temp is best)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 cups flax seed meal
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup artificial sweetener
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9X13 pan.

1) Cream the butter until fluffy.

2) Add the erythritol to the butter and cream them together until fully combined (aim for a fluffy texture).

3) Add the vanilla and beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time.

4) Add salt and cocoa, beat well.

5) Add almond flour, beat until fluffy.

6) Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.

7) Pour into a pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until top springs back. (You can also test if they’re ready by sticking a toothpick in the brownies. If it comes out clean, or almost-so, they’re done.)

I cut mine into 20 squares, and calculated a total of 1.75g net carbs per brownie.  Absolutely decadent, chocolatey, heavenly brownies.

To “kick it up a notch”, try the following topper for the above brownies:

Chocolate Topping

In a medium sauce pan, add 1 cup heavy cream, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons erythritol, 3 tablespoons Splenda, and stir until it begins to simmer.  Keep fire very low and continue to simmer, making sure to scrape the sides as you stir.  Add in 1 tablespoon vanilla, and continue stirring until all the cocoa and sweetener are fully blended.  Remove from heat and stir for 60 seconds, ensuring to blend the entire mixture very well.  While stirring, add in 3 egg yolks, continue to stir until it thickens.  Remove from pan and place into a bowl for cooling.  Spread it over the top of any dessert you wish at a cost of just under 2g carbs per tablespoon.  Let me tell you….this had my whole family licking their plates earlier tonight.  You think I am kidding….

Peanut Butter Fluff

In a bowl add 2 tablespoons “natural” peanut butter (4g net carbs per 2 tablespoons), and 4 tablespoons whipped cream.  Try to find the whipped cream that is only 2g carbs per 2 tablespoons.  Carefully fold the two ingredients together until you have a light tan, airy, peanut buttery, creamy mixture.  Gently fold in 2 tablespoons Splenda to sweeten slightly.  I like to put it into a ziploc, then cut the corner off so i can pipe it onto a simple cookie (I will post a simple chocolate cookie recipe that is only 1/2g net carbs per cookie sometime soon).  Each 2 tablespoon serving of this is only 2g net carbs (or, just slightly over, like 2.25)

I promise you, these are easy to make (everything here was easy to make, and I knocked it out of the park on the first attempt with each one).  And they are so delicious I could serve them to non-dieters and have them asking for a second serving.  I hope the few that have said that they like my recipes enjoy!!!

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8 Responses to “Low Carb Desserts”

  1. Any experience using Truvia as opposed to erythritol?

    • my problem with any product like that is that there are hidden carbs in things like maltodextrin. Plus, they blend in other stuff. I have used Truvia. It is not available in a form that is cup for cup measurable like sugar (which is needed to add bulk when compared to more concentrated varieties) except in this tiny little container that has maybe 2 cups in it.

      I actually prefer to use Xylitol, as it is easily available at the only local health food store. When i travel to Austin or Dallas i stop at Whole Foods and buy some other types of sweetener usually.

  2. Thanks for your quick reply. Apparently there is a baking version of Truvia, and it’s supposed to hit stores in March 2012. One uses 1/2 by volume of the required sugar in the recipe, and allegedly it mimics the browning and other cooking properties of sugar. It also does have sugar in it, and has 1/4 the calories of regular sugar.

  3. ah, one more question: for the chocolate brownie recipe, what do you use for the artificial sweetener?

    • The three sweeteners i am currently using are xylitol (it makes things kind of chewy and brown, like the corners of the brownies, but can be really gritty when uncooked), Splenda (my “go to” for cheap sweetening power), and liquid Stevia (just got this, and only used once in some peanut butter cups i made…google the recipe on About.com).

      NOTHING with sugar (so that baking Truvia is out). I am planning on getting some more liquid sweeteners, and granulated erythritol. Erythritol fights cavities, and with my son getting braces….

      Absolutely no sugar or starches are in my diet. All my carbs are from either fiber (which passes through with zero effect), vegetables, or nuts/beans (like chocolate, peanut, almond flour, etc).

      My results are pretty solid. It has been 1 year and 2 months, and I have gone from a 56″ waist to a 38″ waist (about 175 lbs). And now that I have found out how to make some good desserts, it is like there is absolutely no pain at all in this diet. If i feel a craving for starches, i take a day every month or so and eat some (and i also go hog wild on the Reeses).

  4. That’s some pretty impressive results. In the three weeks or so since my wife got her Type 2 diagnosis, she’s lost about 10, with me doing the cooking.

    Here’s a recipe I modified to make it lower carb:

    Low Carb Breakfast Puffs: 16.7 grams/carbohydrates per puff

    The original recipe called for ham and canned biscuits for the crust. I used my own buttermilk biscuit recipe, modified to make it lower carb.

    Crust:
    1 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup almond meal (Trader Joe’s)
    1/2 cup flax seed meal (Bob’s Red Mill)
    3 1/2 tablespoons dry buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons butter, cubed
    3/4 cup water

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Mix all dry ingredients. Add in butter, working with fingers or pastry blender until butter is crumb-sized. Add water and mix. Turn out on floured surface. With floured hands, knead for 20 seconds. Roll out or pat until about 1/3″ thick.

    Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Using medium-sized biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Using fingertips, spread out dough to line each tin. My pan has 12 tins; I had enough dough left over for three regular buiscuits.

    Add filling to each tin. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit for two minutes before removing from oven.

    Filling:
    8 ounces pork sausage, cooked and crumbled
    1 cup leftover garlic mashed potatoes
    1 cup shredded cheese
    1 ounce chopped green chiles (1/2 small can) OR sauteed diced poblano chiles
    2 large eggs, scrambled
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Of course, one can mess around with the filling, using whatever meat is available, and using more eggs instead of the potatoes. If I didn’t have garlic mashed, I would have added 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder to the mix.

    I calculated the total carbs for the dough, then reduced that number to account for the leftover dough. Then I added the total carbs for the filling, and divided that number by 12 to get 16.7 total carbs per puff. There’s a fair amount of fiber in the dough and filling, so if you do net carbs, your number would be lower.

    • That is outstanding! If you are ever interested, I have a spreadsheet that will calculate carb count based on the recipe you enter. I have it preloaded with carb counts, so when i put in the quantity it automatically calculates the carbs per serving. This allows me to tinker with a recipe until i get the carb count where i want it.

      If you are ever interested, let me know. I can email it to you (if you are excel friendly, anyway).

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