Thursday, September 22, 2011

Coco-Hazelnut Cookies

    Last week I went to Oktoberfest up in Mount Angel, Oregon. While there, I walked by a booth with a nice German lady selling all things hazelnut. I couldn't resist picking up a bag of hazelnut flour and a jar of hazelnut butter. While the jar of hazelnut butter is already long gone (it is DELICIOUS), the hazelnut flour has been waiting around in my freezer for the past week. I came across a recipe for Coconut Thumbprint Cookies on the Atkins website and decided to change it up and give it a try with hazelnut flour. The cookies came out really tender, my sister commented they were more of a scone consistency than a cookie. The way the flavors of the hazelnut and coconut meld together is delicious. The jam thumbprint is ok, but not really necessary. Next time I am going to make them in scone shape and just eat them as is or put the jam on afterward.
Hazelnut Coconut Cookies
Adapted from Atkins Website
Yield about 30
    ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
    ½ cup hazelnut flour
    ½ cup soy flour
    2½ tablespoons granular sugar substitute (I used Splenda)
    1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    1 teaspoon coconut extract (I used vanilla)
    3 tablespoons any flavor unsweetened fruit jam
    Mix coconut, hazelnut flour soy flour and sugar substitute to combine. Cut in butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
    Add egg, yolk and extract and mix until dough just comes together. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, until somewhat firm. Roll dough into balls and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Dip thumb into warm water and make a depression in the center of each ball, forming a doughnut-like shape (but not pressing completely though).
    Fill each depression with ¼ -teaspoon jam. Bake until golden, about 6 minutes. Cool 1 minute on baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

    Nutrition data for one cookie (if you make 30)
    Calories: 61.5
    Fat: 5.71 g
    Total Carb: 1.36 g
    Net Carb: .85 g
    Protein: 1.17 g

    Nutrition data for whole recipe
    Calories: 1846
    Fat: 171.3 g
    Total Carbs: 40.87 g
    Net Carbs: 25.37 g
    Protein: 35.21 g

    After cooking the cookies had absorbed some of the jam so I added a bit more on top to make them look prettier.
    Hope you all enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Low Carb Berry Shortcake Parfaits

One of the challenges I have encountered with low carb baking is making desserts look elegant and appetizing. Many of the creations I have tried taste great but end up looking less than appetizing. When I was asked to make a dessert for a Memorial Day barbecue, I really wanted to make something delicious AND pretty. I found this recipe on and customized it, using a different biscuit recipe and adding raspberries. I was not all that happy with the appearance of the biscuits, but in the parfaits I crumbled them up and I think they turned out pretty elegant! The recipe came together quickly, and it satisfied even the strongest sweet tooth. Some people don't like taste of soy flour but I didn't get any complaints on the biscuits even from non low-carbers. The dough turns out really sticky, but if you dust your hands with a bit of flour and pat out the dough, it turns out well. You can make the biscuits a day or two before you are planning on serving the dessert, just store them in a Ziplock in the fridge. They did come out small so instead of layering them whole
in the parfaits, I crumbled them up. Doing this allows them to absorb more of the liquid from the berries. The whipped cream is just your basic homemade whipped cream, you can add Splenda or not depending on how sweet your berries are. I recommend serving these up in wine glasses for an especially fancy touch. Hope you all enjoy!

Berry Shortcake Parfaits
Adapted from
3 pints berries, cleaned and sliced (I used raspberries and strawberries)
  • 1/4 cup, or less depending on taste, sugar substitute (recommended: Splenda)
  • 1 recipe low-carb shortcake biscuits (recipe follows)
  • Low Carb Fresh Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  • Few sprigs fresh mint

Combine berries and sugar substitute and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Crumble biscuits. Place half of the crumbled biscuit in a wine glass. Top with berry mixture and cream. Sprinkle on more crumbled biscuit and continue layering until you run out of berries and cream. Garnish with whole berries, and fresh mint.

Shortcake Biscuits
Adapted from
1 cup soy flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 teaspoons Splenda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Combine egg with cream and add to dry ingredients. Divide dough into 7 equal balls. Place on baking sheet.
Pat the dough balls into flat circular shapes (do the best you can, remember your going to crumble them anyway). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm when pressed.
Allow to cool, store in a ziplock bag until ready to use.

Low-Carb Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar substitute (Splenda is recommended)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

With an electric mixer on high, whip the heavy cream just until frothy. Then add in the sugar substitute and vanilla extract and continue to whip on high until peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip, or cream will break. Store in a pastry bag or glass dish with a lid and refrigerate.