Monday, December 23, 2013

Low Carb Snow Drops


I can easily get carried away with eating these cookies, they are that good!! The original recipe is in 'Low-Carbing Among Friends Volume-4' cookbook. You can find it on page 139.
I subbed the flours, and went with Jennifer Eloff's Bake mix version 2. However, I did not add the gelatin or the xanthan gum.  The cookies turned out just fine without either of them.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Low Carb Black Forest Cheesecake Cupcakes


This came out better than I had expected! I don't know if it should be called Black Forest, since I think that uses cherries on top. Mine has strawberry preserves, reduced on the stove of course. Maybe it should be called 'Toms River Black Forest Cheesecake Cupcakes', just kidding!
The original recipe is from Cooking Classy.
My friend, Judy Bennett, had posted it on a Facebook group page 'My favorite recipe's'. So I set out to reformulate this to be low carb, as much as possible. *Some ingredients that I used were Reduced Fat, but you could use the full fat and end up with slightly less carbs. ALSO, I have eliminated the crust portion of the original recipe.

Ingredients:
CHEESECAKE
3 ounces Baker's unsweetened chocolate (for the melted chocolate part of recipe)
5 Tablespoons of granulated Swerve (for the melted chocolate part of recipe)
5 Tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream (for the melted chocolate part of recipe)
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon of granulated Swerve
2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
1 pinch of salt
12 ounces of cream cheese, softened well (Reduced Fat)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup of sour cream (Reduced Fat)

WHIPPED TOPPING
1 + 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 + 1/2 Tablespoons granulated Swerve

FRUIT TOPPING
3 Tablespoons Polaner Sugar-Free + Fiber Strawberry Preserves
Splash of heavy whipping cream

Directions:
FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
Preheat oven to 325° F.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp Swerve, sifted cocoa, and salt, until no clumps of cocoa remain. There shouldn't be any since you sifted the cocoa! Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and pour sweetener mixture over cream cheese, then using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, whip mixture just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition and adding in vanilla with second egg. Let that sit while you melt your chocolate. Put the Baker's chocolate in a small saucepan over a low flame. Keep stirring while it's melting. Add the 5 Tbsp of Swerve and stir it well to incorporate. Once it's melted and mixed well, add the 5 Tbsp heavy whipping cream until smooth. Let it cool slightly, then add to the ingredients already mixed. Mix until just combined, then add 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and sour cream and mix just until combined. Forcefully tap bowl against the countertop, about 30 times to release some of the air bubbles. Divide mixture among 12 cupcake liners in a muffin pan, adding a slightly heaping 1/4 cup to each. I highly recommend the liners I use from If You Care and look for the Where to Buy link at the top of their page. Bake in 325° F oven 17 - 21 minutes until centers only jiggle slightly. (My oven was the full 21 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.

FOR THE WHIPPED TOPPING
Note - It's preferably best to add the whipped topping 2 hours before serving.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, 1 + 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form, then add 1 + 1/2 Tbsp of Swerve and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread the whipped cream into an even layer over the cupcakes, then pipe a rim around edge over that layer (or if spreading whipped cream, just create a small well into the center).

FOR THE FRUIT TOPPING
Let this cool before adding on top of the whipped cream layer.
Place 3 Tbsp of the strawberry preserves into a small saucepan. Heat over low flame until it starts to slightly liquefy. Leave some of the strawberry chunks solid. Turn off the flame and put a splash of heavy whipping cream in and mix well. Once this is cool, spoon a heaping teaspoon into the center of each. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Notes:
Total carb count for entire recipe based on *my ingredients used is 42g net carbs. YIELD: 12 cupcakes, 3.5g net carbs per cupcake.


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Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls


Super easy, super good, and Low Carb!! The original recipe from Taste of Home is titled 'Peanut Butter Snowballs' using white chocolate. I don't have any sugar-free white chocolate, so I figured mine would be more like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. They are, but they are so much better!!
My friend, Judy Bennett, had the original recipe posted on a Facebook group 'My favorite recipe's'.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chunky Peanut Butter (Smucker's Natural)
3 Tablespoons softened butter (super softened!)

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the sweetener, peanut butter, and butter. Since I use natural peanut butter, I had to put my mixture into the refrigerator until it was firm enough to form balls. I think an hour is good enough, if it's not forming balls easily put it back in the refrigerator for some more time.
When firm enough, form the balls, maybe 3/4 to 1 inch and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until nice and firm.
Next, melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high at 30-second intervals, stirring each time until melted. Using two forks, dip balls and place on waxed paper to harden.
I have mine stored in the refrigerator at all times.
You should be able to get at least 18 to 24.

Notes:
Total carbs for the ingredients I used is 18g net carbs. This should give you 1g or less per ball depending on how many you get out of this recipe.


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Friday, November 29, 2013

3 Crusty Breads (NO KNEAD)

Multi-Grain

Pepperoni & Mozzarella

Sliced View

White

The Mulit-grain was made as a full loaf. The White was divided in half, and one half had pepperoni and shredded mozzarella added to it. I can't decide which one I like the best, but the multi-grain is slightly leading the pack!
This will probably be it for awhile making crusty breads. I'm going to try making regular loaf pan bread, but following the no-knead method as described below. My shapes are not consistent with the crusty bread, since the dough spreads out in the cast iron pot. At least with a loaf pan it only has one way to go, and that is in height!

INGREDIENTS
3 cups Multi-Grain OR White bread flour (from Low Carb Foods)
1 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
2 heaping Tablespoons melted Spectrum Organic Shortening (non-hydrogenated)

DIRECTIONS
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast. Add water and melted shortening, and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 18 hours. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. I made mine at 3 P.M. and it was ready the next morning at 9 A.M. to get it into the oven.
Heat oven to 450° F, but first add your cast iron pot with lid on it, into the cold oven. When the oven reaches temperature, start timing for 30 minutes.
While it's heating, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. You can cover it with the same plastic wrap that was on your bowl. Let it sit there undisturbed until the oven is ready.
Remove HOT pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove pot from the oven and place the bread on a cooling rack. Once it's cooled down, you can slice it with a serrated edged knife.

NOTES
My calculations in carb count is for the Multi-Grain recipe. Total carbs is 12g. I got 12 slices, including the 2 heel ends. The bigger slices should be approximately 1.2g.
Basically, it all depends on how many slices you can get out of the recipe. 
The full recipe of the White (both breads) would be 24g carbs. I would imagine that you could get 6 slices out of the white and 6 out of the pepperoni & mozzarella. Roughly 2g per slice.


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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Low Carb (No-Knead) Crusty Artisan Bread



I've been looking for a recipe to convert to low carb, and thanks to my friend, Judy Bennett, on Facebook, the search is over! The fact that this bread doesn't require kneading, immediately got my attention. I have tried making baked goods that required kneading, but never had any luck with them. I guess I just don't know how to be kneady, LOL!
The original recipe can be found here at Simply So Good. If you scroll down her page you will see other varieties of ingredients you can add to the dough. Also, read her FAQ section, very helpful!
PLEASE NOTE - The loaf I made is 1/2 the recipe, however, I am listing the ingredients for a Full loaf of bread!
Also, the flour I used can be found here at Low Carb Foods. The next time I make this I will use their white bread flour.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups Pizza/Bagel flour (from Low Carb Foods)
1 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
4 Tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast. Add water and olive oil, and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 18 hours. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. I made mine at 3 P.M. and it was ready the next morning at 9 A.M. to get it into the oven.
Heat oven to 450° F, but first add your cast iron pot with lid on it, into the cold oven. When the oven reaches temperature, start timing for 30 minutes.
While it's heating, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. You can cover it with the same plastic wrap that was on your bowl. Let it sit there undisturbed until the oven is ready.
Remove HOT pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove pot from the oven and place the bread on a cooling rack. Once it's cooled down, you can slice it with a serrated edged knife.

NOTES
My calculations in carb count is for the 1/2 recipe. Total carbs is 12g. I got 8 slices, including the 2 heel ends. The 6 bigger slices should be approximately 1.75g.
Basically, it all depends on how many slices you can get out of the full recipe. The full recipe would be 24g carbs for the entire loaf. I would imagine that you could get 12 slices out of that.


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Monday, November 18, 2013

Maple Walnut Biscotti


Tomorrow is my Birthday, and I needed to whip up some snacks, so I don't get tempted to indulge in the carby desserts.
Okay, so I think I've come up with my new favorite flavor for biscotti. I passed on making a glaze for this, just in case I want to dip this into my coffee!

Ingredients
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener (or granulated erythritol)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (add more if you like it nutty)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten (I use 1/4 cup Better than Eggs liquid egg)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup (I use Walden Farms Pancake Syrup)

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, Swerve, baking powder, and xanthan gum.
Stir in the chopped walnuts, melted butter, egg, vanilla extract, maple extract, and Sugar Free Maple syrup, until the dough blends together.
Place dough onto parchment lined baking sheet and form into a flat log 4 inches wide by 11 to 12 inches in length. Pat the ends of the length so that the slices will be consistent, sort of making it rectangular instead of rounded ends.
Bake 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F.
When cooled, cut into 14 even slices. Put slices back onto baking sheet cut-side down and bake for 15 minutes, then flip each slice and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn oven off and let biscotti sit inside until cool. I leave my oven door slightly open to cool it down quicker.

Notes
14 Servings. Total net carbs for full recipe is 20g. Figuring 14 servings, each serving would be 1.4g net carbs. These amounts are based on the ingredients that I used.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Low Carb Fudgsicles (REVISED)


Super easy recipe for low carb fudgsicles in ice pop molds!

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups of canned coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 1/2 Tbsp Swerve or other granular sweetener
6 drops Liquid Sucralose (EZ-Sweet)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 square ChocoPerfection European Dark bar shaved (Optional)



Directions:
In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients. Mix with an electric hand mixer on low until well combined. Switch to a high speed for 2 minutes to make it light and airy.
Pour mixture into ice pop molds.

Notes:
Yield - 6 servings
Net carbs based on what I used is 2.4g per fudgsicle
Each mold holds slightly less than 1/2 cup

Optional: Add some chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, or any other chopped nut. First, add some of the chocolate mixture into the molds, then add  a small amount of chopped nuts. Finish with more chocolate mixture in the molds. The fudgsicle will release easier from the mold if the nuts are hidden within the mix.


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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shrimp Saute over Low Carb Pasta


Geez it's been awhile since my last post (say 2 Hail Mary's, just kidding)! I've been trying out new recipes, and old recipes that have been tweaked, just haven't gotten around to posting.
I don't know if you are aware, but I'm a crafter, mostly paper crafts. I had my first craft fair of the season early in September, but it was disappointing in sales. My next one is November, so I've been busy crafting to build up my inventory.
I was looking through my recipe folder, and found a Shrimp Saute dish that I came up with a couple of years ago. I used to be able to have it over rice or some other carb, but nowadays I just can't handle certain carbs with regard to my Type 2 Diabetes.
Well, my niece Gina had mentioned this pasta that is supposed to be low carb from a company called Dreamfield's. I found it hard to believe, and just absorbed the info and put it somewhere in my brain for safekeeping. Then DJ Foodie had mentioned something on Facebook about this pasta that some people had good results with it, and others didn't. Again, I put this somewhere in my brain for a later time.
Over this past weekend, I was in Shop-Rite and ventured into looking for this pasta. There it was, in the regular pasta aisle, on the bottom shelf. It was priced at around $2.49 a box, which is okay with me. I bought a box of elbows, angel hair, and lasagna. Now my only hope was that it would work for me. I followed the directions on the box EXACTLY! My pre-dinner glucose was 127 (a great number for me), so I took my diabetic pill before my dinner meal. The best news is that 2 hours after eating a serving of elbows, my glucose was now 117. WHAT??? It actually dropped, which has NEVER happened before, even with taking my meds. Needless to say I am a happy camper with being able to enjoy pasta again.
The meal that I made tonight (in the photo) is my Shrimp Saute over Dreamfield's elbow pasta. I had measured out less than a serving, which a serving is 1/2 cup dry pasta. Tonight I used 1/3 cup. A typical serving for this says on the box that it is 5g of Digestible Carbs. It's a long explanation, so I would suggest going to their website for more info.
Now, you could also put this over Roasted Cauliflower or even Grilled Zucchini, it doesn't have to be pasta. But hey, if it's only 5g then I would say go for it. As long as you can eat wheat, since it has wheat in it.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 1/8 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Shallot chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/8 tsp Black pepper
  • 6 or 7 Extra Large cleaned shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound)
DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter in a saute or frying pan. Add the minced garlic over low heat. Next, add the chopped shallot and saute until opaque, over low to medium heat. Add the lemon juice, tomato paste, and black pepper. Stir well and saute for 30 seconds. Move shallots to the side of the pan and add the shrimp. When the shrimp turn pink, approximately 2 minutes, turn to cook the other side. Move the shallots back in the shrimp and mix together while cooking. Serve immediately over whatever you prefer.

Variation: If you'd like a creamy style sauce, omit the lemon juice. When the shrimp are done, remove them from the pan, turn off the stove and remove pan from burner. Add 2 tablespoons (or more for more of the sauce) of heavy cream and whisk well. Add the shrimp back in to coat them. This was so good. I think I might try scallops with this sauce!

Notes: This is for one serving. Adjust your amounts for more servings. Since my husband doesn't eat seafood, this was created for 1 person. Also, I use tomato paste from a squeeze tube.
Shrimp Saute is 6g carbs. If you add the Dreamfield's pasta of 5g per serving, total carbs for this meal is 11g.


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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lemon Cream Cheese Cups - Low Carb (UPDATED)


I liked my Cannoli Cups recipe a lot, so I decided to make the crust again from that recipe, but using a different filling. This filling is another easy one with only 4 ingredients. Although the crust makes 24 mini muffin cups, half of them were filled with the Cannoli cream, and the other half were filled with the Lemon Cream Cheese mixture. The amounts for the mixture here are based on 12 mini muffin cups crust.

Ingredients (updated)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (full fat) room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsps Swerve or granular erythritol
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Directions (updated)
  1. In a bowl, beat all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.
  2. Pipe or spoon into the 12 mini crust cups. There might be some mixture remaining, refrigerate and save it for later, or dive right on in (that's what I did!).
Notes
Each Lemon Cream Cheese Cup has 1.4g net carbs.
My original directions called for whipping the heavy cream in a separate bowl and then folding into the rest of the ingredients. Today I made this as a pie and forgot to do that step. Instead, everything was mixed in one bowl, and I'm happy to say that the filling tastes even better and much lighter than my original!


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Creamy Fruit Pops with optional Chocolate Hard Shell


I don't know about you, but I am really enjoying my time experimenting with recipes. Today I've got another frozen concoction that's low carb, but not dairy free. I like whipping cream, so if I can incorporate it into a recipe I will. I have no issues with dairy, nor do I have issues with some gluten. Mine is strictly with carbs, the lower the better for me with regards to keeping this Type 2 Diabetes in better control. Now if I can only get my butt moving to go for a walk or something, my readings would be so much better. Hmm, that almost sounds like I'm a psychic doing readings. Although I think I am intuitive I am talking about my glucose readings. Ah, that nasty little finger stick sometimes once a day, sometimes more if I feel a little off.
My favorite fruit is strawberries (really bananas but too many carbs) and quite often my breakfast will be strawberries with whipped cream and chopped walnuts, especially if I don't feel like cooking, or just need to finish what's in the crisper. So, this pop is made with strawberries.
The chocolate that you see is from The Coconut Mama's Magic Shell recipe, however I didn't use honey but subbed with confectioner's Swerve and it worked just fine. I also added a little bit of Walden Farms Pancake Syrup. The syrup was around 1/4 cup, and the confectioner's Swerve was around 3 tablespoons. You have to taste it to see if more sweetener is needed. I'm thinking that the next time I make these, I will just add the chocolate shell after the pop has frozen. The way it is here is quite thick and I didn't enjoy that part as much as I thought. A thinner shell on the outside would have been just enough!

Ingredients:
1/2 of a 12oz. bag Frozen Fruit
7oz. Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
7oz. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 to 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt

Directions:
Add fruit, coconut milk, salt, and whipping cream to a blender and mix on high until combined.
Add sweetener and vanilla and blend briefly.
Taste the mixture and add more sweetener if needed.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. Overnight is best!

Notes:
I used frozen strawberries, which my carb count is based on.
6 servings approximately 1/2 cup each mold. Net carbs per serving is 2.8g (not counting the chocolate shell)


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Friday, August 9, 2013

Another Cannoli Cream Creation!


Yep, that's right, it's only 3 slices of pie! I forgot to take a pic of it before taking it to my get-together with my sister Pattie, niece Stephanie, Cassidy (great-niece), and Gavin (great-nephew). The kids split a slice, and the adults all had one. It went over big, and I am so thrilled that my husband, Frank, loved it too!
Use the same crust recipe and for the filling add an additional 1/3 recipe ingredients, or you could double it and save any extra filling. Hmm, maybe putting it inside a cupcake, oh yes!
My husband liked it so much that he asked what else I could make. So, I'm making another pie crust right now, and will fill it with the Lemon Cream Cheese filling, but I'll double it since that amount is only for 12 mini-muffin cups.

Notes
Yield - 8 slices
Per slice 4.5g net carb.  Slice it smaller and you can cut the carbs more!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cannoli Cups - Low Carb


Yay, my first post on my new blog! 
I'm on a quest to find, or come up with, recipes that are very low carb. For some reason I keep heading to the sweeter side of recipes. Maybe because it's harder to come up with great tasting low carb sweet things!
I accidentally got a lucky break Thursday when shopping for Swerve Sweetener. Looking at their website on Wednesday, I noticed they were out of stock for the Swerve Confectioner's Sweetener, so I decided to wait a day to see if it would be back in stock. When I checked again on Thursday, I noticed the Retailer tab and was happy to find that my local health food store carried Swerve. Instead of just driving over there, I gave them a call to see if they indeed carried it. Well, as it turned out, they had all of their supply on the 50% off rack!! They decided to discontinue carrying it due to lack of sales. Needless to say I hopped in my car and went right on over. I bought 4 one pound bags of the granular, and 1 one pound bag of the confectioner's. Total cost was $28, what a bargain! The big plus is that I've never used Swerve before, and I really like it. I might go back and buy some more of the granular since they had a lot on the discount rack.
A lot of cannoli's that I've had in the past, were always too sweet for my taste, so I stayed away from them. Back in the 1980's, there was a small Italian restaurant (it was actually a house) called Enza's in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and they had the best cannoli's I ever had in my life. They were light and not really that sweet. It was almost as if they used a lot more ricotta than mascarpone for the filling. They have been out of business for a very long time, so there is nobody to verify their recipe.
Without further ado, let's get into the recipe.

Ingredients

CANNOLI FILLING:
  • 1 cup of whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of Mascarpone (BelGioiso® or other zero carb brand)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp of Swerve Confectioner's Sweetener
  • 2 squares of a ChocoPerfection Dark Chocolate Bar OR 1/4 cup of sugar-free mini choc chips
CRUST:
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a mini muffin pan (24 count) with parchment liners.* (Update: I made these again and sprayed the pan instead of using the liners, it worked just fine)
  2. For the crust, combine almond flour, GF all purpose flour, Swerve, xanthan gum, and salt, in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  3. Sprinkle butter in, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. With processor running on low, add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough begins to clump together.
  5. Cover work surface with a large sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with almond flour. Turn out dough and form into a disk.
  6. Sprinkle with additional almond flour and top with another piece of parchment, then carefully roll out in all directions to form a 10-inch circle.
  7. Remove top parchment and use a circle cookie cutter (or a small drinking glass works too) that measures 2 inches across. This size works perfect for the mini muffin pan. Cut as many circles as you can, then gently lift circles with an offset spatula, and press down into the liners.
  8. With the remaining scraps, you could just cut pieces and press them into the liners if there are only a few cups left to fill. Or re-roll the scraps and cut more circles.
  9. Poke some holes in the bottom of crust with a fork.
  10. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until pastry is light golden brown. Let cool completely in pan before adding the cannoli cream filling.
  11. For the filling, in a small bowl add the ricotta, Mascarpone, and Swerve. With a small paring knife shave pieces of the ChocoPerfection squares on a cutting board, then add to the mixture (or just add sugar free mini chocolate chips). With a hand mixer, beat all together until it is nice and creamy smooth.
  12. Put the mixture into a pastry bag, or improvise and make your own, and pipe the filling into the cooled mini cups. Keep refrigerated!
* The parchment paper and muffin liners that I use and highly recommend are unbleached and chlorine free, from a company called If You Care®.

Notes
Yield - 24 mini Cannoli Cups
Based on the ingredients I used: For the full crust = 27g net carbs and full amount of filling = 8.8g net carbs.
Each Cannoli Cup is 1.5g net carb, and that's low enough to have 2 Servings, yay!!


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