Thursday, May 22, 2014

Coconut Lime Cream Cheese Squares - Low Carb


On May 3rd, we went to a Kentucky Derby party at our nephew's house. Besides bringing my low carb Maple Walnut Chocolate Chip Biscotti (recipe not updated yet) we also brought this low carb dessert. I could have made a pie, but since there were a lot of people I went with squares and cut 16 small pieces out of this 8 by 8 pan. I cut them in 4 one direction, then turned the pan and cut into another 4 pieces.


PIE CRUST:
Directions
1.     Preheat oven to 350°F.
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. 2 Tbs worked for me.
5.     Cover work surface with a large sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with almond flour. Turn out dough and form into a square (or disk for a pie).
6.     Sprinkle with additional almond flour and top with another piece of parchment, then carefully roll out in all directions to form a 9 by 9 inch square (or 10-inch circle for a pie).
7.     Place in 8 by 8 pan (or a pie tin).
8.     Poke some holes in the bottom of crust with a fork.
9.     Bake 13 to 15 minutes. If you can cover the crust edges with foil after they have browned, you can add more time to let the bottom of the crust get slightly brown. Cool on rack when done. 

Ingredients for Filling
  • 12 oz cream cheese (full fat) room temperature 
  • 1 Lime, juiced 
  • 9 Tbsps Swerve or granular erythritol 
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Directions
1.     In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, lime juice, and sweetener, with a hand mixer until smooth.
2.     In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream.
3.     Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
4.     Scoop into the cooled down crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Optional:
Top with toasted coconut before refrigerating. On a sheet pan, spread out 1/4 cup of unsweetened fine coconut. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes in a 350° oven. Be careful not to burn the coconut. Remove from oven and let it cool. After it has cooled, place in a bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix until moist. Add 1 teaspoon of powdered erythritol and 1 drop of E-Z Sweetz liquid sucralose and mix well. Whatever amount doesn't get used, keep the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes
Total carbs is 33.6g for the entire recipe. If cutting into 16 squares, each square would be 2.1g. If making a pie and cutting into 8 slices, the carb count would be 4.2g per slice.



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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cheese Crookies


You're probably thinking, what the heck is a 'Crookie'? It's my version of a cross between a cracker and a cookie. It has the texture and taste of a cheese cracker, but the look and shape of a cookie. I intend on modifying the shape to be square and flatter, and then it will be a true cracker. The taste of these are awesome, so cheesy!
I adapted a recipe from Trisha Yearwood's Cheese Straws on the Food Network. I tried her method of using a cookie dough press, but the mixture was just too dense and difficult to work with in a press. Next time I make these I'll make some adjustments to get them to work in the press. I went out and bought one specifically for this recipe. I might have to resort to just using it for cookies.

Ingredients:
15 ozs. of shredded sharp cheddar room temperature (or Colby Jack)
1/2 cup butter softened
2 cups Jen's bake mix (Splendid Gluten-free Bake Mix 3)
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
3/4 tsp. salt
pinch pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch paprika
pinch garlic powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Put the softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat it for 15 to 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, sift 1 and 1/2 cups of Jen's bake mix with all of the spices. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Now, gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of the unseasoned bake mix until the dough is somewhat stiff but still soft enough to the touch. You will not need to add all of the bake mix. I ended up using only 1/4 cup and returned the balance to its canister.
I use non-stick parchment paper in my trays. With this amount you might need 3 or 4 trays. Bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes. Any thin areas will bake quicker and probably burn, so be careful to have consistent thickness.
I rolled the dough into 1/4 inch balls and flattened them with a fork. I may adjust this recipe to be softer to be put into a cookie press to make cheese straws, or fill a plastic bag and cut the tip to pipe the dough on.

Yield: 110 Crookies
Serving Size: 5 Crookies are 2g  net carbs.

Optional: Sprinkle some salt on them as soon as they are out of the oven.


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