Category Archives: Desserts

Filled with color and flavor Ricotta Cookies

 

Photo: Cranberry Ricotta Cookies

I’m a big fan of ricotta cheese. I use it a lot in my cooking, whether as a lasagna layer, an add-in to quiche, or to add sturdiness to my baking. It has a mild flavor, but it brings fluffiness and texture to your cooking. It can elevate the simple to something more elegant. I don’t have the same fondness for cottage cheese, so I often substitute ricotta.

However, this cookie recipe actually is a ricotta original. The cookie is like a sugar cookie with a light, fluffy center. I added chopped cranberries to it for specks of color and a bit more taste; however, it isn’t needed if you prefer to leave them out.

About the flour combination I used, these work well for me, but you don’t have to use them. You can choose coconut flour (use about 1/2 the amount called for and add egg whites to add moisture and help the lift), almond flour, soy flour, or any other low carb flour you like. The carb count may come out a little higher, but you should be below 2 net carbs per cookie with most low carb options.

I recommend using Swerve Confectioners’ Sugar, but you can use Splenda and process it in a blender to powder it. It will use at least two cups of Splenda to make one cup of powdered sugar. Alternately, you can dip the warm cookie in a plate of granulated sugar substitute of your choice or sprinkle the sugar over the tops.

Cranberry Ricotta Cookies

1/2 cup Butter, softened a bit
1 cup White Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
8 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Vanilla Whey Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 tablespoon Sprite Zero or Diet 7-Up
1 cup Cranberries, chopped

Icing:
1/3 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Butter
1 cup Swerve Confectioners’ Sugar
1/2 tablespoon Lemon Extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Either grease two cookie sheets or cover them with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream one-half cup of butter, vanilla, and sugar together. I like to start with cut and slightly softened butter, so the beater doesn’t throw it all over the counter. Beat in the egg and the ricotta cheese.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, almond flour, whey powder, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk together. Add a little at a time to the ricotta mixture, beating on low. Add 1 tablespoon of the Lemon soda of choice.

If the dough is too thick to pull together, add a tablespoon of water and mix until it is easy to work with. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. Leave at least an inch between each cookie.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until just turning brown around the edges. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets.

Make the icing by adding half-and-half and 1/2 teaspoon butter to a microwavable bowl and cook for 20 seconds to heat the liquid and melt the butter. Add lemon juice and mix. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. It should be about the consistency of gravy.

Use a spatula or spoon to spread a layer of icing over each cookie.

Makes thirty cookies.

Image: Nutrition Information

A Bar Cookie for the Holidays

Photo: Cranberry Nut Chewy Bars

Winter is arriving soon in the northern hemisphere, but many of us have already experienced the cold, snow, and icy winds that come with the season. Of course, it also means the holiday celebrations are already in full swing.

This yummy bar cookie recipe is just the thing to have with a hot cup of cocoa. I adapted a chewy chocolate chip bar one to use the red berries in it. Since it is meant to be a chewy bar, be careful to not overcook it. Depending on your oven, you may want to check it at 18 minutes rather than 20 and work your way up to perfection. I’ve overcooked the edge some, so I can say it still tastes delicious, but it doesn’t have the chewiness the center does. By the way, if you feel inclined to add sugar-free chocolate chips to the recipe, they would make it extra yummy.

More holiday recipes will be coming in the next week. I’ve got my mind set on making ricotta cookies this weekend and maybe a cheese ball.

Photo: Sweets By the Season book cover
Great low carb recipes for delicious desserts and other times.

By the way, if you’re looking for a great collection of holiday sweets to make, check out my book, Sweets By the Season which has over 55 delicious dessert recipes for any occasion. Most of these low-carb-adapted recipes are not on this web site. Click on the image to go to a universal link of available sellers.

Cranberry Ricotta Nut Bars

1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
2 teaspoons Almond Extract
1 cup low carb All-purpose Flour
1/4 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/4 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Cranberries
1/3 cup Pecans, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar substitute, almond extract, and egg until well combined.

Add flour, almond flour, whey powder, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl and whisk to combine. Stir flour mix into wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Stir in cranberries and nuts and pour into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 bars.

Image: Nutrition Info for Cranberry Bars

Rich and Delicious, Pecan Pie

As promised, albeit a little late, here is the recipe for low carb pecan pie. This is one of my favorite desserts. I love pecans, but I am picky about my filling. I’ve had some with a pale filling that is too sweet. This one is a nice caramel color. In this instance, I did not cook my crust long enough, so it got soggy while the pie was cooking. The dough is only on the bottom or slightly up the sides. Make sure your crust is lightly browned in the middle. I used sugar-free maple pancake syrup to add a little more flavor. I’ve used this same recipe to make individual tartlets. They cook in about 15 minutes and are lovely individual-sized pies.

Photo: Pecan Pie slice

Southern Pecan Pie

Crumble Dough

3/4 cup Almond Flour or other Low Carb Flour
1 tablespoon Butter
3 tablespoons Sugar Substitute

Filling:
3 Eggs
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
1/2 cup Sugar-free Maple Syrup
2/3 cup Sugar Substitute
1 cup Pecans, broken into pieces
1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
Pinch Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8″ pie pan by spraying with baking spray.

Mix flour, sugar, and butter together with a fork, cutting through to make a crumbly dough. Press dough into the bottom of the pie pan. Bake in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Combine all filling ingredients. Spoon the filling over the dough. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Check to see if the pie is fully set and done.

Let cool for about 10 minutes. Use a pie server to get the pieces out easily. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutrition Info: Pecan Pie

Thanksgiving is Upon Us

Amazingly, we have arrived at Thanksgiving in the USA. Canada celebrated a month ago. For everyone else, think of it as a prelude to the end of the current season. Here, in Reno, Nevada, our non-evergreen trees have dropped the last of their leaves signaling that Winter is coming. Snow is already on the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I can recall more than one snowy Thanksgiving here, so it could be a possibility.

Hope all of you are well. This has been a particularly tough year for everyone, but we are still surviving and are so thankful for it. For me and the friends I cherish, this is the one thing I am so grateful to say. Our hopes are to have a resolution to the pandemic soon, but until then, to continue to stay safe and healthy.

This message is a little late getting out, but if you are looking to keep your carbohydrates down over Thanksgiving, here are a few recipes I’ve published to help you do that:

 Happy Thanksgiving 2013 – Pumpkin Panna Cotta – has links to Smashed Turnips with Leeks, Irish Style Celery and Kohlrabi, and Butternut Turnip Mash.

 

Easy Low Carb Stuffing Bread

Use it in your favorite stuffing.

 

Traditional Pumpkin Pie 

Includes crust recipe.

 

 

 

 No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

 

 

 

 

Got leftovers?

Try this Turkey and Stuffing Pie

 

 

Use the search feature to find even more recipes for vegetables and desserts to compliment your feast.

I don’t have a new recipe for today because I’m scurrying to get everything prepped for Thanksgiving and doing NaNoWriMo (for those who don’t know, that is National Novel Writing Month, so I am writing as many words on a new novel as I can). I will have a recipe on Friday for low carb Pecan Pie. You won’t miss those carbs at all. Trust me.

Until then, have a very good Thanksgiving and stay safe.

Rene

Light and Fluffy Gelatin Dessert

 

This is a recipe I recall fondly from my childhood. We used to have it often. Gelatin-based recipes are inexpensive, refreshing, and fruit-flavored. But they don’t have to be served without enhancements. By combining the gelatin with whipped topping, you have a lighter, tastier treat. Add in cream cheese and you elevate it to a whole new level. Lime gelatin with Thompson seedless green grapes is one of my favorite combinations, but you can vary it with a bunch of different gelatin options and fruits. See the notes below for other great combinations.

With sugar-free gelatin and reasonably low-sugar fruit, you can make a delicious dessert that won’t hurt your diet.

Photo: Lime Fluff

Lime Gelatin Fluff with Grapes

1 package (8 servings) Sugar-Free Lime Gelatin
1 cup Boiling Water
1 cup Cold Water
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Whipped topping
2 cups Seedless Green Grapes

In a medium-sized bowl, add the lime gelatin mix and 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of cold water and stir to mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 90 minutes. It should be very thick or partially set before you continue.

Cut grapes in half if you wish or leave whole.

In a large, deep bowl, add the cream cheese, breaking it into 8 pieces, then use a hand mixer to beat it until it is creamy and smooth. Add the gelatin and continue to beat to mix the cream cheese into the gelatin. It will be in little pieces through it. Add the whipped topping and beat to mix it in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Makes 8 servings.

Notes: Want to cut the carbs a little? Use only one cup of grapes.

This recipe can be combined with any sugar-free gelatin flavor and most fruits to make other combinations. Fruits that don’t work include figs, fresh pineapple, and grapefruit. A list of the fruits that prevent the gelatin from setting up is listed on the box.

Try strawberry or strawberry banana gelatin with fresh strawberries. Cut the strawberries in halves or quarters to distribute them better.

Try a can of drained mandarin oranges with orange gelatin to make a cream-tasting dessert reminiscent of Dreamsicles.

Try 1 cup of pineapples tidbits, liquid drained, with lime or lemon gelatin.

Try 2 cups of raspberries with raspberry or strawberry gelatin.

Try sugar-free cranberries with Cranberry or raspberry gelatin. Cook 2 cups of fresh cranberries with sugar substitute until they set up. Let them cool in the refrigerator, then mix into the gelatin, cream cheese, and whipping cream mixture.

Nutrition Info; Lime Gelatin Fluff

Nutrition Information: Other Gelatin Fluffs