Tag Archives: jam

Rugalach for the Holidays

Photo: Close up of rugalach

Just a little late for the Jewish holiday, I made a batch of low carb Rugalach cookies. These are simple to make, although a little time-consuming, and make a delightful cookie for the holidays. After my first batch, I plan to make a few minor changes to the next batch I make, but I wanted to get this recipe up before I do that. I cut down a little on the chocolate used, and this recipe reflects that.

Rugalach Cookies

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup low carb all-purpose flour *

1/2 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade
3 tablespoons sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, but you can use walnuts or almonds)
1/3 cup chopped cranberries
2 ounces sugar-free chocolate, finely chopped

2 tablespoons egg whites
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse sugar

For this recipe, I used Dixie Carb Counters All Purpose Low Carb Flour rather than their biscuit mix. Tova Foods also has an All Purpose Low Carb Flour as does LC Foods. I have not tried this with Almond Flour, but I believe it would work fine since it is mixed with cream cheese.  You will need to make sure the dough is chilled well or it will break easily.

Make the dough first. In a food processor, place the softened cream cheese pieces and the softened butter pieces. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse until the cream cheese and butter are blended together. Add the flour and pulse several times to mix it in. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed to get all the flour mixed in. Pulse until the dough forms large curds.

You can mix it with a hand mixer also, but don’t let the dough form into a ball on the blades.

Turn the dough out into a bowl and gather it into a large ball. Divide it in half, shape each into a disk, wrap in plastic, then put into the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

Before you begin rolling the dough out, make the filling. Heat the jam over low heat or in the microwave until it liquefies. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar substitute and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Chop the cranberries in a small food processor. In a microwavable bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the cranberries. Microwave for 40 seconds. Stir well.

Ready two baking sheets.

Pull one disc of dough from the refrigerator, place a sheet of parchment over the breadboard, and sprinkle low carb flour on it. Roll out the dough into a circle about eight or nine inches in diameter. If it is too firm to roll easily, let it sit for about 10 minutes. Spoon or brush about 1/2 of the melted jam in a thin layer over the dough and sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar over the top. Scatter 1/2 of the nuts, 1/2 of the cranberries, and 1/2 of the chopped chocolate over the jam. Cover the filling with a piece of waxed paper and gently press on it to push the filling into the dough. Remove the waxed paper, Slide the disk onto a baking pan and put the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you roll the second disc and repeat the steps.

Pull out the first pan when you put the second pan in, then cut the original dough into quarters, like you would a pizza. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter for this. Try to get it separated evenly. Now, cut each wedge into three triangular slices. Starting at the outside edge, roll the dough toward the middle to form a crescent cookie and tuck the end tip under the dough on the baking sheet, curving the cookie a little. Repeat with each triangular shape, cutting each of the quarter wedges into three triangles.

Pie cut for 12 slices.

Repeat with the second round of cookies. Put the shaped cookies in the refrigerator or other cold place on their baking sheets  to firm up for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.) Position the racks in the oven to divide it into thirds.

Before baking the cookies, mix the egg white and water together and brush over the tops of the cookies and sprinkle the granulated sugar substitute over each.

Photo: One dozen rugalach cookies

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom racks and turning them from the front to the back of the oven about mid-way through the baking. Remove when they are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack until they are just warm or at room temperature.

Makes 24 cookies.

Nutrition information per cookie:
Calories:102.2 Fat: 8.9 g Net Carbs: 1.0 g Protein: 3.3 g

A Darling Teacake for St. Patrick’s or Anytime

March 17 is just around the corner and the arrival of Spring is not far behind.

Why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or a belated St. David’s Day – a Welsh tradition celebrated on March 1 – with a tea? Nothing beats an afternoon pause in the day to have a cup of perfectly steeped Irish tea with a tasty cake or scone. It does wonders for your outlook.

In Irish, the tea is called cupan tae or cuppa tay.  How often have you heard let’s have a cuppa? Traditionally, teatime is around 11 a.m. for morning tea or between 3 and 5 p.m. for afternoon tea.  But there’s no need to stand on ceremony.  Anytime is a good time for tea. In Ireland, it’s common to have your tea with cream, but there’s a little trick to it. The custom began when folks put milk or cream into their fine china cups to prevent cracking when the hot tea was added.  Tea experts maintain that the milk needs to be added before the tea is poured as adding it afterward alters the taste of the tea.

To make a perfect cup of tea,  begin by filling a kettle with cool water and put it on to boil.  Next, add one teaspoon of fresh loose leaf Irish tea per person plus one for the pot. Add boiling water to the pot and allow it to steep for 5 minutes. While you wait, fill 1/3 of the teacup with milk or cream and pour the strong, hot Irish tea into each cup and stir.

Now for the tea cake to go with it…

As I was browsing through a booklet of Welsh teatime recipes, I ran across this lovely little cinnamon cake, called a Teisen Sinamon in Welsh. I thought it was a little unusual since it called for a meringue topping, which I haven’t seen often on cakes. I made a few adjustments to make a low carb version and converted the ingredient measurements. This is a coarse-textured cake rather than a dessert cake, but it has excellent flavor and pairs well with either tea or coffee.

My version is also adjusted to a half-sized recipe to avoid too many leftovers. It’s best served right after the meringue is cooked.

Ingredient notes: I used vanilla whey protein powder as part of my flour mix since it brings additional flavor and texture to the cake. You can substitute any low carb flour you like into it. If you use any coconut flour, use 1/2 the called for amount it is replacing and add an extra egg. The net carb count will be higher with other flour choices. My baking mix is 3 net carbs per 1/4 cup and the whey powder is 1 net carb for 1/4 cup.

The recipe calls for 1 egg plus 1/4 cup liquid egg whites. You need to separate the egg and put the egg white from the egg aside to make the meringue.  Liquid egg whites won’t beat stiff enough to make a good meringue.

Cinnamon Cake baked in the pan. You can remove it and have a nice display cake or leave it in the pan and cut slices from it.

Welsh Cinnamon Cake

3/4 cup Low Carb Flour
1/4 cup Vanilla Whey Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup Sugar Substitute
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Eggs, separated, plus 1/4 cup Liquid Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1/4 cup Butter
2 – 3 tablespoons Almond Milk or Cream
1/2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar Substitute
4 tablespoons Sugar-free Raspberry or Strawberry Jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Grease, or spray with baking spray, a 6-inch cake pan or square pan.

Mix the flour, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl, then rub in the butter. Separate the egg, set the white aside, add the liquid white and beat together. Add the sugar and yolk mixture to the flour and mix well. Add enough milk to make a thick, moist dough. Pour or press the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 20  minutes until a toothpick tests cleanly.

Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Reduce temperature to 325 degrees (F.) Whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold in the sugar substitute. Put the cake on a paper-lined baking sheet and spread jam over the top of the cake, then pile on the meringue mixture. Put back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the meringue is set and a pale brown.

Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per slice:
Calories: 148 Fat: 11.7 g Net Carbs: 4.6 g Protein: 7.4 g

Enjoy your tea break and let me know how you liked the tea cake!