Tag Archives: pecans

Derby Cheesecake Time is Coming!

Recipe: Derby Pecan Cheesecake

I promised I would do this and here it is. Just in time for this year’s Kentucky Derby on May 4th, I adapted this decadent recipe for a fabulous cheesecake celebrating the event. I made it for Easter and can attest to the incredible flavors of the dessert. In addition to changing certain ingredients to low carb ones, I did add a couple of things to the original recipe. For those who would like the full carb version, you can find it here on the Tasty.co web site.

One thing you will absolutely need to make this is a brown sugar replacement. I used a combination of LC-Foods Sweet Brown and Swerve Sugar Replacement Brown, both of which are 0 carbs. You could use all Swerve Brown as it is most like brown sugar where LC-Sweet Brown is a powder and doesn’t have the texture of brown sugar. Swerve is available at Amazon, maybe Wal-Mart, and through Netrition.com (also LC-Sweet Brown). Truvia also has a brown sugar blend that has 1 net carb per 1/2 teaspoon but also says you use half as much as you would use of brown sugar. I haven’t tried it, but I would assume that if you use it, you use 1/4 cup of Truvia in place of the 1/2 cup.

I made a small 7″-spring-form-pan cheesecake as the larger one is too much for a two-person household. Cut into eight slices, the piece is large enough for a reasonable dessert and as rich-tasting as this is, the smaller serving is enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Here’s a hint though. I made this with an almond flour crust standing in for a graham cracker one, but it would work perfectly well without the crust and save 1.5 net carbs on the total carb count. Next time, I plan to omit the crust.

Derby Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

Original Recipe by Matthew Johnson
Low Carb Adapted by Rene Averett

Crust:
1 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup Butter, melted

Filling:
8 oz Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Almond Milk
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 tablespoons Low Carb Flour
3 teaspoons Bourbon Whiskey, divided
1 Egg

Topping:
1/2 cup LC-Sweet Brown or Swerve Brown Sugar Substitute
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Yolks
1/3 cup Sugar-free Maple Syrup,
1/4 cup Cream, warm to the touch
2 tablespoons Butter, cold
1 cup roasted Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Prepare the spring-form pan with parchment paper over the base. Spray the pan with baking spray.

Prepare your ingredients and have them ready ahead of time. This actually goes together pretty quickly.

For the Crust:

In a small bowl, add the almond flour, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, and melted butter. Mix together with a spoon, then spoon into the bottom of the spring-form pan and press it to cover the bottom and about half-way up the sides.

Bake for about 10 minutes to set up and lightly brown the dough. Cool.

For the Filling:

Add the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup sugar substitute, and almond milk into a large bowl. Beat until blended and fluffy-looking.

Spoon in the sour cream, low carb flour, teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of Bourbon (more if really want to taste it), and two eggs. Mix on low until the filling is smoothly blended.

Pour the mixture over the almond flour crust in the spring-form pan. Bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and let sit for 30 minutes in the oven.

While the cheesecake is sitting for 30 minutes…

Make the Topping

Add egg yolks, sugar-free Maple Syrup, and warm cream to a bowl and stir together.

In a medium saucepan, add brown sugar substitute, cornstarch, and salt then stir together and put it on a low heat setting on your stove. Add the egg and cream mixture to the pan.

Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens to a pudding texture, around 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the cold butter and a teaspoon or two of bourbon, depending on how much you prefer.

Fold in the chopped pecans, mixing them through. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake while it is still in the spring-form pan. Spread to make an even layer over the top. (Mine dipped in the middle a little so that well of pecan is thicker.)

Photo: Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake
You can see where I didn’t quite get the topping spread all the way to the edge. Not that there wasn’t enough of it, but I just missed it. The topping is quite thick on the cheesecake.

Put in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours and allow the topping to set up firmly. Remove the spring-form pan and slide the cheesecake off the parchment paper onto a serving plate if you want it for a formal presentation.

Serve either chilled or let come to room temperature if you wish. Sometimes the higher temperature will bring the flavors out more.

Makes eight delicious servings.

Note: A word about the roasted pecans. These are easy to roast in the oven ahead of time by spreading them out on a layer of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour melted butter (about 1/4 cup over the top) and put in a 300 degree (F.) oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
However, it isn’t necessary to roast the pecans unless you really want the roasted taste. You can just use raw pecans chopped up.

Photo: Nutrition Information

If you try this, let me know how you like it.  I’d love the feedback.

Goes with Coffee: Apple and Pecan Muffins with Streusel

Photo: Apple Muffins

I had an apple that needed using so I decided to try this delicious-sounding recipe from AllRecipes.com user NMARIEA, but I adapted it to a low carb version. The result is delectable, especially when heated up before eating. It works well for a quick breakfast and also for a light dessert.

I put a light streusel topping made with almond flour and brown sugar mix on top, just enough to give it a little sweetness. For the flour, I used a combination of different brands, such as Carbolose, Bakesquick, and Carbquick in it. Each one has a different texture and taste so together, you get a nice mixture.

Apple and Pecan Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel

1 cup Low Carb Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup white Sugar Substitute
1 Egg
1 Egg White
1 teaspoon Vanilla or Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped Apples
1/3 cup Pecans pieces

Topping
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar Substitute
1 tablespoon Almond Flour
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.) Prepare 10 muffin tins by spraying them with cooking spray or put paper liners and spray those.

In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar substitute and mix together until creamy. Add the egg, egg white, vanilla or almond extract and cinnamon. Mix until combined.

In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Mix into the butter and egg in small batches until combined. This will be a fairly stiff dough. Stir in the apples and pecans.

Put about two tablespoons of the dough in each muffin cup. Because of the apples, they will nearly fill the cup.

In a small bowl, put in the brown sugar substitute (I used the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, or you could use Sweet Brown from LC Foods and add a little more butter.) Add butter and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cut together until it is crumbly. Sprinkle a little over the top of each muffin.

Bake 11 to 14 minutes. Use a toothpick to test if they are done. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.

Makes ten average-sized muffins.

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

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

FOR THE FILLING:
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

FOR THE GLAZE:
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

Easy and Delicious Pecan Pie Muffins

Photo: Pecan PIe Cupcakes

A few months ago, writer Kim Iverson posted her mother’s recipe for a pecan pie muffin that sounded wonderful. I adapted it to a low carb recipe and made a couple of changes along the way. I can truthfully say, this makes a wonderfully delicious cupcake that you can enjoy any time. Plus, it is so low-carb, you can splurge on two if you can’t resist and still not feel guilty.

I use Dixie Carb Counter’s low carb baking mix for this recipe, although you could use any low carb flour. LC Foods has a nice fine cake flour and CarbQuick also works in it. I just like the finer texture of the DCC baking mix or use a combination. You can also use almond flour. I wouldn’t recommend coconut flour alone but in combination with another flour. If you use coconut flour, use 1/2 the amount and add 1 or 2 additional eggs or egg whites as coconut flour will absorb the liquid and the eggs will add the rise to the cupcakes.

Pecan Pie Muffins

1 cup Sugar Substitute
1 -1/2 tablespoons Sugar free Maple Syrup
2 Eggs
2/3 cup Butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup low carb Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1/4 cup Sugar-free Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.) Grease standard muffin pans or use paper liners and spray those with baking spray.

Mix sugar substitute with maple syrup until it is blended in. Add eggs and butter and mix together.

Stir in flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. When mixed, stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spoon into muffin wells until 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 20 minutes.

Makes 8 muffins.

Nutrition Info per muffin:
Calories: 304 Fat: 29.5 g Net Carbs: 1.8 g Protein: 5.0 g

Quick Dessert with Cranberries and Pecans

Cranberry Pecan dessert photo

I cannot believe March is almost over! Where does the time go? I seem to be way behind on everything this month. But I did manage to try out a quick recipe for a wonderful dessert like Pecan Pie.

I’ve seen several recipes for “Impossible” pies that use the same technique as the Bisquick recipes that work so well to mix all the ingredients in one bowl, pour them into the pie shell, and they separate while they cook to give you a crust on the bottom and sometimes a topping layer. So far, I haven’t been able to duplicate this using low carb flours.The food tastes great, but the crust doesn’t seem to come out on the bottom. This is another one of those recipes. It seems more like a very low flour cake than a pie, but the taste is wonderful.

The original recipe came from Dixie Carb Counters, but I made a few adjustments. I used the DCC All Purpose Flour to make this, but I think it will work equally as well with almond flour, soy flour, or coconut flour (use 2 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons of water). The recipe uses a small amount of flour, so the crust isn’t very thick.I used my cranberries whole, but they might be distributed better if they are chopped.

Cranberry Pecan Pie Cake

Cooking Spray
2 tablespoons Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar Substitute
1/4 cup Low Carb Flour
2 Eggs
1 tablespoon Sugar-free Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Pecans, chopped
1/3 cup fresh or frozen Cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F.). Prepare a pie tin or an 8-inch square baking pan by spraying with cooking spray. I also like to line mine with parchment paper, then spray the paper.

In a small bowl, add the sugar, flour, and baking soda and mix together. Set aside. In a larger bowl, add the eggs, butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract and whisk together until blended. Stir in the flour until it is all mixed in. Add 3/4 cup of the nuts and the cranberries and stir them in.

Pour into your prepared pan, smoothing until even. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of pecans over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, checking at 20 to see if the edges are getting too browned. If so, cover with foil and cook until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Makes 8 Servings

Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories:162 Fat:15.7 g Net Carbs: 1.6 g Protein: 3.7 g