Thursday, October 17, 2013

Low Carb and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

I was never much of a sweets kinda gal before....but for whatever reason I have the biggest sweet tooth lately and urge to bake.  My sister insists it just comes with the season and I'm gonna go with that logic

I was craving cookies....even weirder because they were NEVER my sweet of choice....but I decided to wing it anyway.  I kind of threw some stuff together and hoped for the best.  I was happy when at least the dough itself was delicious because then even if they didn't bake up well I would still have something to eat that was cookieish

The good news is.....they worked!  A big accomplishment for me because developing baked goods recipes can be so hit or miss and I rarely develop them

The texture was sooooo good.  A little more crumbly than a regular chocolate chip cookie, but not in the sense that it falls apart easily, just soft. I would say they resemble the texture of an oatmeal cookie.  Then they have the chocolatey taste of your chocolate chip cookie of course....and then there's a third layer of awesomeness.....nuttiness!  I added chopped pecans to the recipe because I love them but the pairing of the chopped pecans with using almond flour in the recipe also gives me hints of pecan sandy cookies.  So this one little low carb cookie gem is like a hybrid of an oatmeal, a chocolate chip, and a pecan sandy.....and I will gladly say yes to that!

A think a big part of why these taste so good is because I put molasses in them.  I know what you're thinking.....Say what now?  Molasses is sugar....evil to the low carb diet!  Let me explain.....

In my pre-LC days I baked exclusively with brown sugar.  Even if a recipe called for a combination of white and brown or even just white sugar I ALWAYS substituted with all brown sugar.  I just really love what it does for baked goods.  To me it adds such flavor beyond just "sweet"   Since I always use brown sugar in my chocolate chip cookies I wanted to mimic that in my LC version too. 

I looked it up and there are brown sugar free substitutes you can buy....but I'm cheap and wasn't about to wait to get some.. I needed cookies NOW!  So since brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added to it and I had a jar of molasses in my cupboard I just threw 1 tablespoon of it into the recipe.  Yes, 1 tablespoon has 16 carbs in it....but once you divide that out over an entire recipe it's not adding much to your carb count at all but it adds TONS of flavor.  Those carbs are worth it in my book 

One other thing to note in this recipe is that I quickly realized a few minutes into baking that they do not spread much on their own.  So after you scoop your dough press down on them lightly or do it after they've been baking for a few minutes but aren't so hot you can't touch them

In this picture you can see I've pressed the ones in the front

Here's the recipe...go make them ASAP!  They were approved by my sugar fiend of a niece...I think that's saying something!

Low Carb and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

1 stick softened butter
1 cup stevia or sugar substitute of choice
1 tb. molasses
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup. sugar free chocolate chips or  very dark chocolate (the darker it is the lower in carbs) chopped
1/2- 3/4 cup of chopped pecans (optional)

Cream together butter and stevia until fluffy.  Add egg, molasses, and vanilla and mix well.  Mix together dry ingredients and slowly add to wet ingredients until dough forms.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Refrigerate dough for at least one hour.  Scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheet or use a silpat. Gently push down on the scoops of dough as it does not spread much on its own when baked. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes or until you reach desired doneness

Yield 20 cookies or 40 mini cookies

* I always make my cookies "mini"  using a rounded 1/2 tb. scoop

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