Shannon Fennell's Blog

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Sesame Cookies – Low Carb

It has been almost a year (11 months!) since I shared one of my recipes. I was in a baking mood this morning so I made a chocolate cake and cookies as I was completely out of “treats” in the freezer.

This recipe is, as is usual with me, based very loosely on one I found online. I was looking for low carb or keto cookies. I found a vegan chocolate chip keto recipe – but I’m not vegan and don’t use sweeteners so I just used it as a starting point so I knew measurements and proportions.

Full disclosure… my first batch wasn’t optimal. I added in some almond flour – which was a mistake. I ate them… but the texture was off. I still have that niggling doubt in the back of my brain that you can’t bake with just nut butters! I know better, but… I won’t do that again.

Low CarB Unsweetened Sesame Cookies

350F/12-15 minutes – makes 12-16 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup of Tahini (sesame paste/butter) – you could use cashew or almond butter too

1 large egg

2 tbsp of sesame seeds (raw or toasted – this is totally optional!)

1/2 tsp of pure vanilla (I like pure, use what you use)

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1/8 tsp of salt

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well. I usually start with the seeds and dry ingredients and stir to make sure the baking soda hasn’t any lumps, then add the rest and mix vigorously by hand. You could use a mixer – but this does not need it, it blends together very easily and quickly. Note that once the egg goes in, particularly if it is cold, the batter starts to clump up quickly.
  2. Stick the bowl in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment, and get the dough out of the fridge.
  5. Shape the dough into balls of approximately 1″ (2.5 cm), flatten in your hand and place on the cookie sheet. Note that they do not rise much so you don’t have to worry about spacing them out. Basically, treat them like old fashioned peanut butter cookies!
  6. Put on the centre rack in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them. It is hard to tell when they are starting to brown as they are brown! I find 12 minutes is a good time to pull the tray out and stare intently at them to see if there is any sign of darkening at the base. You do not want to over-bake. These are a dry cookie and over-baking is bad.
  7. DON’T TOUCH THE COOKIES! When the are hot they crumble!
  8. Once you take them out, let them sit for at least 10 minutes, then carefully remove to a cooling rack or, as I do, set on a paper towel to completely cool.
  9. Once cool they will stay together and you can store in an airtight container. I put mine in the fridge to keep, but they will be fine on the counter for a week or so – if they last that long. They will also freeze for ages.

Options

  • Once I rolled the dough balls in sesame seeds before baking (as in the photo below). I liked them that way BUT the seeds fell off all over the place. The lack of sugar means there is no “glue” to hold things like that on.
  • Another time I just pressed the bottom of the ball in the seeds, I liked that as they toasted on the bottom, but, again, a lot were falling off. Depends how worried you are about random sesame seeds dropping all over. That is why I now put some directly into the dough!
  • You can add things to this dough – high cacao content chocolate chips, other nuts, etc. I plan to do that… I want to use pecans, but didn’t have any on hand.
These were rolled in sesame seeds before baking. The other photos have the seeds in the dough.

This is a dry cookie, but good. Don’t try to make them bigger as I am pretty sure they will crumble when you bite them! This size holds together to be eaten without a mess! (p.s. this is a small cookie sheet!)

Today’s batch cooling before I took them off the tray. You can see how hard it is to tell if they are done in this shot.

If you like sesame you should like these. The lack of sweetness doesn’t register with me, but if you must use a sugar replacement 1/2 cup of a granulated version will work to make them a sweet cookie.

I hope you like them as much as I do. I know some people spit out stuff I like as there is no sugar, but think of them as a fat cracker and eat them with some cheese!


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Cookies!

I’ve been missing cookies quite a bit lately – it being the season and all.  And my sister is providing a play-by-play of her baking which makes me miss them even more.

Just something about the crisp crunch with a cup of tea, ya know?

I check out recipes all the time for low carb cookies – they invariably contain sugar substitutes, which I don’t use.

A recipe for “gluten free” cookies showed up the other day – which looked like something that I could alter.

I adjusted things to suit myself and I am so happy!  They turned out really well – like shortbread.  I’m really hoping they stay the texture they are and don’t soften up.  I have to stop eating them for the day though – as I added 70% chocolate chips to them and don’t want to go over on that!

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Pecan Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

1 cup butter (8 oz.)

1/2 cup cream cheese (4 oz.)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla (or any flavour extract you like, almond, etc. – next time I am going to use lemon zest!)

2 cups almond flour (16 oz.)

1/2 cup coconut flour (4 oz)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans (4 oz)

1/2 cup 70% dark chocolate (or higher if you can find them) chips (4 oz)

Cream the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time.  Continue beating to incorporate each before adding the next.

Add in the combined dry ingredients a cup at a time, beating well between additions.

The dough will be pretty sticky.  Lay out some plastic wrap and dump the dough onto it, shape into a roll, wrap and refrigerate for 4-6 hours (overnight is good.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut the roll into slices a little less than 1/2 inch thick – thinner tended to break-up due to the nuts and chocolate chips.  Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet.  They won’t spread so you can fill it up pretty tight!  If any break or crumble just press the dough together to shape it.

Bake for 10-12 minutes – the edges should just be turning brown.

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Let them cool on the sheet, then move to a container, or eat them.  They stay together to hold in your hand but crumble when you bite into them!

Next time I am leaving out the chocolate as I really like the ones that ended up with only nuts in them.  Then I can eat more of them without worrying about spiking my blood sugar levels!

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Finally nailed a cookie recipe!

I’ve been trying to find a recipe for cookies without sugar or carbs without much luck.  I tried a few recipes but they were god awful.  Experiments continued…

I tried a peanut butter cookie recipe without flour, butter or sugar… wasn’t horrible but they turned to dust if you just looked like you were going to pick one up.

I bought some coconut flour but made the mistake of assuming it was about an equal replacement for wheat flour.  NOPE!  It is massively absorbent and about a teaspoon of coconut flour replaces a cup of wheat flour.  I had to keep adding things to the dough… like two cups of milk, in order to get it to a consistency that could be worked.  The cookies were hard and dry… then softened up overnight.  It was like eating coconut dust.

Not wanting to waste the last two failed experiments I ground them up in the food processor to use as the “flour” in the next experiment – ground nuts/nut flours are very expensive!

I tried a sugar substitute called SteviaSugar – holy crap the after-taste is vile. I followed directions for amounts and even used less than suggested as I don’t need things super sweet.  I tried a couple of the cookies (chocolate coconuts drops) which weren’t horrible, but then… the after-taste kicked in and wouldn’t go away.  I brushed my teeth to get rid of it… and woke up in the morning with it still in my mouth.

So I continued to search for recipes that didn’t use sugar or sugar substitutes.  Found some but they weren’t carb free.  I don’t HAVE to be carb free, but need to keep it to a minimum.

I found a recipe that had oatmeal, almond flour and brown rice flour.  So decided to sort of follow it… actually, I changed it a lot.  I replaced banana with apple sauce, almond butter with peanut butter, added an egg, increased the oatmeal and removed the 1/4 c of maple syrup and several other unnecessary things…

I’m an experienced baker/cook so recipes are usually just to get an idea of proportions and ingredients and inspiration for different combinations.  But I’m not familiar with a lot of these new ingredients so need to see the combinations and ratios.

So, the results are in and this one was a SUCCESS!

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They are Oatmeal Blueberry.  They are a bit … “rounded” as I didn’t flatten them.  I was expecting them to spread due to the butter, but they stayed the way they were dropped. (I’d already had a few when I took the photo.)

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They hold together, the blueberries are a nice pop, and they are plenty sweet enough with the apple sauce and blueberries.  I can’t even taste the peanut butter.

Here’s my recipe if you want to try it.

No Sugar Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F (my oven runs hot, so I turned it down to 335 F after I put them in.)

1/3 cup butter. softened

1/2 cup unsweetened smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (one snack sized container)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

(Optional: you can add maple syrup or honey if you want them sweeter – 1 tsp up to 1/4 cup depending on how sweet you want them.)

2 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup ground almonds

1/4 cup brown rice flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dried blueberries OR craisins, raisins, or whatever you want

Cream the butter and peanut butter together, blend in the apple sauce, egg, vanilla (and syrup if you are using it.)

Combine all the dry ingredients together and add to wet, blend until mixed well.  Add the blueberries and mix until combined.

Drop tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  As they won’t spread, you can flatten with a fork or your hand if you want to.  Mine weren’t and baked fine.

Bake for 15-20 minutes – until browned on the bottom and no longer give when touched. If you flatten them, check at 12 minutes as they may bake faster than mine.

Makes 2.5 dozen.

Let cool completely before putting in a sealed container.

I’m really pleased with these – they taste like normal cookies!

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