Chocolate-Dipped Almond Thins (LCHF)

I’ll cut right to the chase: there’s Splenda in this recipe. I already know what you’re going to say, so don’t bother…yes, I have used a food analog. And you know what? I don’t even feel guilty.

Up until last week, I would sooner have pulled off a toenail than created a recipe that used an artificial sweetener. But that was last week. This week, I’m a little less judgy, a little more antsy to play around with the sweeteners available to people who–for one reason or another–prefer/have to limit carbohydrate intake.

Now, don’t think for one minute that I condone simply swapping out sugar for sugar analogs just so you can feed your sweet tooth willy-nilly. I don’t. In fact, I would urge you to learn how to live with fewer sweets. It’s possible. Really!
I made this for those times when you just want a bite or two of something sweet, not a planned-for special indulgence. (In those cases, I would recommend this or this.) This is a small, satisfying sweet that won’t pump you full of insulin and make you feel like you not only fell off the wagon but got run over and dragged by it too.

If you want to try this but don’t mind the carbs or you just don’t want to use Splenda, you can sub out a tablespoon or two of cane sugar or granulated sugar for the Splenda.

FYI ~ you’ll see in the picture that my chocolate is a little bloomy. Eh. You can temper your chocolate for this, but that kind of defeats the purpose, which is to have a bit of deliciousness with no fuss and no insulin spike. Never mind the bloom–it’s harmless and a non-issue unless you’re serving dessert to, say, Daniel Boulud. (In that case, I would recommend tempering your chocolate so you don’t look like a chump.)

Chocolate-Dipped Almond Thins ~ low carb, high fat; gluten-free

  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated Splenda
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquid)
  • 1 egg white
For Chocolate Dip:
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 11/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, Splenda, and salt until combined.
2. Add vanilla extract, coconut oil, and egg white to dry ingredients; mix until moistened and dough comes together in a ball.
3. Roll dough out between two sheets of baking parchment until about 1/6-inch thick. Remove top sheet of parchment and slide bottom sheet onto baking pan. Use a cookie cutter or pastry wheel to cut out shapes.
4. Bake at 325F for 12 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden. 
5. Let sit on baking sheet till cool, then separate cookies from scraps. Crumble scraps and reserve.
6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir until smooth. Dip cookies into chocolate and place on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. Garnish cookies with crumbled scraps. Place cookie sheet into freezer for 30 minutes, or until chocolate coating is solid. 
7. Serve immediately. Keep frozen to store.
 

Peppermint Patties

Gearing up for the holiday season? These simple confections are something you’ll want to have on hand for hostess gifts and cookie trays. Theyre quick to prepare and keep for quite a while in the fridge. The fresh mint leaves really make this recipe sing. I like to use chocolate mint, mainly because that happens to be the variety overgrowing my herb bed, but regular old mint is swell too. 
 
Peppermint Patties
Yield: About 2 dozen patties

• 1 ounce unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
• 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
• ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream
• 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh mint leaves
• 8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate pastilles or bar chocolate, chopped
• ½ ounce unsalted butter or cocoa butter

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Set aside in refrigerator to chill.

2. Using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter, confectioner’s sugar, and extracts on low speed until well combined. Add cream and mint leaves and gradually increase speed to medium-high. Blend for another minute, scrape down the bowl, and blend again for 1 more minute. Mixture should be creamy and thick, not chalky or powdery. If it’s too powdery, at a little more cream, ½ teaspoon at a time. If it’s too loose, add a little more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time.

3. Roll teaspoon-size scoops of the mint mixture into balls and flatten them into patties (about ¼” thick) on the prepared baking sheet. Return to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

4. Place the chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds on high power. Stir. Heat again for 15 seconds. Stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted. Let chocolate cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

5. Dip the chilled patties into the cooled melted chocolate and gently tap off excess chocolate. Place them on the baking sheet and return the sheet to the refrigerator. Let chill for a couple of hours before serving. Store leftover patties in the refrigerator.