Thursday, February 09, 2006

Recipe for Low-Sugar Cookies with Meringue and Pecans

I'm not an expert on making meringue. In fact, I've never really been that into baking or desserts, although I like a bit of chocolate now and then. Still, I was interested when a faithful reader named Michelle sent me this cookie recipe she found on Cookie Madness. Cookie Madness was one of only a few so called "dessert" blogs that has linked to me., and I thought it was kind of interesting, a blog called Cookie Madness linked to a South Beach Diet blog!

Michelle modified the recipe by replacing all the brown sugar with Splenda. I have to admit, I've been testing this recipe for 3 days (in the name of research, of course) and I haven't made it that way yet. When I saw that the original recipe called for brown sugar I just couldn't get the idea of brown sugar and pecans out of my mind.

What I ended up doing was using just one tablespoon of the new Splenda/Brown Sugar Blend (equal in sweetness to 2 T brown sugar) to give some of that brown sugar flavor. The rest of the brown sugar I replaced with Splenda.  (You could also use Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener.) I also used two egg whites instead of one. While I'm confessing let me also say that the photo above is one of the recipes I rejected, but I was just too busy to take another photo! If you make this your cookies won't turn out quite that dark, but they will still be delicious. Thanks Michelle!

If you're a meringue making expert and have suggestions about my meringue technique, let me know. If you want to learn more about meringue, here's a link to an amazing post by California chef Shuna Fish Lydon about how to make meringue.

Low-Sugar Cookies with Meringue and Pecans
(makes 10-12 small cookies recipe adapted from Cookie Madness)

Ingredients:
2 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup minus 1 T Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener
1 T Splenda/Brown Sugar Blend (or brown sugar, or use all Splenda or Stevia if you prefer)
1 level T flour
pinch salt
3/4 cup whole pecans

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. The recipe called for parchment paper which I didn't have so I sprayed a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Separate eggs and let egg whites sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Very important!)

While egg whites sit, chop pecans coarsely with chef's knife and measure all other ingredients. Combine Splenda and Splenda/Brown Sugar blend and set aside.

For best results, use a stand mixer for beating the meringue, but I don't have one so I used a hand-held beater. (Also very important. Once you stop beating the egg whites, do not stop.) Beat egg whites on medium high until stiff peaks start to form. Add Splenda mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating a few seconds between each addition.

Add flour and salt, turn beater to high and beat until meringue is slightly stiffer, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off beater and remove, then gently fold in pecans.


Spoon out batter onto cookie sheet, placing cookies about 2 inches apart. (Don't lick your finger, this is raw egg white.) Bake 25-30 minutes, or until cookies feel firm but not hard. Cool before eating. (This was twice the baking time as the original recipe, but to me they didn't seem done after 15 minutes.)


South Beach Suggestions:
Using the Splenda/Brown Sugar mixture added a small amount of real sugar to this recipe, and there is a small amount of flour. If you want to make it as South Beach friendly as possible, I would use all Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener. With a little brown sugar or Splenda/Brown Sugar Blend, and a small amount of flour, this would be a limited food for phase two or three. (Edit: This would be a nice cookie to make during the holidays, so I'm adding it to Christmas Recipes.)

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

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8 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout out Kalyn. Your meringues look great.

    I enjoy reading your blog even though I don't eat low-carb. It's really the person behind the blog and the enthusiasm with which they approach the topic that attracts me.

    I have to thank you for the egg casserole idea, and the baby peppers snack idea. I have been getting them at TJ's regularly since you mentioned it, and I love them! (Any word back from TJ's on your quest to bring them to SLC, by the way?)

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  2. I love you Kalyn, too, even if I'm not always low carb! ;-)

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  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE meringues. I've been craving them, too. That recipe looks perfect to satisfy my craving. Trouble is: I'm out of eggs! I'm going to try out the high-carb version of your recipe. Looks great.

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  4. The meringues look wonderful and thanks for sharing the journey.

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  5. Lisa, no luck on Trader Joe's in Utah. So far, that is.

    Karina, love you too. I'm not always gluten-free either, so we're even.

    Gourmetish, thanks for visiting. If high carb works for you, fine with me.

    Ruth, the meringue was pretty good considering what a woefully inexperienced baker I am. How's the cookbook coming? I hear it mentioned on blogs I visit, always with praise for your recipes.

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  7. I know that sometimes people leave comments that are well-meaning. However, I respectfully disagree if you feel Splenda is more harful than sugar. If you feel differently, please write as much as you want on your own blog about the dangers of Splenda, but don't leave links here which are simply ads for anti-Splenda sites.

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  8. Kalyn, so.........can I really eat these in Phase One or do I have to wait for Sunday?

    And thanks for asking about the book. It's coming along slowly but surely, with recipes being tested by lots of bloggers from around the world. What a great community this is!

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it! Feel free make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

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