Saturday, February 07, 2009

Flourless and (almost) Sugar Free Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Flourless and almost sugar-free cookies
Flourless and (almost) Sugar-Free Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Valentine's Day is next weekend, and I've been experimenting to create a chocolate cookie recipe that was sugar-free. After lots of tries that weren't bad but not quite what I wanted, I decided it was worth using the tiniest bit of brown sugar to take the edge off the chocolate and add crispiness. These cookies only have 2 T brown sugar plus the small amount of sugar that's in the peanut butter, so they really are *almost* sugar free. If your Valentine is someone who wants to avoid sugar, for the South Beach Diet or for health reasons, I guarantee these cookies will do the trick. I even tried them out on the teenage son of my contractor and he pronounced them "really good!"  These would make a great Christmas cookie too, so I'm also adding them to my list of Christmas Recipes.

I rarely use Splenda Brown Sugar Blend in a recipe because I'm so annoyed with the nutritional information on the package, listed in 1/2 teaspoons for a baking product! However, if you wanted even less sugar, you could use that to replace the brown sugar. For those who are wondering, I did try Agave Nectar instead of brown sugar in one of my experiments, but the cookies burned on the bottom. If anyone tries that and gets a better result, I'd love to hear about it.

Use a hand beater to mix together the cookies for best results. I used chunky peanut butter, but you could use plain peanut butter for a more elegant cookie. This dough is pretty stiff after you add the peanut butter, so you may need to scrape it off the beaters.

I scooped out dough with a small spoon, about 2 tsp. of dough per cookie, and rolled it into a ball. I was using my toaster oven, so I baked 12 cookies at a time for a total of 24 small cookies.

I used a fork to press down the cookies, necessary because they don't spread out much. I baked these cookies on parchment, but if you don't have any I don't think it's completely necessary.


Flourless and (almost) Sugar Free Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate
(Makes 24 small cookies, recipe created by Kalyn)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw granular sweetener
2 T Brown Sugar (or use 2 T Splenda Brown Sugar Blend or 1 T Splenda/Stevia + 1 T brown sugar)
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla (I used Mexican vanilla)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 C natural peanut butter without added sugar, the brand I buy has only 1 gram sugar in 2 T (When I'm buying peanut butter to make cookies, I pour off all the oil that is on the top of the jar when you first open it. I recommend doing that so cookies don't turn out too oily.)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Cut parchment to fit baking sheet, or spray with non-stick spray.

In plastic bowl, add eggs, Splenda or Stevia, Brown Sugar (or substitute described above), cocoa powder, baking powder, and vanilla. Use hand beater or stand mixer to beat together about 30 seconds. Add almond meal and beat 15-20 seconds. Add peanut butter and beat until well mixed., about 20 more seconds. Dough will be stiff, so scrape it off the beaters if needed.

Use a small spoon to measure out about 2 tsp. of dough and roll each cookie into a ball, then arrange cookies in rows on baking sheet. Leave enough room to smash down cookies with a fork when the baking sheet is full. Smash cookies to about 1/2 inch thick, then bake for 15-17 minutes, or until top feels firm and cookies look done. Let cool a few minutes before eating.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Cookies like this with very minimal sugar are something I would make occasionally as a South Beach Diet friendly dessert. Everything used here is a low-glycemic ingredient, but the cookies are relatively high in fat, so this is probably a "once in a while treat" for the South Beach Diet, and the use of almond meal would make this limited to Phase 2 or 3.

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.

More Cookies with Chocolate or Peanut Butter
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Flourless, Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Baking Bites
Gluten-Free Chocolate Biscotti Cookies from Karina's Kitchen
John's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Gluten-Free Cooking School
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies from Andrea's Recipes
(Want even more peanut butter chocolate cookie recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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47 comments:

Mom on the Run said...

These look great!

Might have to try once I am on The Beach for a longer amount of time!

Ricki said...

These look great! Now you've got me wanting to experiment with an agave version. (Can't resist a baking challenge. . .!) ;)

Maggie said...

This sounds really good Kalyn! I think I remember hearing something bad about Mexican vanilla recently though... something about being contaminated? I don't remember exactly - but just giving you a heads up.

Johanna said...

These look very interesting - and delicious - I am always on the lookout for gluten free cookies for my celiac niece! unfortunately my valentine loves cookies full of fat and sugar but would be interested to see what he thought of these :-)

Megan said...

I've been making the PB cookies that have just 1 C PB, 1 C. Slenda and an egg. They are excellent but I'm ready for a little bit of a change. I'm so glad to have this recipe! I'll be making this one for sure. :-)

Kalyn said...

I'm glad people like the sound of these. I think even people who eat sugar would like them; at least my contractor and his teenage son gave them two thumbs up! Maggie, haven't heard that, and the bottle of Mexican Vanilla I have is half gone, and doesn't seem to be hurting me. But of course regular vanilla would be fine.

The Italian Dish said...

The amount of sugar in these is so small I wouldn't worry about it. I'm going to give these a try - I really watch my sugar intake but I do like something sweet once in a while. These look so good. I wonder if these cookies would freeze well and I could just take out a few at a time!

Kalyn said...

I can't see why they wouldn't freeze well. Good idea! I need to put the rest of mine in the freezer before I eat any more of them!

Val said...

I can't wait to try these cookies & I'm not even on a diet. (Not that I shouldn't be..) sigh..

Carol said...

How I want to taste those cookies! But, I am spending 3 weeks in a residence hotel in CO and don't want to buy all the ingredients. I will certainly try it when I return to OK. Thanks for the recipe. I love chocolate and my husband loves peanut butter so it will make for a happy marriage.

Bren said...

i stopped using splenda as well but i l love all the other wonderful sugar products. i swear by raw sugar and agave nectar is just wonderful!

good looking cookies!

jesse said...

YUMYUMYUM. I've made similar cookies before, but without the chocolate. Can't believe I didn't think of this! Thanks for sharing!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

My goodness -- cookies on Kalyn's Kitchen! Now you've inspired me to do some baking. It's always great to have some healthier cookies on hand.

Anonymous said...

Where do you buy almond meal? I looked at the grocery store tofday and it was 10.99 for a very small bag! Seemed awfully expensive!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, that sounds like the same almond meal I buy, it is expensive, but most recipes don't use that much of it. For example, you only use 1/2 cup in these cookies, so one bag makes quite a few batches of cookies. I watch for it to go on sale and buy a few bags. Keep it in the freezer so it will stay good.

BTW, you can grind up almonds in the food processor to make your own if you're not sure you want to buy a bag. It might be a big chunkier than the commercial almond meal, but it will work.

Geri said...

Peanut butter and chocolate are two of my most favorites. So, I know this recipe has to be great.

Leyya said...

mmm.very nice.l want to try this niceness.

ChichaJo said...

Oh yum! These look wonderful Kalyn...on or off South Beach! :)

lesley said...

I will try these out for sure. We've got a big thing about what's the contents in packets over here, so I'm with you on that one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! I live in Denver - do you bake using "high altitude" modifications? SLC is higher up, yes? Thanks again - can't wait to try them!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, this recipe is exactly how I made the cookies so it should be fine for you. I'm not sure high altitude adjustments are even need for this type of baking, but I'm definitely not a baking expert.

Ruth Daniels said...

Kalyn, thanks for something I can make for Passover - only 2 months away and I'm already thinking of flourless recipes.

Jay said...

I made and enjoyed the Flour less Chocolate peanut butter cookies. They are easy to make. I made them in my toaster oven.
They are definitely a keeper.
Thank you Kalyn for giving us so many great recipes for South Beach. You are awesome!!!!!!!!!

Jay Reaser

Kalyn said...

Ruth, I didn't even think of that. So glad it's good for two holidays!

Jay, thanks! That made my day!

Katrina said...

These look great. Try them with agave instead of Splenda. I just might do that.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

I'm going to try these out, Kalyn. They sound great.

As for the high altitude question someone else brought up--it doesn't usually affect cookies. Cakes and other baked goods are more affected by altitude. If in doubt, just raise the oven temp about 25 degrees and bake cookies for less time. The real problem is that they might turn out drier because of sugar, but that probably wouldn't happen with this recipe anyway since they are low sugar cookies.

Paula said...

Yeah! My littlest girl can't eat wheat, so these are PERFECT for her! Great timing, too, for a Valentines Day treat! Thanks!

Cyndi said...

Bless you for these, Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

I'm not going to publish comments for or against the use of Splenda, other than to say that I feel strongly that everyone should be allowed to make their own food choices. Obviously, I feel it's safe, especially for someone like myself who doesn't make cookies more than a few times a year, or I wouldn't use it. If you feel otherwise, then obviously you should make the cookies with sugar or whatever your own preferred sweetener is.

Ebru. said...

I've been on South Beach for almost 4 months now. I tried some dessert recipes with no flour/sugar and they did not turn out well (except mint meringue cookies). I found your website today. Thanks for the great recipes. I'm intrigued by this recipe and I'll definitely try. Do you think we could replace almond meal with grounf flaxseed? I made apple crisp with ground flaxseed (instead of flour)and it turned out yummy!

Kalyn said...

Ebru, I'm not sure about replacing all the almond meal with flaxseed. I think the flaxseed would have a much stronger flavor. You could certainly use partly flaxseed though. I may be wrong though, let me know if you try it.

Susan said...

Oh my these look delicious - I am in full agreement on the Splenda Brown sugar. I think the nutritional difference is much too small to make up for the price difference or the taste. Have you tried PB2? I have some in my cupboard and I'm thinking if I mix it up first so the consistency is similar to peanut butter, it would work beautifully in these cookies. It would be a big reduction in fat, and my experience with it in cooking is that the taste difference is minimal.

Kalyn said...

I've heard of PB2, but haven't tried it myself. Would love to hear how it works in the cookies if you try it.

Carolyn said...

I just started on South Beach again and am doing great so far. Day 3. But I was kind of craving some sort of dessert. I love this web site. But I really don't like using Splenda. I do like the Agave Nectar though and I'd like to try it out. Do you know how much Agave I'd put in these cookies? Is it the same amount as the Splenda or Brown Sugar? Did you try in your previous recipe only using Agave instead of both brown sugar and splenda?

Kalyn said...

Carolyn, I didn't have good luck when I tried a version of this cookie with only agave (but I'm not an expert at baking, so maybe it can be done.) Because there's a whole cup of Splenda, you'd have to adjust the dry ingredients, and using agave would also make it phase 2 or 3. Let us know if you come up with a version that works with agave.

MamaAllie said...

Have you heard of Turbinado Sugar? It's got 15 calories and only 1g. of carbs per teaspoon. I used it in your recipe instead of the brown sugar. Yummy!

I'm so happy to have found this blog!

Keep up the awesome work Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

Mama Allie, That is about the same number of calories as a teaspoon of regular sugar, but the carbs are less. Will have to check it out. Glad you like the blog.

Anonymous said...

Kalyn, as a librarian, I see lots of blogs but your is the best for what I am looking for. I am a newbee but love what I see so far, the pictures, the recipes, the thought behind the messages: I feel like I have found a lost family member. So thank you so much for all the hard work you but into this.

Kalyn said...

Thanks for that; so glad you're enjoying the blog. Don't know if you know that I am a former teacher, so maybe that's why my blog resonates with you!

Unknown said...

seems delicious just wanted to know what to do for my daughter with a nut allergy? thanks

Kalyn Denny said...

I haven't tried this without nuts so I think you'd have to experiment with other butters she can eat (sunflower?) or choose another recipe.

Birna Jonsdottir said...

Great tasting cookies. Couldn't take off the oil as it was so incorporated into the butter, wondering if I should have left the butter in a sieve for some time because the cookies turned out too oily :/ Thanks for sharing :)

Kalyn Denny said...

That might work, or perhaps some brand of peanut butter have more oil than others (I'm not sure, but I haven't had that problem.)

princegareth said...

Oh my gosh, if the finished product tastes half as good as the batter my diabetc mom and I are in for a treat. Not sure you understand what a portion is, I got eight "normal size" cookies out of these. But then again I am a tremendous eater. Also lacking almond meal I had to sub regular flour. So took some experimenting. Thank you, super yummy!!!

Kalyn Denny said...

I hope you enjoy the cookies. Hope they are still okay for your mom with the flour.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Found this recipe via Pinterest, and I'm so glad I did! It's perfect for me (diabetic) and a friend (celiac). Made them today for a Christmas get together, and I'm excited to share them with my friends. Thanks so much for sharing... :)

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you like them; thanks for taking time to let me know!

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