I am super happy with these low-carb but high-fat Butter Pecan Cookies.
I went to Los Angeles a few months ago, and was body shamed. Body shaming assholes are flaming assholes, but the flaming asshole was right and I needed to lose some weight.
I went back to eating a super low-carb diet. It has worked for me many, many times. When I was in the best shape of my life, I was eating low-carb and training for marathons. I like low-carb diets.
I also like cookies.
Cookies are mostly flour, sugar and butter. Butter was no problem. Flour, I figured they are nut cookies, use a nut flour, right? While it seems antithetical to by-pass PECAN FLOUR in a Butter Pecan cookie, I found that pecan flour was too carb-rich, too calorie-rich and most-importantly-of-all had a strangely dilutive effect on the toasted pecan flavor. I think Butter Pecan cookies need to distinctly taste like butter and pecans.
Turns out the far more readily available almond flour was the one for me. Easily found at most super markets, I have tried both the Trader Joe's brand Almond Flour and the Bob's Red Mill. While I always have a penchant for Oregon's finest things, I can discern absolutely no difference between the two.
Replacing sugar was a pain in the ass. I did a lot of research, and then I talked to my fellow Boing Boing editor, and cookie eating pal, Xeni. I tried sweeteners with erythritol and xylitol. Not good. A popular sugar-replacement Swerve is heavily formulated with this stuff. I tried both monkfruit, and Stevia blends, with sugar alcohols. I found them all sweet but non-compatible with my body. Erythritol gives me awful "cool mouth" and if I ingest too much my gut decides to expel all foreign invaders. I find that I get a weird day-after hangover from large amounts of sugar alcohol based sweeteners.
Trader Joe's Stevia with lactose was the winner, for me! Straight it tastes like powered sugar you'd find on an amusement park funnel cake. Baked into the cookies it tastes like cookies to me! Stevia is a plant-extract found in bazillions of sugar replacement products today. Find one you like! The Trader Joe's liquid is also very very good, but I found a little harder to bake with as I needed some bulk to work with when creaming butter. Lactose aint my problem, buddy.
So, with butter, sweetener and flour-like substances at hand I started baking cookies. I quickly learned that just butter, sweetener and flour-like substance would produce edible "cookies" that resembled cheaply mixed cement. There was no crumb. Cookies did not bind. They were sort of semi-greasy sweetened nut butter lumps. I offered them to my 11 year-old child, she did not want to eat them.
I added an egg and baking powder. The cookies developed a far more cake-like texture. They tasted wonderful.
I like to eat them.
Ok, I really like to eat them.
Low-Carb Boing Boing Butter Pecan Cookies
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup equivalent of sugar (this was 2 tbs and 2 tsp of the TJ's powdered Stevia)
- 1 ¾ cups almond flour
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup toasted chopped pecans
Step One: Pre-heat your oven to 325F and soften your butter. Even tho it will soften your butter faster, DO NOT put your butter on an espresso machine's cup warming tray unless you are very attentive. Ask me why!
Step Two: Cream the sugar-replacement into the butter. It did not take very long to get slightly less than 3 tbs of powdery white Stevia into a stick of butter. I did, however, whip it good.
Step Three: Blend the egg and vanilla into the butter/sweetener. Then add the dry goods. I find the mixing the baking powder and salt in with the first ½ cup or so of almond flour works well, and just slowly add the rest of the almond flour as the mixture comes together. I do all this mixing by hand. It will look a lot like cookie dough.
Step Four: I put a piece of parchment paper in a baking sheet. I then shape about 1 dozen (thats 12 for people in the United States) heaping tablespoon sized cookies.
This is important: Roll each ball of dough in your hands and flatten it into a disc-like shape colloquially known as a cookie. If you put down balls of dough expecting heat and time to make them melt into a cookie form, you will be sorely disappointed.
After placing 12 cookies on the sheet, evenly spaced in a pattern I find entertaining, I cross-hatch them with a fork. Failing to cross-hatch these cookies will leave them looking somewhat like I imagine E.T.'s turds look.
Bake the cookies for about 15-16 minutes. When they start to get golden brown, remove them from the oven.
Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Allow them to cool enough for transport.
I move the parchment paper, cookies and all, to my cooling rack. I leave the cookies cooling on the paper for at least 5 more minutes. The first time I moved these cookies warm, they disintegrated. Once cooled you can drop a cookie on your dog's head, watch it bounce off and roll across the room. Ask me how I know!
I tried running these ingredients thru a calculator:
I hope you like my cookies.