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Tagalongs and Avoiding Temptations

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If you’ve recently gone low carb or sugar-free, chances are you fear Girl Scout Cookie season like no other. Oh sure, they look all sweet and innocent, in their little brown and green uniforms. They might even be wearing pigtails and have plenty of badges that attest to what great kids they are. But you know that behind that sweet smile lurks a dark secret. The whole thing is just a ruse to get you to buy the very thing you are trying to cut out of your life: lots and lots of sugar. What a horrible, cruel trick!

Okay, okay, I know these little girls are really raising money for a do-good organization and that Girl Scouts teaches young women important lifelong skills. But those cookies really are an awful temptation when you’ve decided to cut out wheat and sugar. I avoid those sweet little girls like the plague. I avert my eyes whenever I spot them selling their goods. If they need donations, I am willing to hand them some of my money. But please don’t give me any cookies in return!

Thank goodness it’s so easy to make your own healthier version of the beloved temptations. Well, let me backtrack here a bit. Not necessarily the easiest thing you will ever do, but certainly worth the effort you put into it. In our house, we love chocolate and peanut butter so much, I decided I had to try my hand at a low carb version. It took a number of steps to make the shortbread, spread them with peanut butter, and then dip them in chocolate. But they were so good, they disappeared in one afternoon.

Hmmm, kind of reminds you of real Girl Scout cookies now, doesn’t it?

 

Homemade Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties)

by Carolyn Ketchum

 

 

Move over, Girl Scouts. Tagalongs have been Swerved!

 

Ingredients

 

Shortbread Cookies:

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

1 large egg

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Peanut Butter Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tbsp butter

¼ cup confectioner’s Swerve Sweetener

 

Chocolate Coating:

7 ounces 855 to 90% dark chocolate, chopped

1 tbsp butter

 

Instructions

Shortbread Cookies:

Preheat oven to 300F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, Swerve, baking powder and salt. Add egg, butter and vanilla extract until well combined and dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto a large piece of parchment and pat into a disc. Top with another piece of parchment and roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as possible.

Lift circles carefully with a sharp knife or offset spatula and transfer to prepared baking sheets. Gather and reroll dough until no more circles can be cut out. You should get about 36 cookies.

Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until cookies are just browning around edges and firm to the touch. Remove and let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Filling:

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt peanut butter and butter together on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Whisk in powdered Swerve until smooth.

Spread about one to two teaspoons of peanut butter filling onto the top of each cookie and place on cookie sheets. Freeze cookies until firm.

Chocolate Coating:

Set a heat-proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Add chopped chocolate and butter and stir until melted and smooth.

Working with one frozen cookie at a time, add to melted chocolate and toss gently with a fork to coat. Tap fork firmly against the side of the bowl to remove as much excess chocolate as possible and transfer cookie to a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet or platter.

Repeat with remaining cookies. Try to keep most of them in the freezer as much as possible so that they don’t thaw before being dipped.

Makes 36 cookies. 2 cookies per serving.

Boston Cream Poke Cake

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If you know much about Boston, Massachusetts, you will probably have heard of the Parker House Hotel. It’s a glorious old hotel right in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of the Common, the State House, the Freedom Trail and many other Boston landmarks. It’s a destination unto itself, and it’s quite a foodie institution too. The Parker Restaurant is well-known as one of the finest in the country and has a few prominent inventions to its name. Such as the Parker House Roll. And the well-loved Boston Cream Pie.

Boston Cream Pie isn’t, of course, actually pie at all. It’s most definitely a cake…two layers of sponge cake with a filling of vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. But once you take a mouthful, you hardly care what it’s called, you just know that you want more…more…more!
The concept of “Boston Cream” has seen many permutations. Boston cream doughnuts are especially popular. The whole idea also lends itself extremely well to a poke cake. Just poke large holes into a vanilla cake, pour the warm pastry cream over, let it set and top with chocolate ganache. It’s easier to make than the original but just as delicious. And now that it’s sugar-free, you can eat more…more…more!

 

Boston Cream Poke Cake

by Carolyn Ketchum

category: desserts

 

Get your sugar free Boston Cream on!

 

Ingredients

Cake:

3 cups almond flour

1/3 cup whey protein powder

2 tsp grain-free baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup almond or cashew milk, unsweetened

 

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups whipping cream

3 egg yolks

6 tbsp confectioner’s Swerve Sweetener

pinch salt

2 tbsp butter, cut into two pieces

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

 

Chocolate Ganache:

 

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup confectioner’s Swerve Sweetener

2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

Cake:

 

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×9 square baking pan.

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt.

 

In a large bowl, beat butter with sweetener until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract.

 

Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then beat in nut milk. Beat in the remaining almond flour mixture until well combined. Spread batter in prepared baking pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and the top is just firm to the touch. Remove and let cool in pan. Once cool, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake.

 

Pastry Cream:

 

Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sweetener and salt.

 

Slowly whisk about half of the hot cream into the yolks to temper, then return the yolk/cream mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes more, whisking constantly. Watch it carefully and do not let it curdle.

 

Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Sprinkle surface with xanthan gum and whisk vigorously to combine. Let cool about 10 minutes, then pour all over cake and tap pan firmly on counter to allow pastry cream to sink into holes.

 

Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, until pastry cream is mostly set.

 

Chocolate Ganache:

 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and sweetener. Whisk until sweetener is dissolved and cream comes to just a simmer.

 

Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract. Let sit 5 minutes to melt chocolate and then whisk to combine. Pour over chilled cake and refrigerate another 20 to 30 minutes, until set.

 

Serves 16.

 

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