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Thursday, May 5, 2016

MEXICAN CHICKEN OR BEEF TACOS

CHICKEN TACOS
These tacos are rich and filling.  Find the Chicken Tacos in Low-Carbing Among Friends, volume 1.  I think cheese tacos taste WAY better than the corn tacos, which are literally tasteless.  Try these and you will be pleasantly surprised.  Of course, they are very filling and satisfying.  If desired serve with a big salad on the side.


Today is CINCO DE MAYO and here is what I made today!  I used my chicken filling and topped with chopped tomatoes and avocado and a little grated cheese.  If calories are not a concern, top further with a dollop of sour cream!  I won't be hungry until tomorrow, I think.  I used grated Monterey Jack cheese for this....finely grated using my Food processor attachment.



HERE ARE THE STEPS TO MAKING IT:

Sprinkle grated cheese in 7-inch nonstick pan


Over medium to medium-low heat (reduce heat as necessary), cheese melts


Cheese is turning quite golden brown underneath as can be seen from the edges.  Flip and cook other side briefly until light golden brown - not too brown!


2 crispy tacos....Place cooked cheese on a dinner plate and fold over a big spoon to keep it open


Bigger photo for you to see


Now filled with your favorite fillings! Top with sour cream, if desired.


8 oz regular cream cheese (250 g)
1/cup whipping cream (75 mL)
11/2 cups diced, cooked chicken (375 mL)
2 tbsp diced, canned jalapenos (30 mL)
1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
1/4  tsp chili powder (1 mL)
Mozzarella Cheese Tacos:  OR Monterey Jack Cheese (I actually prefer this - better flavor!)
2 oz grated Mozzarella (or better yet, Monterey Jack) cheese per taco (60 g)
Optional Fillings:
Lettuce
Chopped tomatoes

In nonstick pan, combine cream cheese and cream.  Over low heat, keep stirring until smooth.  Stir in chicken, jalapenos, salt and chili powder.  Fill Cheese Taco shells with this mixture.

Mozzarella Cheese Tacos:  In nonstick pan, with inside circumference of about 7 inches (18 cm), spread Mozzarella cheese evenly.  Cook until edges begin to brown and it is easy to flip.  Cook a little while longer after flipping.  Place on plate and fold in half over something like a big spoon (to keep it open).  When cooler, fill with chicken mixture, lettuce and chopped tomatoes, if desired.

Yield:   8 servings
1 serving
382.1 calories
33.7 g protein
25.6 g fat
2.9 g net carbs

BEEF TACOS
Delicious variation for your cheese tacos!  This TACO is made with Mozzarella cheese.

1 lb lean ground beef (0.454 kg)
1 cup water (250 mL)
10 Cheese Tacos (use 1.2 oz  (34 g) grated
  Cheddar cheese per taco) – see below
2/cup shredded lettuce (150 mL)
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
2/cup sour cream (150 mL)
Taco Mix:
2 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes (25 mL)
2 tsp ground cumin (10 mL)
3/4  tsp hot chili powder (3 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp garlic powder (2 mL)
1/tsp Thickening Agent,  OR xanthan gum (0.5 mL)

In large frying pan, brown ground beef.  Pour off fat.  Stir Taco Mix into cooked ground beef, along with water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens and onion is soft.

Taco Mix:  In small bowl, combine onion flakes, cumin, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and Thickening Agent, OR xanthan gum. 

Cheese Tacos:  Spread grated Cheddar cheese to cover surface in nonstick 6-inch (15 cm) pan.  Melt until turning brown and it begins to bubble up, or until it flips easily (takes a while); flip, cook very briefly and fold over. Allow to cool briefly and fill with ground beef, lettuce, chopped tomato and sour cream.
Serve immediately with a Garden salad or Caesar salad on the side, if desired.

Variation:  Taco Omelet:  Taco Meat is a great filling for omelets.

Yield:  10 servings, or 50 g (1.8 oz) per serving.  (0.8 g Carbs)

Helpful Hints:  Unless you’re feeding a crowd, you will not require 10 cheese tacos.  One cheese taco with 50 grams (1.8 oz) taco beef, 1 tbsp (15 mL) shredded lettuce, 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped tomato and 1 tbsp (15 mL) sour cream will yield the above nutritional analysis.  If tacos become too brittle to fill without breaking, warm in microwave oven 25 seconds and fill.



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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

MIRACLE DOUGH CHEESY MUSHROOM TART




MIRACLE DOUGH CHEESY MUSHROOM TART

A gorgeous, tasty appetizer that will not even make high-carbers question the crust!  Seriously, it flew at a finger-food party that we had recently with dear friends.  The underneath should be a lovely light golden brown.  I possibly under-baked the tart slightly, so that I could bake it again the next day for a short while before serving.

Filling:
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 tbsp bacon fat (15 mL)
1 lb mushrooms, chopped (0.45 kg)
  (keep some sliced mushrooms aside for top)
3 tbsp onion, chopped (45 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
2 tsp dried parsley (10 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
  (bottled kind)
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz regular cream cheese, softened (250 g)
2 tbsp whipping cream (30 mL)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (30 mL)
1/cup grated Mozzarella cheese (125 mL)
Miracle Dough:
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (500 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2  (click for recipe) (250 mL)
  (For Grain-Free - scroll down)
1 egg, fork beaten
1/tsp onion salt (1 mL)
1/tsp granulated garlic powder (1 mL)

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). 

Filling:In frying pan, in bacon fat, over medium heat, fry chopped mushrooms and the few sliced mushrooms and onion until onions are browning. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley.  Stir in garlic and cook another minute or two.  Set aside in medium bowl along with chopped, cooked bacon.  Stir in cream cheese mixture, but keep the sliced mushrooms aside for garnishing the tart.

Cream Cheese Filling:  In food processor, process cream cheese, Mozzarella cheese, whipping cream and Parmesan cheese. 

Miracle Dough:  In microwave oven in microwaveable bowl, melt Mozzarella cheese.  This took 2 minutes in my 1200 Watt microwave oven.   Be careful when removing the bowl with molten cheese. Add melted butter. Place Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, page___ on top. In small bowl, beat egg with fork.  Add onion salt and garlic powder; beat again with fork to combine.  Add to Mozzarella cheese. Stir with a fork or mixing spoon to form a dough ball.  Knead a little to form a soft ball.  Place on parchment paper and using a rolling pin, roll dough out to a 13 x 8-inch (33 x 30 cm) rectangle.  Form a lip with the edges.  Carefully lift the parchment and the dough and place on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.  Spread with cream cheese mixture to fill entire area.  Top with sliced mushrooms.  Bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown underneath (the top crust edges will most likely stay light in color, which is fine, as with this particular dough, for it to remain like real pastry, do not over brown).

To serve:  Slice into squares for serving.

Helpful Hints:  If making this the day before or earlier, remove from the refrigerator and place in a 200°F (93°C) oven and heat gently until warm.  Serve.  It will be as lovely as it was the first day it was made!

For a Grain-Free version, use a bake mix made up of 2 cups (500 mL) almond flour and 2/3 cup (150 mL) coconut flour.  Use 3/4  cup (175 mL) of the mixture.  Or, simply use 2/3 cup (150 mL) almond flour and 2 tbsp (30 mL) coconut flour for each batch of Miracle Dough (I have not tested this smaller version, but the Grain-Free Bake mix - yes!). I still prefer the Miracle Dough goodies made with the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, however, this is an very lovely option.

Yield:  8 servings
1 serving
366.8 calories
18.8 g protein
28.9 g fat
0.8 g fiber
7.4 g net carbs

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MIRACLE DOUGH TIPS: - Please note:USE BOB'S RED MILL COCONUT FLOUR FOR ALL MY RECIPES AND ESPECIALLY FOR THIS MIRACLE DOUGH - COCONUT FLOURS DIFFER GREATLY IN THEIR ABILITY TO ABSORB MOISTURE!  There are several variations of this kind of dough on the internet, but mine is different to all the others out there.  I am getting very adept with this dough.  Use a fork to make it come together.  At first it looks impossible (might even have strings of cheese in it), but keep mixing and then turn out on a cutting board.  Knead for a couple of minutes, adding a bit of coconut flour as needed to make a lovely elastic dough. The more coconut flour one can add (usually about 1 tbsp or a bit more), the more bread-like the dough becomes (more substantial).  Since coconut flour is mostly fiber, you're not really adding much in the way of carbs, spread over several servings.  I put the dough ball on parchment paper and cover the dough with plastic wrap and using a  rolling pin (sometimes I use my special small one for pie dough), roll it out with ease.  If at any time the dough becomes resistant to rolling, nuke it approximately 10  to 20 seconds and away you go again!

Looks rather impossible doesn't it.  Take heart!  Keep mixing and then knead with your hands, using a titch more coconut flour, if necessary.




Here is a pic of the dough ball - lovely, soft and malleable!!


Mozzarella cheeses that I have successfully used with the Miracle Dough and The Sweet Miracle Pastry Dough as well.  I get mine from Price Smart in Central (technically South America) America, which is the same as Costco in the United States.

I tried this one a couple of times

I usually grate my own cheese using my 20-year old Braun food processor, which has a ton of gadgets - this is the cheese I use most often - looks like it might be very similar to the one above, however, I think they sometimes add something to their grated cheese to help it last longer.  I could be wrong.  CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO SEE A BIGGER IMAGE.
  

Saturday, April 30, 2016

CHICKEN COMFORT CASSEROLE




CHICKEN COMFORT CASSEROLE

Delicious casserole chock-full of vegetables, including hard boiled eggs, in a delicious, creamy Mushroom Sauce.  This is a must-try, as I’m sure you will make this one again, and it may even make your regular rotation.  We really enjoyed it.  It's actually something quite different too.

4 cups cooked, diced chicken (4 L)
12/cups finely grated cauliflower (400 mL)
  (cauli-rice)
1 cup finely sliced celery (250 mL)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Mushroom Sauce:
8 oz regular cream cheese (125 mL)
2 tbsp grated onion (30 mL)
3/cup mayonnaise (175 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)
2 tbsp water (30 mL)
1 tbsp olive oil (15 mL)
1 sweetener packet – the kind for coffee (optional – to balance flavors)
1 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder (5 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp onion salt (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (1 mL)
3/cup drained, canned mushrooms (175 mL)
Crispy Crumb Topping:
1/cup grated Mozzarella cheese (125 mL) 
1/cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (CLICK) OR (75 mL)
   4 tbsp almond flour and 1 tbsp coconut flour  
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). 

In large bowl, combine chicken, grated cauliflower (cauli-rice) and celery.  Set the hard boiled eggs aside.

Mushroom Sauce:  In food processor or mixer, process cream cheese and onion together.  Add mayonnaise, whipping cream, water, olive oil, sweetener (if using), cornstarch, salt, onion salt and black pepper; process.  Add mushrooms and process until they are coarsely chopped.

Crispy Crumb Topping:  In medium bowl, combine Mozzarella cheese and Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (OR alternative).  Stir in melted butter.  Spread in a 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie dish and press down firmly.  Bake alongside the casserole until light golden brown.  Upon cooling it will crisp up beautifully.

Assembly:  Pour mushroom sauce over chicken and vegetables and combine well.  Add the chopped hard boil eggs and gently fold them in.  Turn mixture out into a 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.  Bake 25 minutes, or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with the baked Crumb Topping.  Serve. 

Helpful Hints:  Wonderful served over low-carb toast or simply on its own with some sliced avocado or tomato on the side, or fried tomato slices (love this with Italian seasoning sprinkled on it and then fried in light olive oil).  It makes for a wonderful sandwich filling, too, when chilled or for simply snacking on by the spoonful. Use your favorite low-carb bread or bun.

Yield:  6 to 8 servings
1 serving
644.8/483.6 calories
38.9/29.2 g protein
57.6/38.7 g fat
0.5/0.4 g fiber
4.3/3.2 g net carbs

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AMISH BROCCOLI SALAD




AMISH BROCCOLI SALAD

This delightful salad with my own tweaks lends itself to some wonderful ideas for variations, so be sure to check them out at the bottom of the recipe! This recipe will definitely feed a crowd.  The Smoked Gouda lends an amazing flavor to the salad and would be especially great served at a barbecue.  The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of sugar.  Feel free to reduce the sweetener to taste, leave it out, or use your own preferred sweetener.

Note:  If you prefer, you can blanch the vegetables in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes to take the edge off the crunchiness (especially for the cauliflower (that's why I suggest cutting it real small).  Then drain the vegetables well in a colander over a bowl.  I like the salad crunchy, besides it will get a little less so after a couple of days (if it lasts that long) in the refrigerator.

1 lb chopped broccoli (0.45 kg)
1 lb chopped cauliflower (0.45 kg)
  (chopped into very small chunks)
1/2  lb bacon, fried and crumbled (0.2 kg)
  (about 7 slices)
2 cups grated Smoked Gouda, OR (500 mL)
  Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup mayonnaise (250 mL)
1 cup sour cream (250 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) NO CARB sweetener (125 mL)  OPTIONAL!!
  to equal 1/2  cup sugar sweetness 
  (this is optional...but the sweet taste is popular in this)
1/2  tsp salt, OR to taste (2 mL)

In large salad bowl or trifle bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, bacon and 11/2  cups (375 mL) Smoked Gouda or Cheddar cheese.  In medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, liquid sweetener and salt.  Stir the creamy mixture into the broccoli salad.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.  Cover the salad bowl with plastic wrap and chill before serving.

Variations:  Leave out the cauliflower and use only broccoli.  Add some chopped or sliced red onions.  Replace the cauliflower with diced cooked chicken.  Maybe add in some chopped, hard boiled eggs.  

Yield:  12 servings
1 serving
302.9 calories
25.7 g protein
25.7 g fat
1.6 g fiber
4.1 g net carbs 

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

THICK PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES






THICK PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

This is one of the better peanut butter cookies I have made!  Large, thick and chunky….a substantial cookie!  I liked them kept in the refrigerator.  Gelatin is not usually required  for cookies.  With my Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, gelatin is added to the wet ingredients to prevent crumbly outcomes - it binds the various components of the bake mix together.

1/cup sugar-free peanut butter (125 mL)
1/cup unsalted butter (60 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
  sugar (sucralose or stevia)
2 tbsp powdered erythritol, OR (30 mL)
  3 packets sweetener
1/tsp salt (1 mL)
1 egg
11/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (300 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
  (Note - Walmart carries Hershey's sugar-free)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In food processor, process peanut butter, butter, liquid sweetener, powdered erythritol, OR 3 packets sweetener and salt until smooth.  Add egg; process.  Add Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 and baking soda; process.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Form 2 tbsp (30 mL) dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Using a fork, press gently across each dough ball once, keeping the cookie nice and thick.  Bake 15 minutes.

Yield:  15 LARGE cookies
1 cookie
162.0 calories
4.1 g protein
12.6 g fat
0.0 g fiber
3.6 g net carbs

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CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS IN LEMON GARLIC CREAMY SAUCE






CHICKEN AND MUSHROOMS IN LEMON GARLIC CREAMY SAUCE

Incredibly delicious meal.  I loved the substantial tangy sauce  (from the garlic and lemon juice) with all the mushrooms in it.  This is definitely a recipe I look forward to making again soon!  This is a particularly easy recipe too, which makes it even more attractive.  I like easy in case you haven't noticed that before!  Like most people out there, I'm so busy most days that easy, uncomplicated recipes are always most welcome.

2 tbsp bacon fat (30 mL)
3 or 4 large chicken breasts
  (weight: 3.2 lbs; 1.45 kg)
Seasoning salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp bacon fat (15 mL)
1 lb mushrooms, sliced (0.45 kg)
Light sprinkle of seasoning salt
Lemon Garlic Creamy Sauce:
4 oz regular cream cheese (125 g)
1/cup chopped onion (60 mL)
1 cup chicken stock (250 mL)
1/cup whipping cream (125 mL)
2 tbsp lemon juice (30 mL)
1 tbsp crushed garlic (15 mL)
1 tsp cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder (5 mL)
1/tsp paprika (2 mL)
1/tsp turmeric (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). 

Pound chicken breasts flat to about 1/2 –inch (1.3 cm).  In frying pan, in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat over medium heat, fry half the chicken breasts 3 minutes on both sides to brown. While cooking, sprinkle with seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste. Repeat with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat and chicken breasts. Place cooked chicken in 9 x 13-inch (2 L) casserole dish.  In same frying pan in 1 tbsp (15 mL) bacon fat, fry mushrooms until starting to turn brown and sprinkle lightly with your favorite seasoning salt.  Spread over top of the chicken.

In food processor, process cream cheese and onion.  Add chicken stock, whipping cream, lemon juice, garlic, cornstarch, OR arrowroot powder, paprika, turmeric and salt.  Pour into frying pan and bring to boil; reduce sauce until it is as thick as you would like it.  Pour over chicken and mushrooms.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.  Cut through the chicken and make sure it is white throughout.  Serve and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
698.3 calories
93.8 g protein
29.5 g fat
1.8 g fiber
9.3 g net carbs

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

ZUCCHINI NOODLE, TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD



ZUCCHINI NOODLE, TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD

A delicious dressing brings out the lovely flavors of this vegetable salad. I decided to leave the skin on my zucchini since they were baby zucchinis and quite tasty...not bitter at all.  The Mozzarella balls add a little something special to this salad; a texture and taste contrast that should not be skipped.  I honestly was skeptical about this salad, but my first bite told me that I loved it!  I will definitely be making this one again!  I found the small zucchini actually worked very well in my spiralizer.  This is the one that I use.  It's a real cheapie, but it works!  CLICK HERE TO SEE MY SPIRALIZER..

2 cups zucchini noodles (500 mL)
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 California avocado
1/cup Mozzarella balls* (125 mL)
Dressing:
3 tbsp lemon juice (45 mL)
2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (15 mL)
1 tsp crushed garlic (5 mL)
  (the bottled kind)
1/tsp dried basil (2 mL)
1/tsp dried oregano (2 mL)
1/tsp salt (1 mL)

Using a spiralizer, make fine zucchini noodles.  Cut the long strands coarsely by running a knife through them….just to cut them a bit shorter.  Place in medium bowl.  Add the tomatoes.  Peel, seed and chop avocado and add to zucchini and tomatoes. *Use a melon baller to make the Mozzarella balls and then cut them in half.  Add to the vegetables.

Dressing:  In small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano and salt.  Pour over salad and toss to combine.  Chill until serving time (best made to serve right away or within an hour or two).

Yield:  4 servings
1 serving
220.8 calories
6.1 g protein
19.0 g fat
2.6 g fiber
6.8 g net carbs

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CHICKEN AVOCADO SALAD





CHICKEN AVOCADO SALAD

This salad is extra- delicious with the crispy bacon bits on top.  I added it as an after thought and it was a good thought, turns out! I crumbled the very crispy bacon into tiny bits and sprinkled them on top of the salad.  It just took the flavors and texture a little over the top!

How to ripen avocados....after many years (and wasting avocados...shhh!), I figured it out.  Place in a bag or paper bag with an open end in the pantry or cupboard (i.e. a dark place) and wait until they ripen to the point that you can press the avocados and make a very slight indentation with your finger....maybe that's not the right word.  It will give a little under the pressure of your finger. :)  Place in the refrigerator and use when desired.  You could use it in a week or two weeks and it will still be lovely, fresh and green.  Try it!

3 cups diced, cooked chicken (375 mL)
2 California avocados, peeled, seeded and
  chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium Roma tomato, chopped
3 slices bacon, cooked crispy
Dressing:
1/cup mayonnaise (75 mL)
1/cup sour cream (60 mL)
1 tbsp lemon juice (15 mL)
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese (15 mL)
1/tsp crushed garlic (2 mL)
  (the bottled kind is what I used)

1/4  tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4  tsp black pepper (1 mL)

In large bowl, combine chicken, chopped avocados, chopped pepper and tomato.

Dressing:  In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, crushed garlic, salt and black pepper.  Pour dressing over chicken mixture and gently toss to combine.  Place in a salad bowl and sprinkle the top with cooked crispy bits of bacon.

Yield:  6 servings
1 serving
316.6 calories
24.5 g protein
21.8 g fat
0.4 g fiber
6.1 g net carbs 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SNICKERDOODLE BLONDIES



SNICKERDOODLE BLONDIES

Delicious if you like cinnamon like I do – these are like brownies without the chocolate and with the flavor of delicious Snickerdoodle holiday cookies. These become more fudgy when chilled and nicer with age.  My husband loved these!  You can experiment with leaving one egg out if you really like this recipe…that will make these blondies even more fudgy in consistency.  The small amount of molasses is used to mimic brown sugar.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (250 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 13/cups (425 mL)
  sugar (like sucralose or stevia)
3 eggs
2 tsp organic molasses (10 mL)
11/tsp vanilla extract (7 mL)
11/tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
21/cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (click for recipe) (625 mL)
11/tsp baking powder (7 mL)
11/tsp cinnamon (7 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
Topping:
2 tbsp powdered erythritol (30 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). 

In food processor, process butter, liquid sweetener, eggs, molasses, vanilla extract and gelatin.  In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Add to wet ingredients; process.  Turn out into a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.  Smooth top with back of spoon.  Sprinkle with topping.  Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until brown around the edges.

Topping:  In small bowl, combine powdered erythritol and cinnamon.

Yield:  36 servings
1 serving
88.7 calories
1.9 g protein
8.0 g fat
0 g fiber
2.1 g net carbs

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