I was in charge of dessert today.
Not such a simple task because really, even though today is day 28 on the Whole30, I wanted to dive head first into the chocolate Chanukah gelt today. Seems that I have not yet slain my sugar dragons. Have to keep working on that.
This afternoon, we attended our family's annual Chanukah party, giving extra thanks that the party was not in our house this year.
We brought along some of the Chanukah sugar cookies we made the other day, some sugar-free peanut butter cookies for my dad, cinnamon bun muffins* and some cheese latkes. The cheese latkes were not part of dessert, but I felt empty handed coming with just those few other foods. And also, I had about a quarter of a big container of ricotta cheese left in the fridge and it was very unclear to me how much longer it would last.
Having never made cheese latkes before but at the same time wanting to use up the ricotta cheese, I went with google and a few seconds later, I had my recipe from shiksa.com, a website that I had never heard of before but will be visiting again.
I changed her recipe very slightly because I was concerned that the latkes would not be sweet enough and in my head, I was picturing something along the lines of latke cheesecake. Either way, they got great reviews, with a request for a make-again from the husband, and that's saying a lot about something dairy. Again (and even I am getting bored of saying this) but I did not taste these myself - no dairy allowed on the Whole30, but all the latkes were gone so that must be saying something good.
Here's what I did:
1 and 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
5 tbsps sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Mix all the ingredients very well. Cook as you would regular pancakes, starting with a hot frying pan and flipping the latkes after two minutes. Just an FYI, this latke batter does not bubble, thereby giving you an instant clue as to when to flip 'em. Just flip them after two minutes and you'll be fine. Oh, and the second side does not need that full two minutes. I guess it depends on how high your fire is, how large your latkes are and so on, but you'll get the hang of it. Just remember, the first pancake is always the sacrificial one - kind of like your first kid. You have no idea what you're doing so you just wing in, and in the end, all is still good.
These made 15 large latkes and at the end of the meal they were all gone.
*More about those soon.
If you have been following along, you might remember that my kids decorated these boxes for my dad for his birthday. They want to fill them with treats - my kids have been very into baking lately. My father, however, can't have sugar due to his diabetes. I am always finding recipes that use a sugar substitute but most of them are not very tasty. These, however, take the cake. Or the rugelah, as the case may be.
We also made sugar-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that you can see here and some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that I will be sharing soon.
Here is what you need for the dough:
- 1 cup reduced calorie margarine - we used Smart Balance (or maybe Smart Beat, I can never remember what it is called)
- 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
- 3 cups flour
Mix all until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/2 cup Splenda Sugar Blend
- 1/2 cup oil
Mix all and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Following the directions for these rugelach here, shape your sugar-free rugelach and place them on a greased cookie sheet.
The only difference here is that instead of dividing the dough into four sections, I divided it into three - and when it came to cutting the triangles, instead of cutting each circle of dough into 16 triangles, I only cut these into 8 triangles. Yes, there were fewer rugelach in the end, but I was getting verrrry tiiiired.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely and freeze until your dad's birthday. Or you know, eat them now. Either way works.
I have made these cookie for my father, who has diabetes, many times in the past and they have always been a hit. The original recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food TV show, but I replaced the sugar with Splenda and the cookies are still surprisingly very tasty. I have not always had much success with sugar substitutes, but these work very well. Sometimes we add sugar-free chocolate chips to the batter and sometimes we leave them as plain cookies.
This is what I do:
1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup Splenda
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free chocolate chips (optional)
"...perfect for all those late night sugar-free dessert cocktail parties that you throw. Yeah, me too."
The batter itself is pretty thick and dry - and sticky at the same time. Strange, I know. The best way to make these cookies is to mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips. Then stir in the chocolate chips by hand or just let the kids stick individual chocolate chips into the cookies (an activity!).
Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray and using dry hands, form the batter into small balls and place them on the cookie sheet. These cookies don't spread, so you can place them pretty close together. I can usually get all the cookies from one batch onto one cookie sheet, getting between 16 and 20 cookies, depending on how big they are. Once all the balls are formed, use a fork to flatten the cookies slightly. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until the edges are starting to brown. I always try and double the recipe and freeze half so I have some to give to my dad that day and then some the next time he comes.
Once, when I was a in rush, I forgot (neglected) to flatten the cookies and they baked in the shape of balls. And they were fine, so the truth is, if you are looking for a peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookie-ball, this is your recipe too! It's like two recipes in one. And now that I think about it, if you bake them as cookie balls, they can be dipped into melted chocolate after they are baked and served on toothpicks - you know, for all those late night sugar-free dessert cocktail parties that you throw. Yeah, me too.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)