Toffee/Praline Brownie Nut Chocolate Muffins - Sugar Free and Low Carb

These are a bit labor intensive because there are three different parts to the recipe.  The brownie toffee/praline nut part can be made ahead as the pan makes enough to eat as 'brownies' as well as cutting the other half of the pan into tiny little 1/2" bites that are perfect in many other recipes, not just this one.  I have two freezer Ziploc baggies of these little brownie nut bites so this recipe comes together very quick and easy!  I just whip up the muffin batter and grab a handful of brownie bites from the freezer.

These are sugar free and low carb as they use almond flour and flax meal no wheat flour.  So healthy yet so good that anyone who likes a chocolate muffin will like these; even if they don't care whether they are sugar free or flour free.  The texture is just as great as the flavor. 

4 oz. unsweetened Baker's Chocolate
1 1/4 sticks butter
1 c sweetener of choice (I like to use 2-3 brands mixed together for best flavor)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 c almond flour
1/4 c flax meal
1 c sugar free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a foil lined 9X13" pan.  Melt the baking chocolate with the butter in a saucepan on the stove or a bowl in the microwave.  Add the sweetener, eggs, vanilla, almond flour and flax meal.  Stir.  Add chocolate chips.  Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly to a thin layer.  Bake approximately 25-30 minutes.  Cool while you prepare the praline or toffee nut layer.

Praline/Toffee Nut Layer
4 T butter
6 T heavy cream
1/2 c sweetener of choice (mix 2-3 kinds for best flavor)
dash salt
1 c toasted nuts - preferably walnuts but almonds, pecans are good too
1 t vanilla

For a caramel/toffee flavor use all 'white' sugar style sweeteners.  For a praline flavor use all or part 'brown' sugar style sweetener. Your choice.  Melt the butter and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it dissolves and starts to turn from a light blonde color to a dark golden brown.  Remove from heat and add the nuts and vanilla.

Pour the toffee/praline mixture over the brownies.  Let cool for about 15 minutes and then place in the refrigerator or freezer.  When the brownies are firm or even partly frozen to make it easy to cut; lift out the foil and cut into tiny little 1/2" squares or bites.

At this point you can return them to the freezer in Ziploc baggies and save them to use in the chocolate muffins below but also to grab a handful of 'bites' to snack on, add to homemade chocolate ice cream or in the filling or on top of a cheesecake.

2 c almond flour (heaped a little)
1/4 c flax meal
3/4 c unflavored or vanilla whey protein powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 c erythritol, granules or Just Like Sugar
3/4 c pure pumpkin puree  (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 stick real butter, melted
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 c half and half or cream

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients;  almond flour, flax, protein powder, baking powder, soda, salt, cocoa and sweetener.    In another bowl mix the pumpkin, butter, eggs and vanilla.   Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon while adding the cream or half and half.  Add a little bit more cream if it's too thick or protein powder or almond flour if it's too thin. Your batter should be thicker than a cake mix yet still able to be scooped into muffin tins.    Pour batter into greased or lined cupcake tins filled  2/3 full.  Top with 3 mini chunks of the prepared brownies you made and saved earlier.  Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes.   This will make roughly 14-15 muffins.

Melting the chocolate is easy in the microwave

Adding the chocolate chips to the batter

As the toffee (or praline if you use a brown sugar sweeter) starts to turn from light to golden

Golden Brown and thick

Stirring in the toasted nuts

Pour the toffee or praline mixture over the pan of brownies and then chill or partially freeze before cutting
into bites.

 Make the chocolate muffin batter and fill the muffin tins 2/3 full

Pull the prepared little brownie bites out and place 3-4 bites in each filled muffin tin

Ready to bake

Bake about 23-25 minutes

Chocolatey, brownieie, nutty and yet, sugar free and low carb - healthy!

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