October 04, 2016

Dessert Alert! Pecan Cookies with Cheesecake Icing! Sugar Free, Wheat Free and Low Carb!

These cookies are a cross between a cookie and a dessert!  It was the perfect combination for two cravings; cheesecake and a sandy pecan style cookie.  Best of all?  By starting with my sugar free, low carb  'sugar cookie' recipe and tweaking it a little, I was able to make a healthy pecan sandy cookie that coupled with a cheesecake style frosting filling, was almost like having a mini personal cheesecake dessert!  These have been our morning coffee/dessert/snack this week and I found they freeze beautifully!

I will note the products I used for this as when you bake/cook low carb and sugar free, the brand you use makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in whether or not your item turns out similar.  I used 'natural' style Honeyville Almond Flour for this because it was a pecan cookie (unlike a sugar cookie where a uniform light color would be preferred.)  Unblanched almond flour tends to be a little more expensive and almond flour is already quite dear (read; expensive).  I think for this recipe you would not have to use Honeyville brand.  I believe this recipe might be a little forgiving in that respect and almost any brand almond flour should work.

Lastly; I made them into two styles.  Some I frosted like a regular cookie, but others I sandwiched together like a Little Debbie style sandwich cookie as they were easier to package into a ziploc baggy and send with my husband to work this way. 

Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Low Carb
Pecan Cookies with Cheesecake Filling/Frosting

1 3/4 c almond flour
1/4 c coconut flour (Tresomega Nutrition Organic Coconut Flour)
1/4 t xanthan gum (you can leave this out if you don't have it. I've made it with and without - not too much difference)
1/4 brown sugar sweetener (Truvia if you can find it but you could use Splenda Brown if it's all you can find locally)
1 beaten egg
1/4 c real butter
1/4 c cream cheese
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar version of sweetener (I use Just Like Sugar Baking Sweetener)
3/4 c of my homemade sugar free sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 t lemon juice
1/2 t vanilla

In a bowl, mix the almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.  In a mixing bowl, blend the sweetener with the egg, butter and cream cheese.  Add the dry ingredients.  Stir in the chopped pecans.  Form into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm enough to slice.  You can also freeze it until firm for easy slicing.  When you are ready, slice into thin slices (mine were a bit thick but I was in a rush and didn't really care how they looked as it was just for our immediate family and obviously I'm not concerned about big 'photo shoot' style productions on this blog!).  Bake on a very lightly greased baking sheet or parchment lined sheet.  I baked a batch at 300 and another at 350.  The finished products were very similar and the temperature didn't matter as much as this:  baking until they considered 'done' by touch - and then turning the oven off and letting them bake completely a little longer until the bottoms are just golden brown and they are drier than a regular sugar or chocolate chip style cookie.  One batch I carefully 'flipped' each cookie when I turned the oven off - and I thought they turned out best and finished baking a bit better as almond flour is so moist. 

Think;  Sandy Pecan Cookies or even a 'crust'.  If they are not baked long enough they will fall apart too easily.  **Almond flour bakes softer and takes longer than wheat flour!  Mine were cut pretty thick and I would say they took 'approximately' 15 minutes baking at 350 and then another 10 minutes or so in a turned off oven.

Let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes and then carefully remove to fully cool.  Do not handle them until completely cool.  Once they are cool they are pretty sturdy.

Make the filling by beating the ingredients and spreading on the cooled cookies much like a mini cheesecake OR sandwich two together with filling for ease in packaging, travel, storing or eating.  Must be stored in either the refrigerator or freezer.

YUMMY dough!  I used 'natural' almond flour so you can see the flecks.  You could use blanched
and it would give you a pale cookie base with bits of pecan in it.

Wrapped in plastic wrap, ready to chill out until slicing

I sliced this batch a little thicker than a normal sliced cookie because I was in a hurry
and didn't really care!  :)

Whip up a simple cheesecake style filling

Here are some of the 'sandwiched' versions which work best for being packaged in lunches.

My favorite way to eat them was a 'mini cheesecake' style cookie!

*** You could TOTALLY make these cute by drizzling sugar free caramel or chocolate on them or adding a bit of sliced strawberry, etc.  They would be perfect for a dessert fitting any guest or even! ***

Products related to this post available through Amazon;
Honeyville Almond Flour
Tresomega Nutrition Organic Coconut Flour
Truvia Brown Sweetener (very hard to find locally over the past 2 months! Maybe they are going to stop making it?)

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