December 17, 2003

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Nut Butter Balls

I've been doing a lot of baking recently. Here's a decarbed version of one of my family's favorite Christmas cookies! These are rich, delicious, and delicate.

Nut Butter Balls

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal (if you can't get almond meal, grind almonds to a corn meal consistency in your food processor. I do this, and it works fine.)
1 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
6 ounces sugar free dark chocolate, chopped pretty fine

1. In a big mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the Splenda, salt, and vanilla until it's light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer.

2. Combine the almond meal and vanilla whey protein powder, stirring them together. Now turn your mixer back on, and beat this combination into the butter in 3 or 4 additions.

3. Next, beat in the pecans, then the chopped sugar free chocolate. Wnen you have a well-mixed dough, chill it for a few hours.

4. When dough is chilled, preheat your oven to 350. Now make balls of dough, a little smaller than a walnut. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes.

5. Let the baked cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before carefully transferring to wire racks to finish cooling -- the cookies are most delicate when warm.

6. When cookies are on racks, but still warm, sprinkle just a little pinch of Splenda over their tops, to pretty them up. (If you wait till they're cool, the Splenda won't stick as well.) Store in airtight cookie cans -- and, if you're not going to eat them up in a day or two, keep them in the fridge.

Makes roughly 5 dozen. Not including the polyols in the sugar free chocolate, each will have 1 gram of carbohydrate, with a trace of fiber. 2 grams protein. 57 calories.

Note: I've get questions regarding my use of ground nuts to replace flour, since nut allergies are common. I've recently had a lot of success using ground pumpkin seeds in place of ground almonds, so that's what I'd try first. Pumpkin seeds are cheaper than almonds, too! You can find raw, hulled pumpkin seeds in just about any health food store. I'm afraid I have no substitute for the chopped pecans.

Posted by HoldTheToast at December 17, 2003 09:25 PM