Mexican Wedding Cookies Gluten- and Grain- Freeby Larry Cox on Apr. 25, 2013, under Uncategorized
Paleo Desserts: 125 Delicious Everyday Favorites, Gluten- and Grain- Free by Jane Barthelemy (Da Capo/Life Long, $18.99)
The Paleo diet, first advocated during the 1970s, is simply a return to the whole, natural foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors thrived on some ten thousand years ago. Emphasizing fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, wild fish, free-range poultry, and grass-fed beef while eliminating grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugars and oils, this diet plan lacks the processed foods that contribute to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood sugar, and other diet-related illnesses.
Although our cavemen ancestors probably didn’t feast on desserts, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy such delicious treats as Coconut Macaroons, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Lemon Bars, and that classic Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This cookbook features 125 gluten-free, low carb desserts that use only unprocessed sugars and other diabetic-friendly ingredients that are free of common allergens found in corn, dairy, peanuts and soy. In addition to the recipes, there are easy-to-follow directions, a chart of recipes by diet, an index of ingredients and where to buy them, and a metric conversion cheat sheet.
Jane Barthelemy, a chef who teaches seminars on health food, is based in Portland, Oregon. Her cookbook is essential, especially for those who want to eat healthier foods.
I tested two recipes from this collection: Mexican Wedding Cookies which were so delicious I forgot they were actually healthy to eat. I also made a batch of Vanilla Ice Cream made with coconut milk instead of a dairy product.
MEXICAN WEDDING COOKIES
Makes about three dozen cookies
1 cup Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener (not baking)
(A second choice is 1 1/3 cups of Organic Zero Erythritol)
1 ¾ cups medium-shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (not coconut flour)
3 Tbs arrowroot powder
¼ tsp unprocessed salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans, soaked if possible
¾ cup granulated sweetener, ground finely for rolling after baking (erythritol works best for this)
Preheat oven to 325F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a dry food processor fitted with an “S” blade, grind the sweetener for several minutes to a fine powder.
Add the coconut, arrowroot, and salt. Grind again until very fine. Open the lid, stir the bottom, replace the lid, and grind again until the powder is uniformly fine.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix well.
Add the pecans last and pulse gently to mix evenly.
Chill the dough for 15 minutes (I use the same container)
Gently shape the dough without pressing into smooth 3/4-inch balls. Place them one inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. The dough will be soft. It helps to coat your hands with a bit of arrowroot powder to keep them from getting too sticky. If they do get sticky, wash and dry them before continuing.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. They will not brown, so take care not to overbake.
While still warm, roll the delicate cookies very gently in ground granulated sweetener. The cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.