Friday, December 24, 2010

The Holiday Diabetic

Happy and Merry Yule, Christmas, Hanukka and Kwanzaa to all, and to all a good night!  I hope to find you, my many readers in good cheer!  I am waiting for the oven to cool from my diabetic friendly pumpkin pie, with sugar free shortbread crust.  So I can put in, on timer the ham for the morning brunch to be had with family tomorrow.  I will put up recipes for my additions to a diabetic friendly holiday fest, but alas, must wait until a day after today, and after tomorrow most likely,  Love with you all at this Holiday time!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Double (say it) neufchâtel

I failed. Yesterday anyway.  Well the day before if you want to be specific.  The recipe mentioned in my last post didn't work well at all when butter was replaced by (say it) neufchâtel cheese.  There, I said it.  I blew it.  I hate throwing cookies away.

I personally think it was part recipe(cornstarch), part that it needed some butter. Either way, I tried a different recipe, that called for more flour (of which I replaced one cup flour for rice flour). I think my failure had to do with the higher moisture content in the (say it) neufchâtel cheese and the corn starch, the cookie produced was tough and weirdly chewy and just no bueno. 

I've not had much luck with cookie recipes containing corn starch come to think of it. The recipe listed in the previous post was rated pretty high on but the fact that I hadn't tried it yet just shows that I clearly need to try all these ideas of mine before I go broadcasting, so I solemnly swear from now on to try these things first.  BuuuUuuut I did try again, as you knew I would.  As usual, the link to the actual recipe is at the bottom and all my tweaks are in red.  So here goes:

Shortbread Cookies II

  • 2 cups butter, softened *I used one stick butter and 4 oz (say it) neufchatel cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar *I used a bit over 3/4 cup splenda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract *didn't have any (GAH!) so put 2 tsp lemon juice in instead
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour *3 cups all purpose flour, one cup rice flour.  In the future I'd do more rice flour, less wheat.  My grandmother makes shortbread with just rice flour and it's awesome
  •  *I put in the zest of one orange, you could do lemon too.  You could add cocoa powder too, maybe 1/4 cup.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla; add flour and mix well. 
  3. I found the cookie dough to be WAY to dry for anything but smooshing into a 9" pie plate.  I also reserved some for a pie crust for my diabetic friendly pumpkin custard pie, details tba.  
  4. Put through cookie press and form cookies onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.  Baked shortbread laden pie plate for probably around 45 -50 minutes.  Did I mention AWESOME?!

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Nutritional Information
Shortbread Cookies II
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 490
  • Total Fat: 31.1g
  • Cholesterol: 81mg
  • Sodium: 219mg
  • Total Carbs: 48.6g I cut this into something like 16 pieces (I didn't count before we ate nearly all of it), not including the amount I set aside for pie.  So, maybe 4 g carb per cookie if I guess that my reserve would have made 4 more cookies.
  •     Dietary Fiber: 1.1g
  • Protein: 4.6g

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Cookies and Pies and stars in your eyes

I got a question this am from a friend who has a friend who has a friend that is diabetic, about cookies.    It was typical, until this year, that I made all sorts of cookies and truffles every Christmas with the intent of giving them all away to my friends and family.  And some of them even made it out.  But mostly I ate them.  So obviously this year, my first officially diabetic Holiday season, making a bunch of cookies and truffles wasn't in the cards and I've had to revamp my gift giving ideas.  So you're all getting steak rub.  There, I said it.... 

Shortbread is great for diabetics, although kind of high in fat.  It's low in sugar though, even if  all the butter kind of kills it.  Although you don't eat this stuff all day, every day, nor should you.  But I might.  So I am going to tweak things around and try and get it a little lower in the fat arena. 

I'm a fan of...say it...neufchatel cheese.  Not only for the fact that it's cool to say....come on, say it with me...neuf-cha-tel.  Although I must admit when I just went to check just now that I spelled it right, I find that I have cream cheese, not...say it...neufchatel cheese.  Ah well, cream cheese has 9g fat for 2 tbsp (...say it...neufchatel is half I think so 4.5g), compared with a whopping 22g fat for butter.    That and butter is like nine dollars a pound and cream (...say it...neufchatel) cheese is like a dollar fifty.  'nuff said

So here follows the recipe I'm going to use today to make some lovely shortbread cookies.  Thanks Linda!  Link to original recipe is below this post.  I'll put my tweaks in red throughout the recipe, as usual.  I should also add that I've not made this particular recipe but I'm a fan of and this one comes at nearly 5 stars from about 549 reviews.  I'm going to use the handy dandy cookie press I hooked up this year at a yard sale but you could do anything, even roll them out and use a cookie cutter if you want, making sure to reduce the cooking time, Just don't roll them thin, that's no bueno.  They need to be a little on the thick side, like 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick.  I likes me the thick cookie and these just don't cook well if they are thin.  I'm going to make 2 batches, one with just....say it....neufchatel cheese, no butter, and one with half and half butter and...say it...neufchatel cheese.  As usual, if you cut the sugar and replace with sucralose, use only half the called for amount.   

Melt - In - Your - Mouth Shortbread


  • 1 cup butter, softened *replace half or all the butter with...say it...neufchatel or cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar *use 1/4 cup sucralose .  Taste the dough, if it's not sweet enough, just add more 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*try rice flour  BUT, if using regular flour, use white flour not whole wheat.
  • zest of a whole lemon, or orange is awesome
  • try adding some unsweetened cocoa powder here, maybe a couple tablespoons 
  • No liquids!  Trust me.  It's bad.  And you don't want to eff up your awesome cookies.  So no vanilla extract or anything like that.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). I'm using a cookie press here, so will decrease the heat to 340 degrees, these do better low and slow.
  2. Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Beat the hell out of it. The more you beat, the better your cookie texture.  Plus it's gratifying to beat the hell out of something this time of year, since you clearly can't beat the hell out of the dude in that giant stupid truck who flipped you off.....aaaahhhh.....ya, so focus, back on track. Stir in the confectioners' sugar*splenda, cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, then on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Roll out and cut, or use cookie press.  PLUS if you roll or use cookie press, you can have more than one cookie, bc you will have made smaller cookies than the recipe calls for.   Score!
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Watch that the edges don't brown too much.  These things don't brown really at all, you want to pull them when they still have a little give, or they get dry.  But if they get dry, you can always dip them in your coffee or tea or whatever. Cool on wire racks.
Nutritional Information **based on original recipe**
Melt - In - Your - Mouth Shortbread
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 111
  • Total Fat: 7.8g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Total Carbs: 9.7g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 0.9g
Nutritional info above is based on the full butter version.  Removing the sugar will reduce the carb count some but since these are pretty low sugar anyway, it won't make a huge difference.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tiamisu? Why Thank You!

I made heaven on a pie plate last night.  A fluffy, orangey, lovely cloud of marscapone cheese, ladyfingers and whipping cream.  And it was easy.  Like easy.  

No sugar added, except for what was in the ladyfingers, which are surprisingly low carb.  At least lower carb than I expected.  I got the Trader Joes ones, and you can have 5 cookies for 13 grams carb, if I remember correctly.  I also got the marscapone cheese at Trader Joes, they rock, and the cost is WAY better than the local supermart.  Like $3 at TJ's and $6 at the local store that starts with an A and ends with 'sons.

As it happens, tiramisu is my favorite dessert anyway, so it was great that it adapted so well.  I'd show you pictures, but our main computer took off for warmer climates and we can't do any picture stuff on the laptop, or it will fly south too.  But I'll share the recipe anyway:

Amy's Awesome Tiramisu

2 containers marscapone cheese (room temp)
one pint whipping cream
one box ladyfinger cookies
an orange, or lemon or neither if you like.  Espresso or coffee is rockin' here too.  About a 1/4 cup.
sucralose, or other sweetener to taste

We were out of sweetener, so I winged it and put in a package of no sugar vanilla pudding mix.  Yep, it rocked.  I think I'll try banana next time.  You could also use neufchatel cheese here, if you like, it's a bit of a stronger taste but would still be good.  I'd use one 8 oz package here if I were to do that.  Which I think I might for Christmas.

Whip the marscapone cheese, with the zest of whatever fruit you choose.  Oranges are great here, as you can squeeze the juice on the ladyfingers, moistening everything up.  In a different bowl, whip the whipping cream, adding sweetener to taste, maybe a little vanilla extract, or almond or lemon or anything would work here, so if you wanted to make a peppermint tiramisu, you could.

After the whipping cream is all fluffy and lovely, stir it in with the marscapone.  I ended up using the mixer again here, I know you are supposed to use a spatula, and slowly mix together, but I'm a lazy cook and did the mixer, and it worked fine, although was maybe not as fluffy as it could have been.

While the beating and whipping are happening, you can turn a child loose with the cookies, arranging them in the bottom of the pie plate, or square casserole dish.  You could make individual ones in ramekins too, mmmmmMMmmmm.

Once everything is arranged and beaten, pour the orange juice(coffee) over the ladyfingers.  I followed here with a sprinkling of unsweetened cocoa.  Then spoon on the lovely goodness, sprinkle on some more unsweetened cocoa and put the whole thing in the fridge to chill.  Then lick the beaters (you know you want to) and after about an hour or so, cut and serve.  It flew off those pretty princess plates we were using, and everyone loved it.  Yay!