Thursday, September 3, 2009

Low Carb Cracker Jack Cookies

I love Cracker Jack, a mixture of popcorn, peanuts with a molasses caramel coating - yum! I remember when a box only cost 10¢. It was always a childhood favorite and I would spend my own money for this special treat. This incredibly delicious cookie mimics those flavors beautifully and will make you think you're a kid at the ball game again! Just like the song says, "...Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. I don't care if I never get back." With only 1.3 net carbs per cookie, you'll be in sitting in heaven and rooting for more than the home team when you taste these!

Low Carb Cracker Jack Cookies
(Makes 30 cookies)

1-1/2 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
3 tablespoons peanut flour or peanut butter powder (no sugar added)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup erythritol sweetener, granular
1/4 cup brown or golden erythritol sweetener
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon molasses extract (or Yacon syrup)
1/4 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
30 peanut halves for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, peanut flour or powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sweeteners together with a handheld or standing mixer until well combined and fluffy. Add the molasses extract or Yacon syrup, peanut butter and beat until mixture is creamy and light. Add egg and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes until well incorporated and slightly thickened.

4. All at once, add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Then fold in chopped peanuts using a wooden spoon.

5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or level small cookie scoop) about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet and press down until 1/2 inch thick. Top each cookie with ½ peanut and press down slightly. Bake until set and just beginning to brown around the edges, about 18 minutes, turning once halfway through baking. The color of the cookies will not change much, so watch carefully and do not overbake. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. They will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutritional Information per cookie: 71 calories, 2.1 g carbohydrates, 6.4 g total fat, 1.9 g saturated fat, 0.8 g fiber, 2.4 g protein. Net carbs per cookie: 1.3 grams

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009, revised 2020
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.

How does this compare to a traditional molasses cookie with no nuts? My recipe is much lower in calories and carbohydrates, lower in saturated fats and higher in protein. Although my recipe is a bit higher in total fat, it is rich in monounsaturated fat (one of the good fats) from the almond flour, which is good source of Vitamin E and known to be excellent for your heart and overall health. For comparison, the average nutritional information for the same size cookie made from a traditional recipe is 144 calories, 24 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0.6 g fiber, 1.5 g protein.

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