Sunday, November 28, 2010

Almond Flour Cranberry Walnut Cookies

As promised, this blog is dedicated to the cookies that my sister so delightfully made for us upon our arrival to Chicago. 

Before I share the recipe I feel the desire to share something else with you. In case you haven't noticed I avoid sugar in my recipes like the plague. You all caught me. I do have a sugar aversion. I never use real sugar. It's always splenda with an occasional call for honey.

You try growing up with a diabetic dad, cousin, and grandma and see where you end up. Yep, that's the backstory on the Splenda bit. 

Okay, now I will get on with it. I feel much better. 

With diabetes always present at family functions, low sugar and low carb is how my sister and I learned to cook. On that we agree. And this recipe fits the bill. Each cookie is packed with 9 grams of protein and only 7 grams of carbohydrates. When compared to other fruit and nut cookies this recipe shaves off almost 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, and saves over 100 grams of carbohydrates! It also adds more grams of protein than most other 'nutritious' cookies. And when compared to Mrs. Fields cookies; this recipe saves over 100 calories, 2 fat grams, and over 25 grams of carbohydrates. 

That being said if you wanted to save fat you could cut down on the amount of walnuts used, and use half the butter and instead substitute vanilla yogurt or apple sauce. And if you don't love dried cranberries, why not try some dark chocolate chips. Chocolate is packed with anti-oxidants so why not! Check out this recipe for Protein Packed Chocolate Cookies.

Wine is another thing that my dad has taught me about. It is also diabetes friendly and doesn't boost blood sugar levels like other sugar-filled cocktails.
Have you tried this year's Beaujulais Nouveau? This is a nice light red wine that is only available during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. It's light body is the perfect compliment to juicy turkey, ham, or beef. It is light enough that even those who don't normally like red wine will enjoy a sip.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year I am grateful for my friends, family, and you!

Almond Flour Cranberry Walnut Cookies
1/2 cup butter (smart balance)
4 ounces low fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cup baking splenda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 cup whey protein powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whole dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl combine the butter, cream cheese, and splenda. Cream together until smooth. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy and combined.

3. In a separate bowl combine the almond meal, protein powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the dry mixture to the egg and butter mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be sticky. Add the chopped walnuts and cranberries. 

4. Grab your favorite baking sheet and scoop dollops of batter onto the sheet giving each cookie enough room to spread out. I love to use a small spoon that I spray with cooking spray to make it really easy. 

5. Bake for 7-9 minutes. When the top just starts turning brown that's when you know it's done. Allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes and enjoy!

Servings: 24 cookies

Nutritional Skinny:

121 calories / 9 g fat / 7.7 g carbohydrates / 2 g fiber / 9 g protein

Mental Health Benefit: These cookies are packed with protein and omega's making this not only a perfect after meal treat, but it also makes a healthy snack to carry along with you and eat while your out running holiday errands! The cookies are the perfect hostess gift that you can bring along with a bottle of Beaujulais Nouveau to any of your holiday parties. You will be a hit at the party and promote health and well being during the season without anyone ever knowing!

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