Alisa Fleming ~ I know what you’re thinking. This is a hoax right? You’ve been searching for all-natural, sugar-free or low sugar dessert recipes for years, and suddenly there is a whole collection of them … that just happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, too? But I swear to you, it is true. Whether you are seeking diabetic-friendly recipes, anti-candida recipes, or simply want to cut back on sugar, Desserts without Compromise is the recipe e-cookbook for you.
The author of Desserts without Compromise, Ricki Heller, is an expert in living with, and cooking for, dietary restrictions, and has been creating menus for the various stages of ACD (anti-candida diet) and SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) for several years. Her recipes are beyond creative, and as I can vouch, delicious.
I'm still eager to trial the Soy-free Corn-free Creamy Vanilla Custard, Almond Cinnamon Fudge, Mint Chip Ice cream, and Individual Bread Puddings with Caramel Sauce from Desserts without Compromise, but lately, I have been fixated on the no-bake and cookie recipes …
Near the end of January, I decided to get back on track by taking a ten-day "sugar break." It was a lot toughter than I expected! But, just when I thought I couldn't hold out any longer, I remembered Ricki's e-cookbook, and went straight to the kitchen. Since I've already made many recipes from Ricki's paperback cookbook, Sweet Freedom, I was confident that the recipes from Desserts without Compromise would also perform beautifully … and I wasn't the least bit disappointed …
Within minutes, I had several Carob-Coconut Sweeties just waiting to be devoured …
(This is actually Ricki's photo, my photos were not nearly this nice!)
As Ricki mentions in the recipe, it makes a small batch, just in case you can't stop. Smart move, because yes, I did devour the whole batch. I'm not a big tahini fan, so I prefer all nut butter in this recipe, but it does have a nice contrast for those of you who do like tahini.
With that success, and my strict sugar-free challenge completed, I moved on to the lightly sweetened recipes, and these awesome Grain-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies …
Loved, loved, loved them! Ricki mentioned that you could use any nut in the recipe. Since we didn't have any hazelnuts, I used ground cashews, and the cookies still turned out perfect!
Of course, once I get started on cookies, I can't stop. So I also made the heavenly Grain-Free Coconut Macaroons …
Again, I used cashews instead of the almonds called for in the recipe (this time, because the husband is allergic to almonds). In addition, I made a few little changes to the recipe, customizing it to the ingredients and tools that I had on hand. So Ricki was kind enough to let me reprint my version for you here …
Grain-Free Macaroon Cookies
Recipe adapted from Desserts without Compromise by Ricki Heller.
These little gems brown quickly on the outside, but stay soft and chewy on the inside … like a cross between a macaroon and a chewy cookie. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Wheat-Free, and optionally Vegan.
- 1/3 Cup (1.5 ounces) Raw Cashews
- 2 Tablespoons Flaxseeds
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 1/4 Cup Honey (or agave nectar if you are keeping it vegan like Ricki)
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- up to 1/4 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips (I chopped up some dark chocolate chunks) or Cacao Nibs
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In your spice grinder, grind the cashews and flaxseeds into a powder (takes just about 30 seconds). Place the cashew / flax mixture in a medium-sized bowl, and add the coconut flour, honey or agave, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Stir until everything is well combined. Fold in the shredded coconut, followed by the chocolate or cacao nibs.
With slightly wet hands (to avoid sticking), shape the dough into 12 little rounds. Flatten each to about 3/8 to 1/2-inch thickness (they don't spread). Place the cookie disks on your prepared cookie sheet, and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet for even browning, and then bake for another 4 to 6 minutes (I take mine out at exactly 10 minutes total), or when they are turning a golden brown on the outside.
Makes 12 macaroon-cookie gems
This is a third-party review by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.
For more information and to purchase this e-Cookbook, visit Ricki's blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogs.