I’ve been toying with the idea of this recipe for a long time now. My favorite Pepperidge Farm cookies are the chocolate chunk and pecan filled Chesapeakes. I thought they’d make great scones and at first that was what I was going to make. Then I came across a recipe for coconut flour cookies and gluten free Chesapeake cookies were the result!
As with the basil and corn cakes these cookies are low(er) carb thanks to the coconut flour, which is also gluten free. Instead of sugar I used a stevia blend I like, but I wasn’t able to find sugar free chocolate. Life’s a compromise sometimes.
The coconut flour provides the bulk, but it’s cream cheese and butter that holds everything together. It makes for a very sticky dough that’s much easier to handle after it has been in the fridge for an hour or so. The end result is kinda cookie like, with good flavor and a nice texture from the butter and cream cheese, but missing the crispiness I like. The dough would work for scones if you want to go that route.
The cookies could have been sweeter…which is why I thought they’d make good scones. I used a recipe from Divalicious Recipes as the base to make my gluten free Chesapeake cookies and she used 1/2 cup (105 grams) of erythritol as the sweetener. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that doesn’t affect blood chemistry like regular sugar and is very popular among low carb eaters. You can read more about it here. Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar.
Let’s do some math!
- 1/2 cup of erythritol = 105 grams (It’s easier to do the conversions if you’re working with grams)
- 105 grams x 70% = 73.5 grams of sugar
- A tablespoon of sugar weighs 12.5 grams (thanks, Google), so 73.5 / 12.5 = 5.88 tablespoons of sugar. Let’s call it 6 tablespoons.
- According to my stevia blend, 1/2 teaspoon = 2 tablespoons so I should use 1 1/2 teaspoons of stevia blend instead of erythritol.
- Wasn’t that fun? All that for low carb/gluten free cookies!
Let me give you a couple reasons why that’s BS and why you might want to purchase a sweetener that can be substituted one to one for sugar…or at least make your own conversion chart like this one: 1) When I made my batch, I just assumed 1/2 cup of erythritol was equal to a 1/2 cup of sugar so I used 2 teaspoons of stevia blend. As mentioned, they weren’t sweet enough. I could easily add another 1/2 teaspoon, maybe more (equivalent to 3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar)…and I’m not a person who likes stuff overly sweet; 2) For that reason, I prefer a recipe give me the sugar equivalent and let me figure it out for myself. However, in the recipe I used as my base, it says 1/2 cup erythritol or other sugar substitute. We’ve just determined not all sweeteners are equal in sweetening power…for my sweetener that’s equal to 2 cups of sugar more than twice as sweet! Whew! /*end rant*/
So, after all that
If you’re going to experiment with non traditional flours and sweeteners you might want to invest in a kitchen scale. Be aware that sometimes the conversions from one system to another will give you wacky results. That has happened to me a couple of times when I’ve cooked from British websites that convert to cups and spoons (and vice versa) which is why I finally gave in and bought a kitchen scale when cooking for Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen. I am more comfortable knowing I’m giving measurements I’ve taken myself (it’s the scientist in me, hahaha.)
Now you can make your own batch of low carb gluten free Chesapeake cookies with confidence because I took my own measurements.
- ½ cup or 60g coconut flour
- ¼ cup or 60g cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg (I use large)
- ½ cup or 115g butter, softened (1 stick in US)
- Sugar substitute equivalent to ½ - ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- generous pinch salt
- ⅓ cup or 50g 70% dark chocolate (try to find sugar free if you want the lowest carb count)
- ½ cup or 50g chopped pecans
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sweetener of choice
- Add the vanilla extra and egg. Beat until smooth.
- Add the coconut flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until all the ingredients are combined.
- Fold in the chocolate and pecans until evenly distributed.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper down and transfer the mixture to resemble a log shape about 3 inches in diameter. Use the paper to help with shaping as the dough will be very sticky.
- Place in the fridge to firm up for at least an hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into ½ inch slices.
- Place the slices on the baking tray and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
- My yield was 16 3 inch cookies. It will depend on how long you form your roll and how thick you cut your slices.