If you look on my side bar or in my recipe index, you will see I have a category for sugar-free desserts. And in that category, there are only eight recipes. Considering I have posted over 200 dessert recipes, the sugar-free ones make up a very small percentage. There is a reason for this.
Sugar-free desserts are just not as good as sugar-filled ones. There are exceptions, but in my humble opinion, that is the rule.
I may not be a brilliant chef, but I do pride myself on my desserts and I simply refuse to let any sweets come out of my kitchen that taste like a chemical explosion. Which means I usually refuse to make anything sugar-free, but there are certain occasions when I have no choice but to give in and find something that is sugar-free and also tastes delicious.
Such an occasion has arisen, with the birthday of a brother in Christ who is a type 2 diabetic. Since I am a member of a small Church, I am able to give food gifts to everyone for their birthday, but I always flounder when it comes to the birthdays of those with diabetes. I am a diabetic myself, but I’m insulin-dependent so I can eat dessert if I choose to, since I can give myself the insulin required for my body to process it. Bob doesn’t have this luxury and controls his diabetes through food and exercise. Which means no (or very little) sugar!! My worst nightmare. But what sort of Dessert Queen would I be if I couldn’t rise to this challenge and come out victorious?
I prefer to use fruit to naturally sweeten sugar-free desserts, such as in this rugelach, but since that still has a lot of carbohydrates that would send Bob’s blood sugar soaring, I knew I had to do the unthinkable and reach for the Splenda. I decided to go for a very low-carb treat that would have minimal impact on his blood sugar and created a candied nut that is surprisingly delicious! Granted, you can tell the difference between these and the real thing, but even my husband, who can’t take a sip of my Diet Dr. Pepper (one of the few sugar-free things I love) without shuddering, thought these nuts were superb.
If you are making these for a person accustomed to sugar-free sweets, it will likely be a welcome reprieve from all the awful chemical explosions that have been happening in their mouths over the years. They are crispy and cinnamon-sweet on the outside and toasty and crunchy on the inside. They truly are addictive!
Sugar-Free Candied Nuts
2 ½ cups nuts of choice
1 egg white
½ cup Splenda granular
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 15x10x1 inch pan with foil and spray with cooking oil. Place nuts in a bowl and stir if not already mixed. Beat egg white in a separate bowl until foamy and stir into the nuts until evenly coated. In another bowl, mix the Splenda, cinnamon, and salt and pour over the nuts. Stir until evenly coated, then scoop onto the baking sheet, using a spoon or fingers to get the nuts in a single layer. Bake for thirty minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until toasted. Allow to cool on wax paper and store in an airtight container.