For anyone looking to cut back on sugar, it can be hard finding recipes that work well with sugar substitutes like Splenda, a sucralose-based artificial sweetener that's derived from sugar.
Sandra Skelly lives with diabetes and is always looking for good low- or no-sugar desserts. She finds that not all recipes can be adapted to sugar substitutes like Splenda, but some can, including this recipe for warm berry sauce. And Sue Feldman sent in a sugarless recipe for peanut butter brownie cookies, also made with Splenda.
This week, Annette is asking about the crust used for the strawberry pie at My Place Pie Place, a Portage Avenue restaurant that is now closed. She loved its shortbread-like taste and texture. Does anybody have a recipe? If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 204-697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Warm mixed berry sauce
1 L (4 cups) mixed berries (including blueberries, strawberries and blackberries)
30 ml (2 tbsp) granular Splenda (or more to taste)
In large non-stick skillet, combine the berries with Splenda. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes, or until berries start to release their juices but still hold their shape. Taste to test for sweetness, adding more Splenda if necessary. Serve warm or chilled. Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge or freezes well for up to 3 months. When fresh berries aren't in season, you can substitute frozen berries -- don't bother to thaw -- and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Tester's notes: This is a versatile sauce or topping, with a good balance of tart and sweet. I used frozen wild blueberries, which I find work well in the winter, especially in recipes where the berries are cooked.
Sugarless peanut butter brownie cookies
125 ml (1/2 cup) natural peanut butter (no added sugar or salt)
125 ml (1/2 cup) 2 per cent milk
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla
60 ml (1/4 cup) granulated Splenda
45 ml (3 tbsp) soy flour (available at bulk food stores) or 60 ml (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
30 ml (2 tbsp) cocoa
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Prepare cookie sheet using cooking spray or line with parchment paper. In medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, milk and vanilla. Stir in Splenda, then flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and chopped nuts. Mix until combined. Drop from a teaspoon onto prepared sheet and shape slightly into bite-sized cookies. Bake 9-11 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool a few minutes on the sheet, then remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 30-36 small cookies. Unless the cookies are going to be eaten immediately, store in airtight container in fridge or freezer.
Tester's notes: For anyone looking for sugar-free cookies, these are intense and not-too-sweet brownie bites, with a dark chocolate flavour and a hint of peanut butter. I would definitely make sure to add the nuts, as they give body and texture.