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Candied Pecans – Sugar Free

I have mentioned in previous posts the fact that I have a number of friends with special dietary needs. Because of this I make a special effort to produce items from my kitchen they can eat too.

Raw Pecans Halves

I make this sugar free candied pecan recipe for a safe sweet snack they can enjoy. The coating has the taste and texture of cotton candy. Not only are they good to serve at parties, but they make a great gift too.


1 c Pecans, raw
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 c Sucralose

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roast raw pecans in oven on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then allow to cool.

Beat egg white, blend in Sucralose, add nuts and toss to coat.

Pecans Ready for Coating

Spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet.

Bake 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes. *

Pecans Ready for Roasting

Cool for 30 minutes.

If you prefer one of the following can be added along with the Sucralose and nuts.

1 t Maple flavoring
1 t Vanilla
2 t Cinnamon, ground

Candied Sugar Free Pecans

* As the pecans roast, the coating will begin to harden. As it does, it is important to separate the nuts or they will stick together. Also, you will need to ‘work’ the baked nuts after cooking to remove excess coating. Make sure not to pack the loose coating in with the finished nuts if you are giving them as a gift.

Cookies for Santa – Oatmeal Raisin

Christmas Eve is coming up quickly. Maybe you are wondering what kind of cookies to make for Santa’s special visit, or are just looking for the right cookie to serve to your guests. Here is a winning cookie recipe crafted in the Lukewarm Legumes test kitchen for you to try and just in time for the holidays. These cookies are not too sweet, or too filling, but are definitely delicious. They have the heartiness of oatmeal and the subtle sweetness of raisins combined with brown sugar and real butter. How could you go wrong?

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


1 c Butter, softened
¾ c Sugar, brown packed
½ c Sugar, white
2 Eggs
1 t Vanilla

1 ½ c Flour, all purpose
½ t Salt, Kosher
1 t Baking powder
1 t Baking soda
1 t Cinnamon, ground

3 c Oats
1 c Raisins

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth.

Ready for Creaming

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together.

Mix the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture.

Stir in the oats, and raisins.

Form into balls and place on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper.

Ready for Baking

Cookies should be placed about two inches apart to allow for spreading since they have a lot of butter.

Bake them for 5 minutes then rotate and switch oven shelf placement, if baking more than two sheets at a time. Bake for 5 minutes and repeat until fully baked.

Fresh From The Oven

Remove from the oven when they begin turning golden brown.

Transfer to cooling racks.

Fantastic Breakfast Casserole

Sometimes breakfast is a rushed time of day. When this is the case it can present a number of challenges to the cook especially if they are preparing breakfast in someone else’s kitchen.

I had promised to prepare breakfast for a special occasion at someone else’s home, and wanted to have it ready when I arrived. The challenge was to make a breakfast that would taste great, be hearty, satisfying, and portable, yet not take a lot of time to get ready. So, my idea was to make a one dish recipe that could be made in advance, baked, transported, and ready to serve on arrival.

Breakfast Casserole

The following is the result of a dish prepared in the LukewarmLegumes Test Kitchen that is not only easy to make, but your guests will all be clamoring for seconds. With the holidays upon us and all the visiting, visitors, and meal preparation that goes along with it, this dish just might be what you need. I promise your guests won’t be disappointed.


1 c Rice, cooked (3 cups)

3 Eggs
½ t Salt
¼ t Pepper
¼ c Cream

2 T Flour
2 T Bacon drippings or butter
1 c Milk

Bunch Green onions, chopped
½ Red Bell pepper, chopped

12 oz. Bacon, cooked and chopped *

3 c Cheddar cheese, grated

The base of this dish is a bed of rice. So the first task in preparing it is to cook the rice by taking one cup of rice, adding it to two cups of boiling water, and simmering for 30 minutes.

Place the cooked rice in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Mix together the eggs, salt, pepper and cream and pour over the rice. Prepare gravy with the flour, bacon drippings (or butter), and milk and pour over the rice/egg layer.

Egg and Gravy Layer

For the next layer sprinkle the chopped green onion and red bell pepper. Then comes the chopped bacon layer.

Veggie and Bacon Layer

Spread the grated cheddar cheese over all.

Then prepare the biscuit dough (see recipe below) and spoon over the top.

Biscuit Layer

Baked in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is a golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Here is a list of the layers in order:
• Rice
• Egg mixture
• Gravy
• Veggies
• Bacon
• Grated Cheese
• Biscuits


2 c Flour
1 T Baking powder
½ t Baking soda
1 t Salt
½ t Garlic powder
1 t Parsley
½ t Pepper

12 T Butter

1 c Buttermilk

1 c Cheddar cheese

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Stir in buttermilk. Mix in cheese. Work the dough only until it is blended.

* After cooking the bacon, in order to conserve the bacon drippings for use in your recipe, I recommend using a metal colander and draining over a dish to capture the drippings rather than using paper towels because the paper towels will absorb the juices and make then unusable.

Bacon Draining

Home Made Chocolate Syrup

Chocolate Syrup is a staple food around my home. It goes into a lot of things including milk, coffee, and over ice cream. Up until now I always had on hand the name brand readymade chocolate syrup. However, my pantry backup system failed me and when the bottle we were using became empty there wasn’t another one on hand to replace it with.

Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup

This was just the inspiration it took for me to attempt making my own chocolate syrup from scratch. After all, my usual kitchen policy is to shy away from anything that is already prepared. So, why not chocolate syrup as well?

It is actually pretty simple to make, the ingredients being: sweeteners, cocoa powder, water to blend, a touch of salt, and vanilla.

The real challenge is balancing the heat to prevent the mixture from boiling over. This mixture when boiling is unstable and must be watched constantly – you will probably need to make several adjustments to the heat while preparing it.

Chocolate Syrup Cooking

However, the results are very satisfying. This method produces about 4 cups of delicious chocolate syrup.


1 ½ c Water
4 c Sugar
3 T Corn Syrup, light
¼ t Salt, Kosher

1 ½ c Cocoa powder

1 T Vanilla

Mix the water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the cocoa powder and stir until blended well. Continue to boil and stir until the mixture thickens. Don’t worry if the syrup seems too thin after boiling, it will thicken significantly once it cools.

Just before you turn off the heat and the vanilla and mix. Be careful at this step because the vanilla will immediately boil and steam.

Cool completely, transfer to a container, and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months in the refrigerator, but you’ll probably never find out – it is that good.