Low-Carb Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

IMG_1460by Karen Frazier

When I take a day off from paleo, it’s often for dairy foods. However, I always try to keep carbs deeply in check and still use the healthiest forms of the ingredients I can find. So while I may occasionally make, oh….say….a cheese cake, I make it as low in carbs as possible. I also do it infrequently – once or twice a year – so when I do, it’s a real treat.

Jim’s favorite low-carb cheesecake is a pumpkin-bourbon cheesecake with Chinese five spice powder, but I love peanut butter. So I thought I’d try to make a cheesecake that has peanut butter cup flavors, but keep it relatively low-carb.

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup peanuts
  • 3/4 cup Swerve sweetener, Truvia (the kind without sugar), or erythritol
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter

For the filling:

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages grass-fed cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Swerve sweetener, Truvia (not the baking blend, which has sugar), or erythritol

For the topping:

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with grass-fed butter on the bottom and sides.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the pecans, peanuts, sweetener, and cocoa powder for ten one-second pulses.
  3. Add the butter and pulse for ten more one-second pulses.
  4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared spring form pan and set aside.

For the filling:

  1. In a stand mixer, food processor, or a large bowl (you can use an electric mixer to mix), combine all of the filling ingredients. Process or mix until smooth.
  2. Pour into the prepared spring form pan, spreading it over the top of the crust.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the middle is set, 50 to 55 minutes.

For the topping:

  1. In a small bowl, beat the sour cream, peanut butter, and sweetener until smooth.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Return the cheesecake to the oven for five minutes.
  3. Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for two hours.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped peanuts and the chocolate chips.
  5. Sprinkle evenly over the topping.
  6. Run a butter knife around the inside edge of the pan.
  7. Release the cheesecake from the spring form. Refrigerate for two more hours.

Low-Carb Nachos

IMG_1462by Karen Frazier

I’m a big believer in the 90/10 principle of a paleo diet. Stick with paleo foods 90 percent of the time, and about 5 to 10 percent of the time you can sneak in a little something extra. For me, that something extra is often dairy. While I have a dairy allergy, it isn’t debilitating, although I will be stuffed up and inflamed for a day or two after eating it. Still, occasionally I sneak it in – just not very often.

However, even during that 10 percent of the time, I try to stay low-carb. I always avoid sugar, grains, gluten, starchy foods, and most processed foods. In fact, for me, dairy (and occasional sweetener like stevia/erythritol combos, or peanuts/peanut butter are my non-paleo foods I enjoy.

And every once in a while, I get a powerful hankering for nachos. That’s when I pull out these low-carb bad boys that have all the stuff that tastes marvelous with fewer carbs than traditional nachos. The dish is pictured here with a low-carb vodka, soda, lime cocktail.

This recipe serves 3 to 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups grated grass-fed Colby Jack cheese
  • 4 ounces grass-fed Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup guacamole (or more)
  • 2 tablespoons grass-fed sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Chopped green onions (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a large saute pan, cook the ground beef on medium-high, crumbling as you cook, until browned, about five minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Add the water, chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for four minutes. Set aside.
  3. Line your microwave with a piece of parchment.
  4. Working a quarter cup at a time, mound the Colby-Jack (or cheddar) cheese on the parchment, and then spread it into a thin layer in a rough circle.
  5. Microwave for two minutes on high, or until the cheese is browned and crisp.
  6. Peel the cheese from the parchment and place it on a cold ceramic plate to cool. Continue working with the Colby-Jack cheese until you’ve used it all.
  7. Break the large pieces of cheese into smaller bite sized pieces, putting them on a plate.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese chips with the grated Pepper Jack cheese. Microwave for one minute, or until cheese melts.
  9. Top with the ground beef, guacamole, sour cream salsa, and sprinkle with the green onions.

Cocktail Time!

by Karen Frazier

vslThis may seem like an odd recipe for a blog called Recipes for My Kids. However, when I started it, my kids were children. Now they are adults, and this has been where I keep all my low-carb, gluten-free, and paleo recipes. So – I’m not suggesting that you offer this to non-adult children, I promise!

I enjoy the occasional cocktail, and one of the things that frustrates me about going out for a drink is that most cocktails have sugary mixers, use sugary liqueurs, or sneak in simple syrup which is made from, of course, sugar. While some bars do have lower carb cocktails (or you can always order a straight shot of liquor or a glass of wine), when you’re in the mood for a mixed drink on a low-carb diet, you need a go-to drink. Vodka-soda-lime is my go-to cocktail, and it’s just as easy to make at home as it is in a bar. It’s also delicious

All the ingredients are in the title, and it also serves as a tasty starter for other sugar-free, low-carb cocktails. Below, you’ll find some variations on the vodka-soda-lime theme, as well as a tasty infused vodka you can make, and the cocktail you can make from it.

Basic Vodka Soda Lime

  • 1 shot vodka
  • 3 ounces soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a glass, squeezing the lime wedge into the glass before adding it.

Tarragon and Orange Cocktail

  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 3 ounces soda
  • 1 orange wedge
  • Ice
  1. In a cocktail shaker, crush the tarragon leaves lightly to release the aroma.
  2. Add the vodka and soda. Shake to mix well.
  3. Strain into a glass with ice. Squeeze in the orange juice and add the wedge.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon.

Lime Basil Cocktail

  • 2 mint sprigs plus one for garnish
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 1 shot vodka
  • 3 ounces soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice
  1. In a glass, crush the mint leaves using a muddler.
  2. Add the liquid stevia, vodka, soda, lime, and ice.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with additional mint leaves.

Caraway, Mint, and Cinnamon Infused Vodka

  • 750 mL vodka
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 mint sprigs
  1. Add the cinnamon, caraway, and mint to the vodka.
  2. Seal the bottle and let sit in a cool, dry place for up one month, shaking occasionally.
  3. Strain solids from the vodka and seal in a bottle.

Cinnamon, Caraway, and Mint Infused Vodka Cocktail

  • 1 shot caraway, mint, and cinnamon infused vodka
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 2 drops liquid stevia
  • 4 ounces soda
  • Ice

Combine all ingredients in a glass, squeezing the orange wedge into the glass before adding it.

 

 
photo credit: A Tonic for the Soul… via photopin (license)

Lemon and Artichoke Shrimp Scampi

by Karen Frazier

scampiThis meal came together within 15 minutes, and it’s really tasty. It’s also low-carb and paleo.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or your favorite paleo-friendly fat
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized into noodles or cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
  2. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, three to five minutes.
  3. Add the shallot and artichoke hearts. Cook, stirring occasionally, for four minutes.
  4. Add six of the minced garlic cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the lemon juice, shrimp, white wine, and zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently, until shrimp is pink, about four minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 minced garlic cloves, the parsley, the basil, and the lemon zest.
  8. Stir into the shrimp mixture just before serving.

photo credit: Healthy Zucchini Noodles with Prawns via photopin (license)

Spicy Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

slawby Karen Frazier

This is a tasty, simple throw together meal when you have leftover chicken, or when you have cold rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. It takes minutes to prepare, but it is satisfying and flavorful.

Spicy Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

  • 1 pound cooked chicken meat, chopped
  • 1 head green cabbage, julienned
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or to taste for Whole30, use 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • Juice of one lime (or juice of half an orange)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts or sesame seeds (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, celery, and cilantro. Toss to mix.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Chinese hot mustard powder, grated ginger root, Sriracha, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss the vinaigrette with the salad and serve immediately.
  4. Garnish with the chopped nuts or sesame seeds.

Orange-Almond Spice Cookie Bars

IMG_0908by Karen Frazier

I have always been a baker. Puttering around in the kitchen baking stuff is one of my favorite ways to while away an autumn weekend afternoon while Jim watches football. With the celiac disease and my low-carb, paleo diet, however, I stopped engaging in that love. It’s only been recently that I’ve started tinkering with baking once again.

This recipe came to me in a flash of inspiration a few days ago, and I decided last night to give it a try. I was worried about lots of things – tweaking ratios, etc., but the cookies came out really well on the first try. Feel free to mess around with the flavor profiles. I love the way the orange, spice, almond, and chocolate blend in this tasty recipe.

The cookies are paleo-ish – the erythritol in the sweetener renders them not quite paleo; however, if you aren’t baking low-carb, you can replace the sweetener with coconut sugar. It will raise the carb count, but keep the cookies paleo. So it’s a matter of blood sugar vs. staying totally paleo.

Orange-Almond Spice Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup Swerve Sweetener or Truvia (for low-carb) or coconut sugar (for paleo)
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
  • Liquid stevia, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, mix one cup of the coconut oil with the Swerve or Truvia, almond extract, orange zest, and Chinese Five Spice powder until well blended.
  3. Stir in the eggs, beating until well-combined.
  4. Stir in the almond flour and the sea salt, mixing until well combined.
  5. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies brown slightly around the edges (the top won’t brown), and the dough doesn’t have much give on the top, about 30 minutes. Cool for ten minutes.
  6. Lift the cookies out of the pan by lifting the parchment. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining two tablespoons of coconut oil and the chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, on low heat until the chocolate melts. Stir in the stevia a few drops at a time until you achieve the desired sweetness. The cookies are quite sweet, so I made my chocolate only lightly sweet to serve as a slightly bitter counterpoint to the sweetness of the cookies.
  8. Spread the chocolate in a very thin layer (or drizzle it artistically) on the cookies. Allow the chocolate to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes to harden the chocolate slightly. Then, cut the cookies into small bars and transfer them to plates. Refrigerate to completely harden the chocolate.

Since I don’t eat a lot of sweet stuff, I’m keeping these cookies in the freezer, at the ready for when I need a sweet treat, or when I just want a taste of something completely different.

Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Apple and Jicama Slaw

short ribsby Karen Frazier

Okay – here’s the deal. I had leftover marinade from my earlier pork belly recipe, but alas, I had no unfrozen pork belly. Not to worry, however. I have about 10 pounds of it in my freezer (yay!)

So anyhoo…I wanted to use the rest of the marinade. Which is why I headed to the grocery store and picked up some flanken-style beef short ribs (the kind of beef short ribs where they are cut thin across several bones).

I marinated them in my extra marinade for a little over two hours, and then I popped them on my Foreman grill, which I consider a very underrated kitchen gadget. You can also grill them on the regular grill or use a grill pan.

Although the marinade was the same, the flavor was very different from the pork belly. The beef was super flavorful. As I was eating, I realized the ribs would be delish with a ginger broccoli stir-fry, but it’s also good with a crispy, slightly sweet, slightly acidic slaw (or why choose? you can do both!) I’ll include recipes for both, and you can decide.

Asian Marinated Flanken-Style Beef Short Ribs

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 to 3 pounds flanken-style beef short ribs
  • Sesame seeds
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, stevia, sriracha, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger root.
  2. Add the short ribs to a large zipper bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and squish it around (I believe squish is a technical term) until all the meat is covered. Refrigerate for two to four hours. The longer the marinade, the more flavor you’ll get. You can even marinade in the morning and cook when you get home.
  3. Preheat a grill on high.
  4. Grill the short ribs, three to four minutes per side.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Broccoli Ginger Stir-Fry

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  1. In a large saute pan, heat the coconut oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
  2. Add the ginger and broccoli and cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about five minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the soy sauce. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently.

Apple and Jicama Slaw

  • 2 sweet-tart apples (I like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), cored and julienned
  • 1 Jicama, peeled and julienned
  • Juice of two limes
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. In a large bowl, combine the apples and jicama.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, ginger root, rice vinegar, cilantro, olive oil, and sea salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the apples and jicama.

So those are the recipes. Trust me, they’re delicious! But, I just thought of something else that would be really delicious with the short ribs…a bok choy stir-fry, cooked in a manner similar to the broccoli above. You might even toss in a handful of sliced shiitake mushrooms for a tasty low-carb side dish.

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

pork bellyby Karen Frazier

I love pork belly. I order ours online at Tenderbelly and cut it into one-pound slabs, which I freeze and use as needed. This tender meat is tasty and versatile. It’s also very rich, so I typically serve it with a side of something that is crispy and acidic, such as a slaw. The acidity and crispiness of the slaw cuts through the unctuous fattiness of the pork. The slaw here is a typical Asian slaw, but you can also try the recipe with a slaw made from julienned jicama or apples, which would taste delicious with an Asian vinaigrette.

Spicy Asian Pork Belly with Slaw

For the pork belly:

  • 1 to 2 pounds of pork belly
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

For the slaw:

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Cilantro leaves to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginggeroot
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese hot mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the pork belly:

  1. Slice the pork belly into slices that are slightly thicker than thick-cut bacon. Put the slices in a large zipper bag.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, stevia, sriracha, sesame oil, and gingerroot.
  3. Pour the marinade in the bag with the pork belly, sealing the bag and squishing it around to distribute the marinade and coat all of the meat.
  4. Refrigerate for one to two hours.
  5. Heat a large saute pan on medium high. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, cook the pork belly until it is crisp on both sides, three to five minutes per side.
  6. Serve the pork belly on top of the slaw with the scallions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and scallions. Toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, ginger, garlic, sriracha, mustard powder, and salt.
  3. Toss the dressing with the slaw.

photo credit: umi nom pork belly adobo via photopin (license)

Low-Carb Paleo Stuffing/Dressing

stuffingby Karen Frazier

Yes – I know it’s after Thanksgiving, but some people turn around and make stuffing again at Christmas. Plus, I didn’t want to offer you a stuffing/dressing recipe until I’d tried it out on my own. That way, if it was terrible, we all would have all had disastrous stuffing on Thanksgiving. It wasn’t – it was tasty.

  • 8 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 16 ounces bulk sage sausage
  • 2 tablespoons paleo-friendly fat (coconut oil, duck fat, etc.)
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 6 rosemary sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 sage sprigs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6-8 thyme sprigs, stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large pot on medium-high heat, cook the pancetta and sausage,stirring occasionally, until browned, about five minutes. Remove the pork from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In the pot with the fat from the pork, add the paleo-friendly fat and cook until it melts.
  4. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes. Remove from the vegetables from the fat with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the pork.
  5. In the same pot, add the celery and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about five minutes more.
  6. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the entire contents of the pot (including the fat) to the bowl with the other vegetables and the pork.
  8. Add the almond meal, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well.
  9. Spread the mixture in a large casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour.

Tips:

  1. Try replacing the apples with about a pound of chopped mushrooms.
  2. To quickly chop the herbs, put them all in a food processor and pulse for about 10 one-second pulses, or until well chopped.

photo credit: Stuffing at the ready via photopin (license)

Low-Carb Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake Bars with Chinese Five-Spice

by Karen FrazierPumpkin cheesecake bars

I used to bake all the time. Since we’ve been on the whole paleo/low-carb diet, however, baking has gone by the wayside. Not because there aren’t good paleo and low-carb baking recipes out there, but just because I don’t really see the need to have a lot of tempting desserts around the house. If they’re there, I’ll eat them.

However, today is Jim’s birthday. He used to love my Pumpkin and Caramel Whiskey Cheesecake with Chinese Five-Spice. He has been expressing sadness that he can never, ever have that again. So I decided to do a little adaptation. While I couldn’t find a way to make it paleo, I did find a way to make it low-carb. So here is the recipe with a low-carb makeover.

For the crust

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For the topping

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Swerve sweetener or Truvia
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

For the pecans

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 cup Swerve sweetener or Truvia

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saute pan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. When the butter begins to brown and smells slightly toasty, remove from heat and cool.
  4. Combine remaining crust ingredients in a food processor, pulsing for 10 one second pulses until fine crumbs form.
  5. Add butter to crust and pulse for five one second pulses.
  6. Press crust into bottom of prepared pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.
  7. Combine all filling ingredients in a large food processor. Process until well combined, scraping sides down occasionally.
  8. Pour filling over crust, using a rubber spatula to spread it evenly.
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center sets.
  10. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes. Leave the oven on.
  11. Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients, whisking to combine.
  12. Spread over the bars and return to oven. Bake an additional five minutes.
  13. Cool for two hours on a wire rack and then refrigerate for three hours. Top with spiced pecans (below).
  14. For pecans, melt butter over medium heat in a saute pan.
  15. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until they smell toasty, about five minutes.
  16. In a small bowl, combine sweetener, cinnamon, and five spice powder.
  17. Toss hot pecans in sweetener mixture.
  18. Use the pecans to garnish top of the bars.

photo credit: Pumpkin Cheesecake Bite via photopin (license)