Monday, March 20, 2017

NUTTY CARROT CAKE CHEESECAKE BARS

Ever once in a while, I find a recipe that I can recommend to diabetics or to people who are really trying to reduce their sugar intake. This recipe with such a long title might be disappointing to you if you are expecting that really sweet carrot cake everyone loves. Unfortunately everyone can't eat that really sweet cake, but do enjoy feeling like they are able to enjoy a dessert.

When I fixed it for our quilters' canasta group, it received mixed reviews. Friend Dorothy said it didn't taste like carrot cake and she didn't like the texture. Friend Linda said she really liked it because it had lots of nuts in it and she likes nutty cakes. Friend Janice said she liked it but it wasn't sweet. Friend Sharon didn't voice an opinion. Friend Fran enjoyed it and so did I. 

I hope you will give it a try and keep an open mind. I baked mine in a 9 x 9 - inch pan but think a smaller one will be better. The recipe called pumpkin pie spice, but I think cinnamon and nutmeg would taste better in it. (The pumpkin pie spice may have been what caused Dorothy to say it didn't taste like carrot cake.)


NUTTY CARROT CAKE CHEESECAKE BARS

3/4      cup all-purpose flour
1/4       cup whole wheat flour
1/2       cup sugar substitute equilvalent to 1/2 cup of sugar OR 1/2 cup sugar (if allowed) (I did use 1/2 cup of stevia)
1-1/2    teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (OR 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
1            teaspoon baking powder
1/8        teaspoon salt
1            cup finely shredded carrot
3/4       cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1            egg, lightly beaten
1/4        cup oil
1/4        cup skim (fat-free) milk
1            recipe Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting (below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 - inch baking pan with foil extending the foil over the edges of the pan (ends). Lightly spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar substitute, spices, baking powder, and salt.

Add carrot, nuts,egg, oil, and milk.
Stir just until combined.

Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan.






Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool bars in pan on wire rack.

Using the edges of the foil, list uncut bars out of the pan.

Spread top evenly with the Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle with addition chopped nuts.


Store covered in refrigerator.


FLUFFY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1/2       cup sugar-free whipped topping, thawed
4 - oz   reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel) (You could also use fat-free cream cheese.)
1/4       cup vanilla nonfat or low fat yogurt (I used nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt)


Beat cream cheese that is softened or at room temperature with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Beat in yogurt until smooth.

Fold in whipped topping until well blended.

Frost cake.


Sprinkle with additional chopped nuts.

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