Easter is just around the corner, which means that PEEPS are spotted everywhere on shelves – and while they may be cute, they’re really just sugary little eggs and chicks colored with artificial food dye. Instead, try a variation of good-for-you “peeps” with zero added sugar and no artificial sweeteners or food dyes.
Lemon Bar “Peeps” by Ben McLauchlin of Swerve
Makes 24 squares, or 20 shapes like rabbits and 4 ducks
- 1 3/4 cup fine ground almond flour
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter or coconut oil (melted)
- 2/3 cup Swerve, Confectioners
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold water
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 10 large eggs
- 2 to 2 1/4 cup Swerve, Confectioners depending on desired sweetness and tartness of lemons
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
For the Crust:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9 X 13 pan and line with parchment paper (grease helps parchment stick to pan). Have enough of the parchment paper hanging out of the pan to pull chilled lemon bar block out to cut shapes.
For the shortbread, in a medium mixing bowl or food processor, mix the almond flour, Swerve, and salt together. Melt butter and press into dry mixture with a fork until it looks like corn meal. Add cold water to the mixture- it should begin to loosely combine.
Place in parchment paper lined dish, and press dough evenly into dish. It will come together when you press it into dish. Bake for 20- 25 minutes, until edges are brown, and parts of the shortbread surface lightly browns. Remove from oven, and let cool.
For the Filling:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together eggs, Swerve, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well combined.
Sprinkle gelatin and xanthan gum over the lemon/egg mixture and aggressively whisk into the wet ingredients. Make sure there are no chunks of xanthan and gelatin floating in the wet mixture.
Pour over the cooled crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Once at room temperature, cover with Saran wrap and place in fridge overnight.
Remove from fridge and gently with edges of parchment paper, pull lemon bar block out of pan. Press desired cookie cutter shapes into lemon bar block (I also used my wooden mallet, and tapped each side of the cookie cutter to ensure it cut completely through the cold lemon bar block).
Gently remove shape from cookie cutter and enjoy!
Optional: Dust with Swerve, Confectioners and/or lemon zest once finished, and if you desire brighter lemon bars, add a ½ to 1 teaspoon of natural yellow food coloring to wet ingredients (we use Watkins Natural Food Coloring).
Per Serving: 140 calories, 11 grams fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 140 mg sodium, 26 grams carbohydrate (1 gram net carb), 3 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 5 grams protein.
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