One of the best things about baking with products like Xyla is that it really does behave like sugar in the sweet kitchen, adding tenderness and a crisp outer texture to things like cookies. Unless you're using buckets of the stuff - not something I'd recommend due to it's ability to cause interesting gastric effects when consumed en masse (just like all other sugar alcohols) - you can barely tell you've used anything different, and if you combine the granular Xyla with regular sugar the resulting product is identical to the full-sucrose original. Xyla also makes its own candy, which is a nice enough treat in the middle of the day even though it isn't exactly like the lollipops or hard candy of your childhood. The only variety I wouldn't recommend is the citrus drops, since xylitol has a slight "cool mint" element that doesn't marry to well with vibrant orange.
Xylitol is also not a calorie-free option, though it has 60% of the energy of sugar (2.4 calories / gram vs 4 calories / gram). The energy in the sweetener is also a slowly-digesting form, so your body doesn't switch into "sugar crash" mode after a xylitol treat.
Xylitol's main downfall in the kitchen is in the yeasted bread world... but it doesn't make it totally useless. After a few failed attempts to make dough with xylitol mixed with the flour rise, I changed my tack and mixed it in at the very end of kneading. That, combined with using instant yeast and a slightly longer rise time, contributed to puffier (albeit not "floating away" light) dough perfect for cramming with "bits" - just like these baked doughnuts!
Since I (and my parents) love Tim Hortons' apple fritters, but not their fat content comparable to 11 strips of bacon, it has been a pet project of mine to try and make a slightly healthier option. For these, I made the whole-grain yeast dough sweetened with Xyla and laced with rich camelina oil and spicy nutmeg, then folded in chunks of buttery sauteed apple. To cap it all off, a cinnamony glaze gave them an irresistibly gooey, lick-your-fingers quality that was a spitting image of the ones we used to buy at the apple orchard. While I wouldn't call them "health food", they were definitely above and beyond their chain-made cousins... and that's good enough for me!
Shared with Mouthwatering Monday
Cinnamon Glazed Apple Fritters
1 tsp salted butter
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
3 packets (or 1 tbsp) Pure Via Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar & Stevia Blend
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp Homemade Egg Replacer powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup warm whole milk
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp camelina oil
¼ cup Xyla (or sugar)
1 cup icing sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp whole milk
- Melt butter in a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Stir in the apples, stevia and cinnamon, stirring well.
- Cook, stirring often, for 5-10 minutes, until the apples are soft and the mixture is syrupy.
- Cool completely before using.
- In a large bowl, combine flours, yeast, egg replacer, salt and nutmeg.
- Add the milk, honey and oil and mix well to form a soft dough.
- Knead in the bowl for 5-7 minutes. Add xylitol and knead 2 minutes.
- Cover and let rest 20 minutes. Gently knead in the apples.
- Re-cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Scoop portions of dough onto a lined cookie sheet and lightly cover. Let rest 50-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bake donuts for 13 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely
- Combine icing sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small dish.
- Heat milk in a small pot over low heat until steaming.
- Slowly whisk sugar mixture into the milk until well combined. Remove from heat.
- Dip fritters and allow to dry on a rack.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 5.4 mg
Sodium: 22.0 mg
Total Carbs: 62.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.9 g
Protein: 6.5 g