Sugar-Free Pear and Pecan Cookies

Biscuits are the best. If I give my kids a bickie, all is right with the world and I have two solid minutes of quiet (them) and productivity (me) guaranteed. So it's tempting to give them out a lot! Well, at least twice a day. I'm talking milk arrowroots or those apple bars from Heinz, but I still worry about the sugar factor.

I guess I'm lucky that my boys love most fruit and can eat nuts, so I gave these sugar-free cookies using grated pears a go and cheered to myself as they disappeared at bickie time. Then the next day, I drizzled a few with chocolate and had them with a cuppa. I can quit sugar no problems, but quitting chocolate is cruel!

My cookies are inspired by these carrot ones I saw on the wonderful cooking site for mums, One Handed Cooks. They are kind of like a fruit and nut Anzac and pleasing in a wholesome, I'm-being-an-excellent-mother-right-now way. But I'll be honest, they were vastly improved by the chocolate.

I used Beurre Bosc pears, because they're my favourite to bake with, but any variety would be fine and they're all in season now.

If you buy your pears from Woolworths this month, you can pick up a copy of this lovely new cookbook from Australian Pears, Rediscover Australian Pears: Volume 2. It's free with a purchase of 1kg of pears while stocks last and features recipes from loads of my foodie heroes like Maggie Beer and Karen Martini. Don't fret if you miss out at Woolies. The cookbook will be available from selected retailers from July 28, 2014.

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy and it is full of delicious winter goodness. The Bosc Pear and Almond Butter Cake by Karen Martini is on my kitchen agenda this week!

Pear and Pecan Cookies
(Makes about 16)

1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
2 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, then stir in the maple syrup and oil.
With wet hands, shape mixture into small balls and place on the baking tray, leaving room to spread. Flatten each cookie slightly with a fork.
Bake for 18-20 mins or until golden. Leave to cool on trays.
Store in an airtight container.

*Mummy/Daddy option: when cookies are cool, melt 50g dark chocolate and drizzle over with a teaspoon.


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