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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Caramelized Macadamia And Pecan Squares (LC, GF, SF)

The remind me a lot of the Florentine cookies my mom used to make! The subtle honey flavor, the caramelized “brown sugar” flavor,  together with the toasty nuts and just a touch of chocolate to round it all out! So delicious! A real treat for sure!



For the crust:

  • 1/2  cup erythritol, powdered 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup Bake Mix # 2 (or other bake mix of choice - including gluten-free)
  • 2/3 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp sweet dough bakery emulsion (optional)


For the topping:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free honey, runny (if it has crystalized a little, warm it in the microwave to liquid state before using)
  • 1/3 cup erythritol, powdered
  • 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar (makes for a smooth caramel and prevents crystalization)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3  cups pecans and macadamias, chopped (Or you can use all pecans, or a mix of any other nuts you prefer)
  • 1/2 tsp buttery vanilla bakery emulsion or vanilla extract (optional)

For an optional drizzle:

  • 2 oz Lindt 85% chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper, if desired.
Mix the bake mix  and erythritol together in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and cut into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry cutter until the butter is the size of small peas. Press into the prepared baking dish and bake until it just starts to turn golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.

In another bowl, mix together the melted butter, honey, brown sugar substitute, and cream. Add the nuts  and stir until all the pecans are coated. Pour on top of the baked crust and spread evenly. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting! I find that I can speed up the process by letting the pan cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature and then stick it in the freezer for an hour or so. I cut the squares, then drizzle the chocolate on. The semi frozen squares set the chocolate much faster and you don’t break the chocolate drizzle when cutting the squares later.

If you’d like to go for the optional drizzle of chocolate over the top, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil. Place the melted chocolate in a small sandwich bag, snip the corner off to make a small opening and gently squeeze as you go over the entire pan of  squares in a back and forth sweeping motion.



Let the chocolate set and serve!

These also freeze really well!


Makes 15 generous squares. The carb count depends very much on what bake mix  and nuts you use in this, so please adjust your carb count accordingly.

With my ingredients the entire pan comes to 151 g of carbs with 85 g of fiber, which makes a net carb count of  66 g.

With my ingredients it comes to 4.4 g of net carbs per square with chocolate and 4 g of net carbs without.

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  1. These are VERY good - a lot like pecan pie, but hand-held! My only quibble is that the filling had a slight edge to it, a kind of back of the throat burn, which I think may be attributable to the erythritol's "cooling" effect. Do you think that Splenda would perform equally well in this recipe, in terms of taste as well as texture? The caramel base is just the right level of gooeyness.

  2. I'm glad you liked them!
    I'm not sure Splenda would do it, in fact I suspect it would certainly not be "equally well." I'm also not sure if the maltodextrin would interfere with the texture, but it could be worth a try.
    My real concern is that splenda really goes to "nothing much" when it gets wet, since the maltodextrin is very fluffed up and erythritol isn't, so there may not be enough volume to coat all the nuts.
    When mixed with something wet, 1/3 of a cup of erythritol stays pretty much that, while Splenda barely adds to the volume, even though it does add the sweetness.

    Please let us know how it turns out if you try!


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Birgit Kerr