Introduction What is it with artificial sweeteners and controversy over safety issues? Oh yes, History does continues to repeat itself, and some of us never learn. First, it was aspartame and now a controversy with Splenda owned by the British company, Tate & Lyle.
Oh of course, it isn’t natural unlike sugar yet ironically it barely has any side effects as compared to most other artificial sweeteners in the market.
Interestingly, it is about 600 times sweeter than sugar and about three times sweeter than aspartame, its infamous predecessor.
Its properties, advanced if we can call it that, are due to the sweetener being sucralose-based, a zero-calorie substance. Ironically, it is stable under heat as well as over a range of pH values unlike aspartame.
Yet when you look at it, the negative publicity isn’t so bad after all because the product holds a 62% market share, with sales at about $ 212 million in 2006.
And this only goes to show how safe this product is, in terms of consumption, so much so that entire recipes have been designed around the Splenda product.
So, let’s look at some recipes that one can prepare using Splenda…
Cookie Recipes – Splenda If you browse through the list of recipes that one can use Splenda with, appetizers, beverages, BBQs, Desserts, Jams, Sauces and a host of other food preparation can be found at their website. But we’ll just look at their easy-to-prepare cookie recipes for now.
1. Lighter Sugar Cookies Ingredients Canola cooking spray 3/4 cup unbleached white flour 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup Splenda® or other artificial sweetener for baking 1/2 cup less-fat margarine with added plant sterols (such as Take Control brand) 1 1/2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half (plus extra to brush on cookies, if desired) 2 tablespoons egg substitute (or substitute one egg yolk, preferably from a brand of eggs higher in omega-3 fatty acids) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Powdered sugar for dusting work surface
Preparation Preheat the oven to about 400 degrees. Coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, and Splenda® in the bowl of an electric mixer; beat on low speed to blend. Add margarine and beat on low speed until the mixture resembles cornmeal (about 1 minute).
Add half-and-half, egg substitute or yolk, and vanilla and almond extracts all at once, then beat on low just until dough forms. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator, if desired (it rolls out more easily if it has been in the refrigerator for a few hours).
On a flat surface lightly coated with powdered sugar, roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Transfer the shapes to the prepared cookie sheet. Brush the tops of the cookies with half-and-half and sprinkle with sugar crystals, if desired. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until delicately browned. Remove from pan. Let cool on wire rack or paper towel.
Yield About 2 dozen small cookies, or 12 larger cookies (like Christmas tree shapes)
[As described by Elaine Magee in her article on MedicineNet.com]
2. Splenda Sugar Cookie Recipe Ingredients 1 cup unsalted butter 3/4 cup Splenda 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup milk powder 2 Tablespoons warm water
Preparation Cream the butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Add in the Splenda and continue to blend until evenly added to the mixture.
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and milk powder separately. In thirds, gently add in the dry flour mix into the creamed butter mixture.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and once all is evenly mixed, there should be dough. If the mixture is still too dry, add in warm water one tablespoon at a time until the dough is more consistent.
Place dough on sheet of plastic wrap, wrap well and chill for about 30 minutes.
After chilling, roll dough out to 1/4 in thickness and cut out shapes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet for about 8 minutes. The bottoms of these cookies will brown slightly and that should be it.
[As described by Catherine Bridges on Bakespace. Com]
In Closing Perhaps the general population that has accepted Splenda, one can tell whether its detractors are merely playing a game to reduce Splenda’s share in the market. If you ask me, it’s more fun to go and try these recipes and see whether your loved ones enjoy rather than worry about the side effect involved. After all, if one has to feel the side effect, you should consume about 75 packets of Splenda on a daily basis.