Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Ok. After the hard work of my last post I have some results for you. I have a chocolate chip biscuit recipe that uses white sugar and condensed milk, so the obvious thing to do was substitute agave nectar for condensed milk, and either xylitol or coconut sugar for the white sugar. So I tried both. I made two batches, and did agave nectar both times, and either xylitol or coconut sugar. The results are pretty simple to report back on.

The dark coloured biscuits are the coconut sugar biscuits, and the light ones are xylitol. The flavour of the coconut sugar is as noticeable as the colour. They taste dark and syrupy and a little bitter. The xylitol biscuits had no discernable taste difference to the usual biscuits that use white sugar and condensed milk. So this means that not only does the xylitol make little difference to the end flavour result, but neither does the agave. I didn't enjoy the strong flavour of the coconut sugar biscuits very much, and I possibly only persevered with eating them because they were filled with chocolate chunks.

I did find both batches of biscuits were very cakey and soft, rather than crunchy and biscuity. And I did read that someone else found this when they used coconut sugar in a biscuit recipe. However, in hindsight, I suspect I have had a bit of trouble with this recipe lately, and have had a few batches of softer biscuits even when using the standard ingredients. So I really need to try it again with white sugar and condensed milk before I can come to any real conclusions about cakey-ness. I hope that doesn't confuse things too much; stand by for more research & results in the cakey-ness department...

Below you will see photos of the coconut sugar, and there's a glass of agave nectar looking very like golden syrup. There are no pics of xylitol as it looks like white sugar.

The recipe I have used is one we were fond of in our family when I was growing up. We made it a lot after my brother brought it home from his Intermediate School Home Economics class. They were called Kiwi Biscuits - who knows why. As I mentioned, I have had a few unsuccessful batches recently, and I don't particularly advocate it as the best choc chip bik recipe ever (now there's a topic for another day), but I will give you the recipe below to show you how I substituted the new sugars.

I used a half size recipe when experimenting, and below are the half measures (you'll still get a dozen biscuits).  To replace the condensed milk, I used a combination of agave nectar and ordinary milk, because the agave is *so* sweet.

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

120g butter
1/2 cup white sugar  OR  coconut sugar  OR  just under 1/2 cup xylitol
3 tablespoons condensed milk  OR  1 tablespoon agave and 2 tablespoons milk
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips/chunks
1  1/4 cups flour
1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Soften butter, then cream the butter and sugar. 
Mix in the condensed milk OR agave and milk, then add chocolate and dry ingredients.
Roll in to balls and press down with a fork or back of a spoon.
Bake at 180  degrees for 10 minutes.

In order to keep this info easily accessible and all in one place, I will update my Sugar-Free Sweetness page with these conclusions.


  1. Lovely photos! And I laughed out loud at your reason for diligently eating the not-so-fave biscuits :)

    Look forward to more R&D!

  2. Hmmm I am really keen to try these alternatives - what are the prices like? Though I am currently making alot of diary free baking as my sister has cut out diary for a eczema baby - thats my own mission at the mo as I usually use a 'normal' recipe and just change it. Great work Angela!

  3. I have been having cravings about chocolate chip biscuits for days now... I am holding you partially responsible! I was going to try your recipe, until I realised I have no condensed milk, and don't feel like buying some for the sake of 3 tbsp, so I'm trialling a different recipe instead (still with standard sugar, for the time being).
    On the subject of biscuits going cakey, I always find that happens when I use baking margarine rather than full-fat butter, so biscuits are now the only time I stick with the fully monty. Do you use 'proper' butter for these? When you've finished your experiments with sugar replacements, maybe you could do a series looking at butter-alternatives...?!

    1. Ha ha, yes you can hold me responsible. I notice noone seems to have cravings for pasta sauce or mayonnaise. I hope you enjoyed your bikkies.
      Yes I always use real butter for everything! Nothing else crosses my threshold I'm afraid. And I'm sure it would make a difference in baking. You have opened a HUGE can of worms with your butter-alternative request, which I have been thinking for a while of writing about. It is a surprising one too. Give me some time, but watch this space.

  4. Oooh good thinking on these batman! I made a batch of these recently using glucose and malt extract. But used too much malt and didn't think of putting actual milk in. Duh! They turned out way too sweet, but the texture was better than most of my glucose biscuits turnout. Less cakey, heading toward chewy! I'm going try again one-day and I'll let u know how they go. What chocolate did u use!

    1. How interesting! Less cakey more chewy sounds great. I haven't come across malt extract in my search for good sugar alternatives, but have just been having a bit of a read. I see it has plenty of vitamins and minerals, and is some form of glucose, not sucrose, so it looks good..

    2. Oh and I use Whittaker's chocolate - made in New Zealand. What country are you in?


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