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.
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
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.