Friday, April 14, 2017

Foodie Fridays: Low Carb Almond Cookies

I am making an effort to drastically reduce my carbohydrate intake, but every once in a while I really crave a sweet treat more decadent than a piece of fruit or low-sugar yogurt.  Baked goods are normally off limits as they combine the double whammy of starch (flour) and sugar, but I recently found a recipe for Low Carb Almond Cookies that got a lot of rave reviews and omitted most of the starch by substituting almond meal flour for wheat flour.  The sweetener used can be sugar or an equivalent amount of sugar substitute.  Since I am not quite to the point where I am eliminating all sugar I chose to use the real thing and just reduce the amount by half.  I also added a small amount of mini chocolate chips and reduced the vanilla and almond extracts by half.

One of the reviewers suggested adding a little coconut flour for even more flavor, and since I had some I added it.  The person who posted the recipe mentioned that substituting another egg for 2 T. of the butter would help the dough hold together better, but I did not do this and my dough was fine.  Keep the dough relatively cool and do not overwork it with your (warm!) hands so that it does not spread out too much while baking.  One of these tasty treats really hit the sweet tooth spot for me.  Just be sure not to overindulge, because even though they are low-carb they are definitely not carb- or calorie-free!

Low Carb Almond Cookies

2 C. almond meal flour
1/4 C. coconut flour (optional)
1/4 C. sugar (or equivalent amount of sugar substitute)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. butter, softened (not melted)
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 C. mini chocolate chips

Stir together the first four ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate large bowl, beat the butter with the egg and extracts (the mixture will look like large curd cottage cheese, but that is okay!).  Stir in the dry ingredients until well incorporated (the butter lumps should disappear rather quickly).  Mix in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed in the dough.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.  Press each cookie down with a fork to flatten slightly.  Continue baking for 16-18 minutes longer (the cookies should not brown very much).

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes before removing.  Cool completely.  Makes about 24 cookies.

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