In these green shamrock cookies — which I developed especially for your St. Patrick’s Day party — Ireland meets America. The sugar-free, gluten-free cookies get enchanting flavor from root beer stevia. The green color comes from natural sources, which makes these treats even healthier! In case you are not a fan of root beer, I give some ideas for variations in the end of the post. Have a joyful St. Paddy’s Day!
In a medium bowl, mix well the almond flour, spirulina and erythritol.
Add the cream cheese and the stevia. Mix and knead until smooth.
Shape the dough into a ball. Cover the dough and let stand at room temperature for a half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 250 °F or slightly lower (100 °C).
Divide the dough in 2 pieces. Take one piece at a time for handling. Keep the rest of the dough covered.
Place a piece of dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place another parchment paper on the dough.
Roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/6 inch (0.4 cm) thick and remove the topmost parchment paper. Using a shamrock cookie cutter, cut out the cookies.
Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30–35 minutes. The cookies will be chewy. If you prefer your cookies hard and crunchy, bake for 45 minutes.
Let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.
The whole batch:
Per cookie if 20 cookies in a batch:
Tips for making the cookies
If the dough seems to get stuck in the cookie cutter, you can quickly wash and dry the cookie cutter every now and then.
Transferring the cookies to the baking sheet is done easiest with a thin plastic spatula or other thin plastic tool. In case you don’t have anything thin and plastic, for example a cheese slicer works too. The dough just tends to get stuck to metallic things, so that’s why I recommend using a plastic tool.
On the other hand, when I’m making these cookies, I don’t need to use any tools for transferring the cookies to the baking sheet. The cut out cookie stays nicely in the cookie cutter, and I just lift the cookie cutter with the dough and press carefully with fingers the cookie out from the cutter 1/2 inch (≈ 1 cm) above the parchment paper. The cut out cookie lands beautifully on the parchment paper.
Baking at a low enough temperature guarantees the brightest green color. Even 20 degrees rise in the temperature makes the cookies browner.
My experiments with these cookies
I’ve never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, but the idea of partying and having green-colored treats sounds fascinating. Therefore I developed a couple of recipes especially for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Last week’s green variation of the sugar-free Mounds bars was the first.
When it comes down to green food coloring, for me the problem is to achieve the green color as naturally as possible, since I’m not comfortable using artificial colorings. When developing this recipe, I tried the old trick mixing blueberries and baking soda at first. The dough was beautifully green, but the baked cookies turned brown. Shame. I thought I was clever.
I wanted to play it safe with the green color, and mixed a couple of crushed spirulina tablets with the almond flour. I thought that powerful green color of spirulina must color the cookies as well. I would have liked to use powdered spirulina, but I didn’t have any at that point. Anyway, the tablets worked well and the cookies had perfect green color.
The amount of cream cheese needed adjusting. 3 oz (85 g) was a bit too much, it wasn’t that easy to cut out cookies since the dough was a bit too sticky. 2 oz (60 g) cream cheese made the dough far too crumbly. 2.5 oz (70 g) was the ideal amount of cream cheese. Well, you have to use some power when kneading the dough, but the result should be a nice, easily rollable dough, from which you can cut out nice cookies.
I also received my order for spirulina powder from iHerb. At first I used 1 teaspoon spirulina powder, but soon increased the amount to 2 teaspoons. I was a bit afraid at first, because the dough was really dark green, but the ready cookies had a great, bright green hue.
Tips for variation
You can replace the spirulina with chlorella to achieve similar bright green hue.
In case you don’t like root beer flavor, please feel free to experiment with your favorite stevia flavors. A nice variation is when the root beer stevia is replaced with 40 drops vanilla stevia. I finalized this recipe when I was visiting my parents, so I didn’t have extensive pantry available. I really would have liked to explore some more with different stevia flavors.
A great variation, if you don’t like root beer — even I have to say that I really cannot taste the root beer flavor in the ready cookies, just some sweetness — is the following:
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