“The best low-carb cookies I’ve tasted so far”, my husband commented, which was quite a compliment considering that he is a hard-to-please-with-low-carb-stuff guy with a major sweet tooth, and I’ve baked dozens and dozens of different types of low-carb cookies during my lifetime.
Through trial and error and a good deal of curiosity in between, I achieved to create a cookie recipe with which I’m really satisfied. Crispy, crunchy, buttery, vanilla, toffee. Need I say more? Oh yes, and to my egg-intolerant friends out there, did I mention that these cookies are egg-free? Oh yes, they are!
Tips for making these cookies
All the ingredients should be at room temperature. Well, at least the butter.
If you are running out of whey protein, it’s not the end of the world, just use 1 1/2 cups (360 ml = 170 g) almond flour instead, and add 2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract. The texture won’t be that crispy-crunchy, but the cookies are still great.
If you are living in a hot climate, it might be good to chill the dough for a half an hour or an hour before shaping it into balls.
The yield is 18 pieces of cookies with diameter of 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm) and thickness 1/5 inch (0.5 cm). If you need more cookies, you can double the amount of ingredients.
Last but not least: it’s very important to let the cookies cool completely before removing them from the sheet or even touching them. Try to resist the temptation! These cookies are very fragile when hot. When cool, they hold together. However, it might be good to make thicker cookies, they hold together better than thinner ones.
My experiments with these cookies
Flavored stevia is a great invention. You get sweetness and natural flavor in the same package. There are several delicious flavors available from different brands.
I’ve used toffee stevia mainly in drinks and desserts, but this is the first time I tried it in baking. I was very positively surprised how well it fits these cookies. Stevia alone has a quite bitter or licorice-like aftertaste. That’s why I’ve used erythritol in addition. Well, erythritol in turn tends to have a cooling effect if used alone. A combination of these two sweeteners works best. When some vanilla whey protein is added, the combination of all these three is simply heavenly!
My original idea was to create a recipe for Toffee Butter Cookies. After finding out how well vanilla whey protein fits these cookies I had to rename the recipe as Vanilla Toffee Butter Cookies, which I think is not too bad.
My first experiment was simply a combination of 1 stick (4 oz = 115 g) unsalted butter, 1/4 cup (60 ml) erythritol, 20 drops toffee stevia and 1 cup (240 ml = 115 g) almond flour. I liked the buttery toffee taste, but the cookies were quite fragile because of the huge amount of butter.
In my next experiments I tried to get the cookies hold together better and was using xanthan, psyllium husk powder or an egg. None of these brought good results. Cookies with an egg in the dough were quite okay, but the taste suffered from that, I don’t know why.
I also tried with different amounts of almond flour, butter, erythritol and toffee stevia. The cookies were okay and actually delicious, but not perfect.
For one batch I used organic vegetable shortening instead of butter. That made great vegan cookies. I was using 3 oz (85 g) organic vegetable shortening, 1/4 cup (60 ml) erythritol, 20 drops toffee stevia and 1 1/2 cup (360 ml = 170 g) almond flour.
I pondered again how to improve the texture so that the cookies would hold together better and still remain crunchy and buttery. I tried vanilla whey protein, and the result was divine! Not only the texture was deliciously crispy and the cookies held together well, but the vanilla gave also its delectable flavor. Neither could you feel the cooling effect of the erythritol, nor the bitter aftertaste of the stevia. I also tried with unflavored whey protein, but by far prefer the vanilla-flavored whey.
In my first experiments I creamed the butter and the sweeteners together before adding the almond flour. Then I tried just by shortly mixing everything together with a hand-held mixer after combining the almond flour and they whey protein. Absolutely no difference in the end result, so I thought why on earth I should use more complicated methods and gave up creaming.
All in all, the main problem here was to use enough butter to make the cookies crispier and tasty but not too fragile, and use enough toffee flavor so that you could taste it but not the aftertaste of stevia. Also erythritol plays an important role since it gives sweetness. The amount just needed adjusting, not too much so that you don’t taste and feel the cooling effect, but enough to give sweetness.
|Nutrition information||Protein||Fat||Net carbs||kcal|
|The whole batch:||46.5 g||120.4 g||13.8 g||1329 kcal|
|Per cookie if 12 cookies in a batch:||3.9 g||10.0 g||1.2 g||111 kcal|
|Per cookie if 14 cookies in a batch:||3.3 g||8.6 g||1.0 g||95 kcal|
|Per cookie if 16 cookies in a batch:||2.9 g||7.5 g||0.9 g||83 kcal|
|Per cookie if 18 cookies in a batch:||2.6 g||6.7 g||0.8 g||74 kcal|
|Per cookie if 20 cookies in a batch:||2.3 g||6.0 g||0.7 g||66 kcal|
Tips for variation
- Add chopped nuts for extra crunch. For example macadamias are great and low-carb
- Dip cookies in melted dark chocolate. Store the dipped cookies in the fridge if not eaten immediately
- Add dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet sugar-free chocolate chips to the dough
- Instead of vanilla-flavored whey you can use other flavors. I tried with chocolate and strawberry, and the cookies were great!
You can also make Vanilla Toffee Butter Bites by baking the dough as walnut-size balls, so just omit the flatten-with-fingertips phase. For Chocolate Toffee Butter Bites replace the vanilla whey protein with chocolate whey protein.
Hope you have fun with this recipe! In case you create your own variations or adaptations, I would be delighted to hear from that.