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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Basic Cut-Out Cookies and Variations (LC, SF)

A good tasting cookie dough that stands up to cookie cutters, is not so easy to come by in the low carb way of eating.

The doughs are usually soft and as a rule you  can barely roll them out, much less actually get them to retain any kind of cookie cutter shape you might put them in! And even if you managed that, they often fall apart after the baking, since thin cookies would just be too fragile to hold up to anything.

Not this one! It holds up to all of it AND it’s open to a lot of variations!



It’s still a somewhat fragile dough and you have to change your approach a little when using cookie cutters, but for the most part this dough performs very well for cut out cookie purposes!

I probably wouldn’t do very intricate designs with them, but basic stars, trees, circles, flowers and such do quite well and the resulting cookie is quite light and buttery!

Since these cookies are designed to be filled, iced or otherwise adorned with something sweet, I have kept them on the “not too sweet side”. If you are intending to eat them as is, you may want to up your sweeteners a little!


Basic Cut-Out Cookies




1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup erythritol, powdered

1/4 tsp stevia extract
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup low-carb milk 
2 cup Almond flour

3 tbsp. Oat flour

1 tsp xanthan gum (or guar gum)
3/4 cup Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
3/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten

1 tsp butter vanilla emulsion
2 tsp. Baking Powder


Egg wash (optional)



Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a small bowl combine the almond flour, the vital wheat gluten, oat flour, the vanilla whey protein powder, xanthan gum and the baking powder. Stir till thoroughly combined.

In a separate larger bowl, combine the softened butter with the sweeteners using a mixer, and beat well. Add the egg yolks one at a time, until creamy. Add the extracts (if using, ) emulsion, followed by some of the low-carb milk.

Once the mixture is creamy and well beaten, slowly start adding the flour mixture. The dough should be "soft" but definitely workable. If it’s too dry/crumbly, add more of the low-carb milk.

Either use a Tablespoon measure or small cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and work it into any shape you want, or roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and use a cookie cutter.

I have found that for cookie cutting it’s the easiest to leave the cut out shapes untouched on the parchment paper you rolled the dough out with and just remove the excess dough carefully with a knife or spatula.

Optionally, you could make a little egg wash with an egg and some low-carb milk and lightly brush the cookies with it. It will give you a deeper golden brown appearance all over (see the star cookies in the photo.)

Slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until just golden around the edges.  Less for really thin cookies, about 8-10 minutes.

Don’t try and move them when they first come out of the oven. Let' them cool for a bit, then move them to a cooling rack with a spatula. They firm up once they cool.


Makes 48 cookies at 1.4 g net carbs each.


These cookies really lend themselves to a lot of variations. Mix it up with different flavorings!

Here are just some of the ways to make them into something different!




Sandwich Cookies Variation:


For the filling:

1 recipe of Choco Crème


Let the cookies cool completely before filling.

Place the choco crème in a zip lock bag and snip off the end. Pipe the choco crème on 12 of the rounds and place the other 12 cookies on top to form a sandwich cookie.

Place in the refrigerator to firm a little.


Makes 24 filled sandwich cookies at 4 g of net carbs each.


Caramelized butter variation:


You can change up this cookie flavor by caramelizing the butter first. It’s really not that hard once you know the process and it gives a very unique taste to the cookie.

Here is how you do it:

Place the butter in a sauce pan and melt. It helps for this pan not to be a dark coated pan, as you can’t really see the butter change color. A stainless steel pan would work better. Keep the melted butter at a simmer, stirring the foam away occasionally so you can see the bottom of the pan.

DO NOT WALK AWAY from the pan – the darkening will happen pretty quickly!

As soon as the butter solids on the bottom turn a darkish golden brown, take the pan off the heat and pour the melted butter into a heavy glass dish. Don’t leave it in the saucepan as it might continue darkening the butter.


Here are the caramelized butter bits!


Let it cool at room temp for 1 hour, then in the refrigerator for at least another hour or overnight before proceeding with the cookie recipe as stated above.




Swirl Cookie variation:


For this you can combine any two flavor combinations you like.

Make the basic dough as above. The divide into two and work in two different flavors.

For example, you can add crushed instant coffee to one half and leave the other as is. Or you can add some Cocoa powder, an additional 2 drops of stevia extract and a little more milk and knead the dough until evenly distributed. Or like me in the above picture, add some Red Velvet Baking Essence and 1 tbsp. of cocoa powder to one half of the dough.

Roll out 1/2 of each color dough into a thin rectangle between two sheets of parchment paper (each.)


Then place the two layers on top of each other and tidy the edges up with a sharp knife.


Now rolling from the short side, with the help of the parchment paper, slowly (the thin dough may sometimes stick for a second to the paper) roll it it up as tight as possible.

Once the roll is complete, wrap it in the parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Repeat with the other halves of the dough.

Remove one roll at the time from the refrigerator and make 1/2 inch slices with a very sharp knife and place them on the cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.

Bake for  12-15 minutes or until the edges appear golden.

Let them cool on the cookie sheet for a little before transferring them to a cooling rack.


Makes about 48 spiral cookies. Carb counts depend on your dough additions!




Ice Cream Sandwich Variation:

I used the cookie dough as in the original recipe, but pressed it into an ice cream sandwich pan.

I pressed a thin layer of dough into the cavities, about half way up. While baking the cookies rose more to fill the cavity. They got nice and golden brown on the bottom well before the top, which makes for just the right softness in the freezer.But you have to watch them closely around the edges!


So, there you have it! Just a few ways to use this basic cookie dough!


And this cookie dough also makes a really nice pie crust! It stands up to fancy edges and blind baking just fine!

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