Buttery, crisp and intensely chocolatey! These totally flakey gluten free and keto chocolate shortbread cookies are the real deal… at 1g net carb a pop!
Keto Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Totally Buttery ‘N Intensely Chocolatey!
Shortbread, the Scottish cookies par excellence, are nothing more than one parts sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. And these beauties, based on our classic shortbread cookies, simply take me back to my university years Scotland (ahem, a lifetime ago!).
You can indulge in these guys solo, studded with chocolate chunks (!!), or simply dipped in a little dark chocolate. Flaky sea salt optional, but highly suggested.
Honestly to-die-for, and you probably know already I don’t take these statements lightly.
The one indispensable thing, is that the dough be thoroughly chilled before baking. Why? The butter in the dough has to have solidified once again before you can roll it out and cut it up. That way, it won’t stick and the shapes will come just right.
The dough is fragile (and extremely buttery!), so it helps to lightly pat the cookie dough with the rolling pin to soften it and make it more malleable; press down any crumbly bits back into the dough until you roll it out to your desired thickness (both thin and thick cookies work well)
Cocoa or cacao? Both work great, just know that quality really matters here. My favorite will forever be the Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world. But feel free to use a raw cacao powder (arguably more nutritional perks here), though keep in mind that your cookies will be lighter in color and more reddish in hue. Both are well and good, as long as they’re unsweetened and you like the taste.
And call me weird, but I don’t like chocolate chips in my cookies. What I like, is an actual chocolate bar broken up into bits. You see, chocolate chips were designed to not melt completely. And I’m all about those chocolate bits melting throughout the cookies.
I found here that super fine almond flour did a killer job (solo!). Add a touch of xanthan gum, and we’re golden.
This recipe works best with erythritol, without a doubt. Not only is it roughly 1-to-1 in sweetness to sugar (and the volume is important here), but it lends a very similar crunch and chew. No other sweetener does that.
I did find that powdering it prevents unpleasant minty crystals from forming post bake. But the great news is that I found the cooling effect to pretty much disappear overnight #magic.
So get your blender out, make sure it’s completely dry, and process your sweetener of choice until powdered. Just make sure you wait a few moments for the dust to settle before opening the blender or food processor.
Or you can always grab a bag of Powdered Swerve (i.e. confectioner’s).
Gluten Free & Keto Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Buttery, crisp and intensely chocolatey! These totally flakey gluten free and keto chocolate shortbread cookies are the real deal... at just 1g net carb a pop!
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
Whisk together in a medium bowl the almond flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, kosher salt and espresso powder (optional).
Cream butter and sweetener in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Be sure to scrape it down with a spatula as needed to avoid streaky butter! Add in vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
With your mixer on low, add in half of your flour mixture- mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the rest. Fold in chocolate chunks or chips (optional).
Wrap cookie dough with cling film (saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and have a baking tray handy.
Roll out dough between parchment paper, dusting with cocoa as needed, and either simply slice with a knife or do cutouts. The dough is fragile (and extremely buttery!), so it helps to lightly pat the cookie dough with the rolling pin to soften it and make it more malleable; press down any crumbly bits back into the dough until you roll it out to your desired thickness (both thin and thick cookies work well). Place shaped cookies with parchment paper on the prepared baking tray and place in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to baking.
Bake for 10-16 minutes (I did 15 for 2 1/2" cookies that were 1/4" thick). Baking times will vary widely depending on size of cookies and oven, but think 8-13 minutes for the small ones or 15-18 minutes for the larger ones.
Allow to cool on pan for 20 minutes, as they'll be very fragile when warm. Transfer to a rack to cool completely and crisp up (can take a few hours with sugar alcohols!). Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*Note that the cocoa (or cacao) you use will determine the flavor (and hue!) of your cookies. I love Valrhona (Dutch-processed), which gives an intense dark chocolate kick. For a more 'milk chocolate' version you can reduce the cocoa to 2-3 TBSP (and increase the almond flour by the same amount).
**I find that using powdered erythritol in cookies with delicate texture helps to prevent crunchy minty crystals post-bake. Simply run it in your (very dry!) blender or bullet until powdered.
The shaped dough can be frozen for up to 3 months, and they can be baked straight from the freezer (adding 2-3 minutes more to the baking time).
Please note that nutrition facts were estimated for 15 cookies, but you can yield a lot more (even 2 dozen if they're nice 'n thin).