3 Great Recipes for Keto Christmas Cookies

Put down the royal icing.

December 13, 2020
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By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen

Christmas cookies are as important to the holiday season as stockings on a mantel. But for those following a keto diet, cookies can seem off-limits. The good news is that there are ways to make keto-friendly Christmas cookies. They simply won’t be the sugary gluten bombs that you come to expect at cookie swaps.

When it comes to keto baked goods, almond and coconut flour are your best bets. Don’t fear butter — it's your friend. Spices and citrus zest are great to use as flavor reinforcements. For sweeteners, find a low- or zero-calorie sweetener that you like (many can have an unpleasant after taste). After much experimenting in Food Network Kitchen we've decided that erythritol — a sugar alcohol — provides the best sweetness without bitter aftertastes or compromising texture. Look for it in health food stores or maybe even on your grocer's shelves.

These 3 recipes make a great keto cookie plate, whether you’re craving nut cookies, coconut cookies or chocolate cookies.

Food Network Kitchen’s Keto Almond Shortbread Cookies

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Cream cheese is the secret to the texture of these nutty favorites. Made with almond flour, almond extract and sliced almonds, the cookies pack triple the nuttiness of the usual almond options. Plan ahead when baking, to allow sufficient time for the dough to chill; once baked, they're also best when cooled. They're delicious as-is with tea, but are also nice canvases for additional elements. Orange zest and finely chopped fresh rosemary would be a jolly addition to these buttery shortbreads.

Food Network Kitchen’s Keto Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

For Chocolate Lovers: Keto Mexican Chocolate Cookies

This spice-laden chocolate dough relies on a combo of almond and coconut flours in lieu of the usual all-purpose. Cinnamon and cayenne add warming elements to the chocolate, though you can play with spices to suit your cookie lovers' palates. The naturally gluten-free dough can be crumbly, like a shortbread, so you'll need to work it with your hands to get the right shapes for baking the 15 cookies. For added flair once they come out of the oven, drizzle melted bittersweet chocolate over the top.

For Coconut Lovers: Keto Coconut Macaroons

Unlike most cookie doughs, which rely on a base of flour, macaroons derive their flavor and texture from shredded coconut. Vanilla extract, egg whites, sweetener and salt help balance the flavor and texture, to give you indulgent mounds of gooey coconut without the usual keto-unfriendly fillers. Add some lemon zest, orange zest or lavender to elevate these classic macaroons.

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup erythritol
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 14 ounces unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large bowl until combined; fold in the coconut.

Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of the coconut mixture about 1 inch apart onto the baking sheet. Use your fingers to form into pyramids. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 30 macaroons

Ease of preparation: Easy

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling time)

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