Cookies can be a tough one when you eat both gluten-free and lower-carb. Any gluten-free baking flour that gets you an actual cookie-like texture will be full of carbs, and when you bake with lower-carb options like coconut flour or almond flour, textures usually aren’t what you want them to be.
These little balls of cookie dough, however, remain unbaked. So you don’t have to worry about weirdly spongy cookies! They also keep well in the freezer, though odds are they won’t stay around very long.
Let’s talk ingredients!
For the wet stuff, you have some options. I use salted butter, but you can use unsalted! If you do, I’d just add in a pinch more salt. (Which we keep in a glass bowl, as a makeshift salt cellar.) I use half-and-half, but you could use whole milk or heavy cream.
Also, the maple flavoring isn’t required; I just find it adds a little zing. It adds a whisper of the flavor of brown sugar that you’d get from regular chocolate chip cookies.
And look at the size of that bottle of vanilla from Costco! I like it fine, though it isn’t quite as delicious as the non-alcoholic Trader Joe’s vanilla. But if the TJ’s stuff is a 10, the Costco stuff is a good 8. (Maybe some day I’ll get some vanilla beans and plain booze, and make my own extract.)
For the sweetener, the world is your oyster. If you aren’t low-carb, you could just use regular sugar – either granulated, powdered, or a combination, depending on how much crunch you like.
These are the three sweeteners we have in the house; for our most recent batch, we split up the 5 tablespoons into: 2 Splenda Allulose, 1 Lakanto Monkfruit, 2 Swerve Confectioners.
Why? Two reasons: texture and gastrointestinal issues. Both the Lakanto and Swerve are made with erythritol, which can make you a little gassy. But the allulose in the Splenda doesn’t impact the gut so much, so there’s less of a chance of a fartstorm. The Lakanto is a classic “gritty” sugar; I like a little of that crunchy grit in the dough, but not too much.
If you don’t like grit, go all powdered! If you love grit, go all Lakanto! Or if you have a tender gut, go all allulose! Or if you like stevia-based sweeteners, or any other type, try those! (I can’t do stevia myself, but it sounds like a lot of folks out there can tolerate it well and really enjoy it.)
The main ingredient: almond flour. We get these gigantic bags at Costco. It’s a really fine grind, and the price is great. We’ve also gotten a 2-pound bag from Walmart, which was a slightly less fine grind, but still good!
And the last element: the chips. We go with dark chocolate to keep the carbs lower, but you can use any chips you like! Right now we’re working our way through the bag of Nestle, but after that we’ll likely get some Guittard extra dark (63%). I think we got the bag of Guittard semisweet a few months ago, when we couldn’t find anything darker.
Now, let’s measure and mix!
1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, softened to room temp
5 Tbsp granular/powdered sweetener (sugar, or non-sugar substitute)
0.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 tsp maple extract/maple flavoring
1 Tbsp half-and-half (or your wet dairy of choice)
- Dump all of those in a bowl, and mix it up with either your hand mixer or a spoon. (The electric mixer will give you a lighter texture.)
2 cups almond flour
- Add the almond flour in at least two parts: add a cup, mix until combined; add the other cup, mix.
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or semisweet, or whatever chip floats your boat)
- Fold the chips in with a rubber spatula or a spoon, so your electric mixer doesn’t hack them to bits.
That’s it – the mixing is done! But for safety’s sake, make sure you’re properly supervised throughout the mixing process.
(Yes, we have a cat pillow on the kitchen counter. Cheddar looks sad here, but she’s actually a very happy cat!)
Chill the whole bowl in the fridge for an hour or so, to let things firm up. Then you can use a disher scoop to make balls (for the beauty photo below, I used this #50 disher, which has a volume of about 1.2 tablespoons). Or you could just scoop out some with gloved hands and roll it up into balls. They’ll be a tiny bit denser, but still really delicious. Let your equipment and wrist strength be your guide – the disher can be surprisingly hard to use if your wrists are delicate! At this disher size, we get about 24 balls to a batch.
Put your balls on a plate, or silpat, or cookie sheet, or some other flat freezer-safe thing, and throw ’em in the freezer to get nice and firm. After a couple of hours, they’ll be hard enough so that they won’t stick together, and you can tumble them all into a lidded container for longer freezer storage.
Approximate nutrition values as written, per ball (may vary depending on what ingredients you swap out, and what chocolate chips you use)
2g net carbs