I used to be a baker, and despite the health advantages and the wide range of new food options, one of the things I miss while being on a low carb high fat diet is the time I used to spend baking. Over the years, I developed a number of very useful techniques. Now that I’m eating in a low carb high fat way, most of those techniques involving flour based products aren’t very useful. However, some of my training does come in handy.
One of the treats that I used to be very proud of was my shortbread. This is an incredibly simple recipe, involving only flour, butter, salt, sugar, and maybe a dash of vanilla. (The dash of vanilla of course is not traditional, but it can add a nice touch.)
Of course, on a low carb high fat diet, there is no flour and no sugar. Finding appropriate substitutions for different recipes is always an interesting challenge for me. With shortbread, one of the most obvious substitutions is almond flour. I buy my finely ground almond flour, made from blanched almonds, at the grocery store. It’s actually cheaper to buy it in bulk than it is to get the packaged kind, although I should work just fine for this recipe, as long as flour is very finely ground.
Using almond flour, I don’t have to use quite as much butter as I would like to. Of course I try to push the healthy saturated fat as much as I can on this diet, but when you mix too much butter with the already fatty almond flour, you end up with something a little too runny and messy.
So I use half the butter that I would normally use in my shortbread recipe, and I substitute the granulated sugar sweetener that I used to use with liquid Splenda. The sugar in my original shortbread recipe is usually less than 1/3 of a cup, really only a hint of sweet flavoring. You don’t want your shortbread to be too sweet. And for practical reasons you also don’t want too much sugar because it gives the shortbread a strange crispy consistency. The liquid Splenda I add is such a tiny bit, but it adds exactly the right amount of sleep.
You start with the almond flour, mix in a half a stick of softened butter, and then a dash of salt, one half teaspoon of vanilla, and 10 drops of liquid Splenda. That’s right, 10 drops. That adds up to a little bit less than a quarter of a teaspoon. If you use more, the sweetness is too cloying.
You mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and then roll the dough out into 12 equal sized balls, which you place on a baking sheet, and bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, you take the sheet out of the oven, and using a fork you flatten the balls crosswise, making the balls flat.
Then you put the sheet back in the oven, and bake for about 15 minutes more, until the edges of the cookies are brown, and they’re starting to crisp up.
Because of the almond flour, these cookies won’t really be crisp in till they cooled, and then they only stay crisp for about a day or two. (Not that they’re going to last longer than a day or two.)
Low Carb High Fat Almond Shortbread Cookies
1 cup almond flour
1/2 stick or 2 ounces of butter
10 drops or 1 quarter teaspoon liquid Splenda
A dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees
2. Soften the butter to room temperature
3. Cream together the butter and the almond flour
4. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and liquid Splenda.
5. form 12 round balls on a baking sheet from the dough.
6. Bake for 5 minutes at 300 degrees.
7. Flatten the balls with a fork making a cross pattern on top of each.
8. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.
9. Allow to cool before removing from cookie sheet.
These almond shortbread cookies will satisfy anyone who is familiar with shortbread. They’re crumbly, not terribly sweet, have a familiar crusty texture. I like to have one or two with a cup of tea in the morning. This is a low carb, high-fat snack that you can really enjoy.