It’s baking season again! Don’t we all bake a whole lot more cookies now than at any other time during the year? Starting late November, we always bake cookies, every year! Some I bake with my boys, some on my own. Some are low carb, some not. But these yummy cream cheese cookies with dark chocolate are definitely low carb and gluten-free. Enjoy them warm right out of the oven with a dollop of whipped cream – or in a bowl together with other delicious baked goodies!
My mom had been adamant that we should not eat any of her home made cookies before Christmas Eve. Nowadays, we eat them throughout December, on the Christmas days and beyond. Eating some while baking is part of the fun too! I reserve the slightly deformed one for my boys, and they find multiple excuses why this or that cookie does not quite look right. During the Advent Sundays, we gather over a cup of tea or mulled wine and enjoy our cookies. Of course, many kinds of cookies do not last til the holidays, so we need to bake them again. Sounds familiar?
How to make cream cheese cookies
However, baking low carb cookies is not always easy. In the three years I have been on a low carb diet, I have been playing around with a few of our family recipes. These cream cheese cookies are entirely new though – I came up with them while pondering over what to do with an extra box of soft cream cheese I had found in the fridge.
These cookies are quite easy to make and do not take long. You basically mix all the ingredients together and knead the dough very well. In my opinion, it is always best to knead it by hand – wash your hands before working the dough! After the dough has been sitting for a little while, form 25-30 little balls and place them on a board.
Once finished rolling, take the dough balls up one by one, press them slightly between your hands, place them on a tray and then press them flat. They should be around 5 mm thick.
These cookies bake at 180 degrees/355 degrees Fahrenheit and need about 20 minutes until ready and golden brown. When you pull the tray out of the oven, the cookies are still a little soft. Once they start to cool, they will become more crunchy.
If you like to eat the cookies with cream, whip it while they are in the oven, so your cream is fresh and fluffy right on time. You simply mix cream with erythritol, cocoa powder and cinnamon before whipping it up. You can serve the cream in a small bowl alongside the cookies or use it to decorate each cookie with a small dollop.
A word on the ingredients
The main dry ingredient is almond flour. For this recipe that means the fine, defatted almond flour that in look resembles whole wheat flour. For making these cookies, I prefer this fine flour over ground almonds/almond meal. Those two I rather use when making cakes. The reason is the fine flour texture that I would like to have for my cookies. Just be aware that defatted almond flour contains less fat (obviously), and in return more protein, fiber and carbs. The carb amount depends on the brand but would be about 20pc of the weight (20g for 100g of defatted almond flour). As the moisture of both kinds of almond flour is very different, you cannot easily interchange the two. You can find a lot of information on this topic online, for example on a dedicated page of the blog carbophobic.com.
When measuring the almond flour, don’t press as much as you can into your cup. Just scoop it from the bag and level it off with a knife or your hand.
The psyllium husks are needed to hold the dough’s moisture and replicate the texture of conventional flours. In that sense, it somewhat substitutes the gluten of traditional grain flours. I use whole psyllium husks rather than the powdered variety. You can find a lot of info on psyllium husks on the keto blog www.ruled.me by clicking the link.
Use the ultra dark chocolate with 85% cocoa content or even more. Chop it into very small pieces. If the pieces are too big, they will fall off your dough when you form the little balls. I use everything from my chopping board including the finest parts which almost resemble powder. It all goes into my dough.
As for the butter and cream cheese – it is best when they are soft as that makes the kneading easier and more comfortable. So you best buy a soft kind of cream cheese. I usually pull the butter out in advance so that it softens and has room temperature when I start baking. The eggs should be regular size.
As sweetener I use erythritol, but you can sub it with any other granulated low carb sweetener to your liking.
Enjoy the baking
And the most important part is that you have fun baking your cookies! Have a coffee in the kitchen, bake with kids or friends, and maybe even make several kinds of cookies in one go on a rainy afternoon (of which we have plenty this time of year in Northern Germany).
Other cookies from my blog you may like to try are the easily lowcarbified crunchy coconut macaroons that we have every winter, or low carb vanilla crescents. These actually do contain both almond flour and ground almonds! Another great idea is to check out blog sugarfreelondoner which contains a whole lot of delicious low carb or keto cookie recipes!
Whichever cookie recipe you try, have a great time baking and enjoying your cookies!
Delicious cookies with cream cheese and dark chocolate! Let’s go and bake some yummy cookies for the holiday season!
Makes 25–30 pieces
For the cookies:
60 g unsalted soft butter (2 ounces)
60g cream cheese (2 ounces)
40g dark chocolate, finely chopped (1.5 ounces)
2 cups almond flour
6 tbsp erythritol or other granulated low carb sweetener
1 tbsp psyllium husks
1 tsp baking powder
For the cream:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp erythritol
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: Almond flour, erythritol, baking powder and psyllium husks
- Add eggs, butter, cream cheese and chocolate pieces and knead the mix into a dough. I do this using my hands (thoroughly washed before working the dough), but you can try use a food processor as well.
- Set dough aside for 30 minutes to sit.
- Put your oven at 180 degrees Celsius/355 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking tray with a sheet (I use silicon multiple-use baking sheets but parchment paper is fine too)
- Knead your dough again and form 25-30 little dough balls. Place them on a board.
- Now, pick up your dough balls one by one, pressing them slightly between your hands. Put them down on the tray and press them flat. They should be about 5 millimetres thick.
- Put the tray into your oven and bake your cookies for about 20 minutes. They are ready when they are golden brown. When you pull the tray out of the oven, the cookies are still a little soft. Once they start to cool, they will become more crunchy.
- If you like to eat the cookies with cream, prepare it now. Simply mix cream with erythritol, cocoa powder and cinnamon and whip it up until fluffy. Serve the cream in a small bowl alongside the cookies or decorate each cookie with a small dollop.