Holiday Cookies

Tis the season for holiday treats! Nora and I have been experimenting with several great recipes. At the moment she has 4 different types of goodies in the fridge to choose from!

Three cookie recipes come from www.ketocook.com. The fourth is a new chocolate cupcake recipe that I concocted this weekend, which I will put in a separate post. I am including the links to the original cookie recipes and you can get the recipes and nutritional information there.

Coconut Flour Cut-Out Cookies

This recipe made lovely dough. It was rollable and easy to cut and work with, at least compared to traditional Christmas cookie recipes I have made in the past. I was able to help Nora roll the dough, she cut the shapes, and I could scrape them carefully from the parchment paper and move them to the baking sheet.

How to weigh and serve different cookies was my conundrum. Of course, each cookie will be a different weight because of differences in thickness, even if you were to cut only 1 shape. But who wants 1 shape?!? What to do? How to serve?

Dawn at ketocook said that she makes and serves 1 batch of dough at a time. Then they can cut any shapes as long as they get all of the dough into the cookies. But Nora is smaller and I don’t want to serve her a whole batch at a time. I could halve the batch or do some other portion for each snack. That’s totally doable. But I tried something more complicated (I know, you are not surprised). This is my method for serving other batch recipes that I have been experimenting with, so you will see this again.

As Nora cut the cookies, I weighed them on the scale and recorded the pre-cooked weight for each pan of cookies. We lost about 1 gram of dough to the parchment paper and cutters out of 194 g in our double-batch. With wetter dough it would be necessary to weigh the amount of dough going into the oven (which is just a preview for a future bread post).

After each batch was baked and cooled, I weighed them again. They each lost about 10-12% of their weight in the oven, due to water cooking out. We went from 194 g of dough to 172 g of cookies.

Now we could figure out the nutritional content of each gram of baked cookie. We took the nutritional information of the total dough and divided it by the total baked grams of cookie. To give an example for net carbs, if you calculate the nutritional information per gram of dough, you have o.06 g net carbs per gram of dough (12.6/194). When you divide the nutritional information by the total baked grams of cookie, you get 0.07 net carbs per gram of cookie (12.6/172). Cooking makes them a bit more dense. So if you are baking then weighing out cookies before you serve them and calculating per gram of dough, your estimating error is causing your kid to eat a bit more carbs than you were planning. With these cookies it doesn’t make a big difference, but I am experimenting with using this method for wetter batch doughs in the future where it will make a bigger difference.

Now when we serve Nora these cookies, we can let her choose 1 or 2 of them, weigh them, then figure out the right amount of icing to add to them to bring the ratio up to 3.5:1 for her. For the cookies pictured, I used the cream and coconut oil icing recipe from ketocook.com, although I confess that I didn’t get it to smooth and harden properly because I was in a hurry when I was making it for the first time. I also blended in some strawberry for color. It would be worth another try when I have the time and patience.

The sprinkles are Cake Sparkles by Wilton, made from gum arabic and artificial coloring. My independent research told me that gum arabic is a fiber so it does not add to the carb content and we add just a pinch to her cookies. I don’t know if this has been keto-approved by the Charlie Foundation, so ask your dietician before using. We have had no problem with them. We now have them in pink (pictured), green and red.

This cookie-by-cookie method is not a time saver. You have to frost each cookie individually with the right amount of icing to be at ratio. You can do that each time you serve them, or pre-frost them, but then you have to keep track of how much is in each cookie. Last night I frosted the last 5 cookies so that they are ready to go, and taped a cheat sheet to the container: “red ornament, 7.2 g cookie, 1.5 g icing”… etc. Next time I would do Dawn’s batch version and serve them as a stand-alone snack. Nora is happy. Live and learn!

I would also make this recipe for the rest of the family with a bit of sugar. I liked the coconut flour, but they are a little flat to my taste without the sweetener and I personally don’t like the taste of the little bit of stevia sweetener that I added to Nora’s, about 1/3 of the amount called for in the original recipe. Nora doesn’t mind a bit. Pretty = Delicious

Melt Away Cookies, a.k.a. Russian Tea Cakes or Snowballs 

This was the first holiday cookie I tried because it’s fast. I don’t have a picture, and the picture at the link is much prettier than the cookies I made!

Again, you can serve these as a whole batch for a snack, but I made them 5 g each and pressed them into little holiday candy molds. They are in my Excel database as 5 g cookies so I can serve as many as makes sense for Nora’s snacking needs. They are not at ratio for Nora, so I serve them with tea and cream to make a complete ratio snack.

Snickerdoodles!

Nora loves this recipe! I love this recipe!

I brought this recipe up to 3.5:1 by increasing the butter to 25 g in a batch.

To make these, I bought a Cookie Press hoping that it would make pretty cookies at a uniform weight. I tend to be resistant to buying more kitchen gadgets, but this was already 40% off with other Christmas items at the beginning of December. Seemed like it was worth a shot at $6. But I’m still astounded that they already discounted the holiday stuff and had aisles filled with Valentine’s stuff. In a few years the new holiday merchandise is going to be hitting the shelves in July and discounted in August. Good grief.

The Cookie Press worked fairly well. It works like a caulking gun. You put the dough into a cylinder and a plunger pushes the dough out through your chosen mold at the bottom. It is 1 click per cookie, so it is quite uniform. We refrigerated the dough so that it was a bit firm, but not hard. We put a small piece of parchment paper on the gram scale and Nora gave the Cookie Press one squeeze directly on to the gram scale. Then we had to hold the parchment paper down while pulling the Cookie Press away, leaving the cookie behind. It has helpful to have 4 hands working on it!

Doing it on the gram scale let us weigh each cookie easily. After the first cookie, the rest were close to 6 g each for both of the shapes we made. If it was slightly above or below 6 g, I just took a dab away or added a dab more dough. Then we moved the small piece of parchment paper with cookie to the cookie sheet and did the next. It was quite easy and Nora enjoyed it. Now we have cookies that were made with 6 g of dough each so we can calculate the nutrition per cookie and serve easily. And they are at ratio!

The original recipe tells you to make small balls, roll in cinnamon, then flatten. That is also an easy way to make uniform sizes. I was not able to roll them in cinnamons because of the Cookie Press shapes, so I had a clever idea (if I do say so myself): I put the cinnamon into a tea ball and sifted it over the shaped cookie dough. It worked great!

I made one batch for Nora and they were eaten over the course of the day that I made them. So I made 2 more batches later that day and have about 20 in the fridge for easy snacking.

I also made the same recipe for the rest of us, with a bit less butter and about 1/4 c sugar. They are so good! And so much easier to plunk them straight onto the cookie sheet when I don’t have to weigh each of them. Oh joy! I will be making them for myself again very soon. The first double batch for the family disappeared over the first day–and not only into me, mind you, I also have a 7 year old boy to feed. I will be making more for the rest of us very soon too.

Thanks Dawn and Tiffany at ketocook.com for the fabulous recipes! You make keto-parent life easier and many happy keto-kids.

About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Professor of Practice, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, class of 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.
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