It seems I’ve been really into cookies lately. Well, okay, in reality I’ve been into cookies all my life. But I’ve been on a cookie-baking stint lately and I have many more cookie ideas than I possibly have the time to bake. Is it the fast-approaching holidays that has visions of cookies dancing through my head, a la the children in T’was The Night Before Christmas? I really can’t say, but I did find the time this week to tackle one of the visions I’ve been thinking of for a while now.
Long ago, my husband and I fell in love with a product we found at Trader Joe’s, these Ginger Lemon Creme cookies made by Carr’s. I haven’t seen them in a while and it’s likely that Trader Joe’s has stopped carrying them. But I remember the taste of them vividly, the crisp bite of ginger paired with the sweet tang of lemon. So when I thought about making low carb gingersnaps, my mind went to the next logical step of sandwiching lemon creme between them. How could I possibly go wrong?
For the gingersnaps, I took what is basically a low carb snickerdoodle recipe (there are many versions online, but I followed the one from Kalyn’s Kitchen) and added in the spices that would normally be found in gingersnaps. I made a number of changes to the cookie recipe, as I was using erythritol and stevia to sweeten, and I wanted to add in some flax seed meal for its bulk and its binding properties. For the lemon creme, I played around with my basic low carb buttercream recipes until I had the right consistency and taste.
The Results: Well, these didn’t turn out quite the way I intended, but the good news is that they are fantastic just the way they are. The cookie itself is much softer and more cakey than a regular gingersnap would be. I have yet to achieve a low carb cookie that has the crisp, chewy consistency of a traditional one, but no matter here. The gingery spicy flavour pairs beautifully with the lemon creme filling, and the final product is more like a mini whoopie pie. And there is nothing wrong with that! I can hardly keep my hands off these things and have been having been eating them several times a day. That’s the danger of low carb treats that don’t raise my blood sugar…I feel no guilt having them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert AND snacks!
Ginger Lemon Cremes (or Ginger Lemon Whoopie Pies, if you prefer)
1 ½ cups almond meal/flour
¼ cup flax seed meal
¼ cup granulated erythritol
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoon almond milk
1 tablespoon dark molasses (optional, for browning and flavour)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
18 drops stevia extract
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon butter, softened
3 tablespoon powdered erythritol
3 tablespoon whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
8 drops stevia extract
For the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, flax seed meal, erythritol, baking soda and spices.
In another bowl, beat butter on medium until light and fluffy. Add half of flour mixture, egg, almond milk, molasses, vanilla and stevia. Beat together until well combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until fully combined (dough may be quite stiff).
Scrape down beater to remove all the dough and then cover and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in top third of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll spoonfuls of dough between palms into ½ inch balls and place on baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Press down on each cookie with palm to about ¼ inch thick. They will spread and flatten more while they bake.
Bake 12-14 minutes, or until tops are golden and set and edges are just beginning to brown. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
For the filliing, beat cream cheese and butter on medium until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.
Spread creme on the bottom of cooled cookies and top with another cookie. Let filling set for 20 minutes or so before serving.
Serves 15. Each sandwich cookie has a total of 10.1g of carbs, but only 4.5g if you subtract erythritol.
I will confess to being so proud of these tasty little cookies/whoopie pies, I submitted them to Your Best Recipe over on Nancy’s blog, Spiciefoodie. Please head on over there and check out all the other delicious submissions.