These keto shortbread cookies are both crisp and tender, with a delicious hint of espresso. Dipped in sugar-free white and dark chocolate, they make a truly special treat for any occasion. This post is sponsored by ChocZero
Nothing beats a good, crispy tender shortbread cookie. Nothing. And I fully stand by that claim.
There is something magical that happens when you mix flour, sweetener, and butter together. It’s remarkably simple and yet it just works. And it turns out that the same magic happens with almond flour too.
I’ve been making keto shortbread cookies since the beginning of my low carb journey, because life is just better when you can enjoy shortbread. One bite of my macadamia shortbread, or my keto butter pecan cookies, and you will see what I mean.
These keto espresso shortbread cookies are my latest variation and they are a must-make for cookie lovers!
What is shortbread?
True shortbread cookies consist only of flour, sugar, and butter. They differ from many cookie recipes, as they contain no leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder. And they don’t use any egg to bind them or hold the dough together.
This simple formula produces a distinct texture that is very buttery and slightly crumbly. The term “short” refers to this rather fragile texture, as the butter inhibits the formation of long, stretchy gluten.
And perhaps that’s why almond flour shortbread works so well. Since shortbread doesn’t rely on gluten strands for structure, the absence of gluten in keto shortbread cookies isn’t as much of a problem.
To make these keto shortbread cookies, you will need:
- Erythritol sweetener – I recommend powdered sweetener as it blends in better.
- Almond flour -use finely ground, blanched almond flour for more cohesive dough.
- Espresso powder – optional, if you want to make them regular shortbread, just leave it out.
- Vanilla extract
- Xanthan gum – this helps give the cookies a bit more sturdiness.
- Ground coffee – to give it a flecked appearance, also optional.
- Salt – a touch of salt always brings out the best in sweet recipes.
- Sugar-free chocolate – I did half of white chocolate and dark chocolate.
How to make keto shortbread cookies
These are cut-out shortbread cookies, which takes a bit more time and effort than the wedge-shaped version. But trust me, the results are worth it!
- Beat the butter and sweetener together: You really want to work the sweetener into the butter very well before adding other ingredients.
- Add any flavourings: I used espresso powder and vanilla here but you can add other extracts or flavors as you see fit.
- Beat in the dry ingredients: Almond flour has no gluten, so a little bit of xanthan gum can help make these cookies a bit more sturdy.
- Roll out to an even thickness. You really want them no more than about ¼ inch thick so that they bake through properly.
- Cut into desired shapes. I made a number of 2-inch hearts and then some bigger, 3 inch hearts as well. But you can cut them into whatever shape you want.
- Freeze for one hour. Freezing the cookies before baking helps them keep their shape better.
- Bake at a low temperature. Because they are so buttery, they can brown too quickly at any temperature above 300F.
- Let cool in the oven. One of the tricks to getting keto cookies to crisp up is to let them sit in a warm oven. I do this often with keto biscotti as well.
These keto shortbread cookies are delicious on their own but they are downright amazing when dipped in chocolate!
I decided to do half of them in dark chocolate and half in white chocolate. I simply melted some Choczero sugar-free chips with a little cocoa butter to help it melt more smoothly.
Although they were both delicious, I found that I preferred the white dipped ones. You could easily do all white chocolate or all dark chocolate.
White chocolate can be finicky at the best of times, so stay near your double boiler and makes sure you stir it very frequently. Keep the heat very low and the water just barely simmering.
Once the chips are mostly melted, get it off the heat right away and keep stirring until it’s nice and smooth. Then dip the cookies halfway in and let set.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! This keto shortbread cookie recipe is so versatile and can be flavoured any way you like. The espresso and coffee does not affect the consistency or structure.
Starbucks Via packs work very well in this recipe. I would use 1 pack for a lighter espresso flavor and 2 for a more intense flavor.
No, I am afraid not. Coconut flour does not make for very good shortbread, as it’s far too absorbent and requires eggs for structure. I don’t really recommend other nut or seed flours here either, as they tend to be more coarse than almond flour and the cookies will be much more fragile.
The only sweetener that allows cookies to crisp up properly is erythritol. You can use Swerve, Lakanto, or another erythritol sweetener, but any amount of allulose or BochaSweet will prevent them from crisping up properly.
Store the keto espresso shortbread on the counter in a covered container for up to a week, or in the fridge for 10 days. Because they contain no eggs, they won’t spoil easily, but they may become less crispy if you live in a humid environment.
If you haven’t dipped them in chocolate, you can easily re-crisp them by placing them in a warm oven for 10 to 20 minutes.
You can also freeze the baked shortbread cookies for up to 2 months. You can dip them in chocolate prior to freezing or do so afterward.
Keto Espresso Shortbread Cookies
- Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sweetener until lightened and fluffy. Beat in the espresso powder and vanilla extract.
- Add the almond flour, ground coffee if using, xanthan gum, and salt, and beat until the dough comes together.
- Sprinkle a work surface lightly with additional almond flour and roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick. Use sharp cookie cutters to cut out to desired shape or size. (This recipe will make about 30 2-inch cookies).
- Gently wiggle an offset spatula under each cookie and place on the prepared baking sheets at least 1 inch apart. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more cookies until you can't cut out any more. Freeze 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Bake the cookies (from frozen) for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the oven off and let cool 10 minutes. Then return the cookies to the warm oven until completely cool, keeping a close eye on them. (If your oven holds onto its heat well, proper the door open just a bit with a wooden spoon).
- In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmer water, melt the chocolate with half of the cocoa butter, stirring until smooth.
- Dip half of the cooled cookies partway into the chocolate and set on a waxed paper lined sheet. Sprinkle lightly with a little coarsely ground coffee, if desired.
- Repeat with the white chocolate and the remaining cocoa butter. Refrigerate the cookies until set.