Lemon Almond Shortbread Cookies (Low Carb & Gluten Free)

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Low Carb & Gluten Free Shortbread CookiesI wasn’t always a fan of lemon flavored desserts – in fact, as a kid I wouldn’t even eat them.  In my adulthood though, I’ve come to appreciate the brightness that lemon imparts to a dessert – especially in low carb recipes, and now I can’t get enough of it.  I would even go so far as to say that when given the choice of lemon over chocolate, 75% of the time the lemon flavored dessert would win out. Crazy, I know – sometimes I can’t believe it either!

So maybe it’s due to all of the pastel colored foodie magazines showing up in my mailbox, and the promise of Spring and warmer weather just around the corner, but I’ve had lemons on the brain for weeks now.  It started with the Easy Crock Pot Lemon Chicken a couple of weeks ago, then I made the Low Carb Avgolemeno (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup) last week, and just the other day I made Carolyn’s (All Day I Dream About Food)low carb Meyer Lemon Mug Cake (which took about five minutes and was SO GOOD) – you guys must try it!  Even Mr. Hungry really loved it – I’ll be making that one over and over again for sure!

Anyway, during my crazed obsession with all things lemon last week, I also made these awesome low carb shortbread cookies, which I adapted from this recipe.  They did NOT disappoint!

Low Carb Shortbread

These little cuties require just four ingredients, and have an addicting lemon flavor and crusty shortbread texture that I absolutely love!

Be sure to use a sweetener that is advertised to bake like sugar (Granulated Splenda, Ideal, etc.) and not a liquid sugar free sweetener, or they may not hold together properly.  Also important is that you chill them first if you’re going to cut them into cookies, otherwise they will crumble apart and be impossible to work with.

Low Carb Recipe for Shortbread

This versatile dough also makes a lovely low carb tart base or pie crust, which does not require pre-chilling.  You simply press it into your pan and bake it for 15 minutes.    I’ll also be posting a gorgeous low carb Blueberry & Mascarpone tart I made with it in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

Lemon Almond Shortbread Cookies (LC & GF)

Yield: 1 large tart or 16 cookies (about 2 inches in diameter)

Serving Size: 1 cookie (or 1/8th of a tart)

Lemon Almond Shortbread Cookies (LC & GF)

A versatile dough that makes beautiful shortbread cookies, or the perfect crust for a summer fruit tart or lemon meringue pie!

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbl butter
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sweetener (Splenda, Ideal, Swerve, etc.)
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in the microwave or a small saucepan. Add the almond flour, sweetener, and lemon zest, stirring until fully combined.
  • To make a tart or pie crust:
  • No need to pre-chill, just press dough into tart or pie tins. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees (F) for 15 mins until firm and golden brown.
  • To make the cookies:
  • Form dough (it will be crumbly, this is normal) into a cylinder and wrap tightly with plastic wrap to compress. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes or until firm, or in the refrigerator for 2 hours. With a sharp knife, slice into 1/2 inch thick cookies (if they crumble apart your dough isn’t cold enough). Bake in a preheated oven @ 350 degrees (F) on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Allow to cool before removing.

Notes

Approx nutrition info per cookie: 119 calories, 11g fat, 1.6g net carbs, 3g protein

Approx nutrition info per 1/8th tart crust: 238 calories, 23g fat, 3g net carbs, 6g protein

Low Carb Shortbread

If, like me, you can’t get enough lemon flavored low carb desserts this time of year either, you can also check out my Sugar Free Pavlova’s with Lemon Curd and low carb Lemon, Thyme & Chevre Cheesecakes.

For more great recipes, you can also download The Gluten Free Low Carber e-cookbook which is now available for both Kindle and Nook!!

Finally, don’t forget to sign up for our Diatomaceous Earth giveaway, which ends on Wednesday, March 6th!






  1. Jayne
    Jayne03-05-2013

    I LOVE anything with lemon and these fit the bill, thanks!

  2. Judy @Savoring Today
    Judy @Savoring Today03-05-2013

    The look and shape of these cookies remind me of Pecan Sandies, but I love lemon, so I’m more inclined to try them. I enjoy working with almond flour, but I haven’t tried making cookies yet, guess it’s time! :)

  3. Hayley
    Hayley03-05-2013

    Do shortbread cookies traditionally omit eggs? I ask because I love lemon, and tried your recipe as soon as I read the post, but all the way through I had problems with them not holding together. Even after an entire night in the freezer, the dough was breaking apart in huge pieces. If I try them again, I think I am going to add an egg to hold everything together.

  4. AmyLW
    AmyLW03-05-2013

    I just made these. Two thumbs and two big toes up..

  5. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen03-06-2013

    I just adore the sandy texture of shortbread cookies and paired with the delicate flavor of lemon and almonds it’s all the better!

  6. Owie
    Owie03-06-2013

    Just when I thought there was nothing left to try with almond flour….. You are an inspiration Mellissa!

  7. Dancingtigga
    Dancingtigga03-07-2013

    Hi Melissa Just made these – having had poor experiences with artificial sweeteners, I used Demerara sugar – 40g of the stuff – the result was pretty good and worth the extra 3g carb per biscuit….might even get the kids to eat this one. Love your food – always a joy!

  8. Chris Malloy
    Chris Malloy03-08-2013

    These were great. I didn’t measure the sweetener so they turned out a bit sweet, but my non-keto coworkers loved them. They were very moist and held together well. This will be my new go to when I have a craving for shortbread!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-10-2013

      Thanks for the feedback Chris, so glad they worked out for you! I can’t wait to experiment with some other flavors too!

      • Chris Malloy
        Chris Malloy03-10-2013

        Actually I forgot to mention I did not use the lemon flavour. I added a little vanilla, almond extract and a tiny bit of ground cloves. It worked out really well.

  9. Cheryl
    Cheryl03-12-2013

    Sometimes I find that almond flour has quite an powerful taste and takes over in the flavour department. Did you, or anyone who has tried this yet, find that?

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-12-2013

      Hi Cheryl,

      I don’t find the almond flour to be very strong in flavor but maybe I’m just used to it. It could also be a freshness issue – nut flours will go rancid which gives them a very unpleasant and bitter flavor. To avoid this you can store it in the freezer to extend the shelf life. In these cookies, the lemon flavor is very prominent so it might be a good one for you to try!

  10. Jenny
    Jenny03-16-2013

    I love almond shortbread cookies. The recipe I use calls for 1 egg and I’ve never tried them without it. Maybe I’ll give this one a shot, it looks so yummy. I love the lemon flavor ones but recently I made a batch with cocoa powder and they came out like a crumbly brownie (with the egg the center is a slight bit moist, on the verge of gooey), very delish!

  11. kristen
    kristen03-22-2013

    I switched up this recipe a little bit and linked to you on my blog :) Your work is awesome – thank you!

  12. Claire D
    Claire D03-31-2013

    I have done Low Carb dieting many times over the last 20 years, but was never successful with cookies or cakes. You photos look amazing and your recipes sound yummy. So this morning I made a batch of the lemon almond cookies. I let them set in the refrigerator for about 6 hours while I did my Saturday chores. Once I got home I baked the cookies, let them cool and made my low carb dinner (which was pretty tasty). And then the test, having a good dessert or cookie low carb style. I ate one of the cookies and thought pretty good. I ate a second one about 10 minutes later as I just wanted to see if they really tasted good (just a test you know?). The second one was better than the first. Okay, I have now had 4 (my limit for the day, as after all I am dieting). I have to say these cookies are wonderful – lemon and almond flavoring, what a combo! I am so excited I found your food blog. I am excited you have recipes that are low carb AND GF – what a find. Great blog!!!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny04-01-2013

      Thanks so much Claire! I had the same problem with these cookies – so hard not to eat the whole batch! ;)

  13. Miah
    Miah04-04-2013

    These were amazing! Made them for Easter and they disappeared fast. Making another batch already!! Guilt free treats are the best!

  14. Laura K
    Laura K04-09-2013

    These were delicious! I made these yesterday for a friend and I to enjoy while we had a crafting day together. We almost ate the entire batch! I will probably make again this week and may try with lime or orange zest. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny04-09-2013

      Thanks Laura! Glad you guys enjoyed these! I have a hard time no eating the whole batch when I make them too! :)

  15. Chrys
    Chrys04-09-2013

    Thank you so, SO, much for this recipe! I have been looking for a cookie-type snack for a while now and this looks great! Trying it today :-) I tell anyone that will listen about your site, you’re a culinary genius :-)

  16. Karrel Buck
    Karrel Buck04-29-2013

    They are tasty but after 12 hours in fridge they fell apart immediately. Disapointed

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny04-29-2013

      Sorry Karrel – not sure why they fell apart on you – do you mean you couldn’t get them to hold together to cut into slices before baking – or that you made them and stored them in the fridge and they got soft and fell apart? If it was beforehand, it’s possible that they weren’t wrapped tight enough while cooling, and if you mean after, if they weren’t sealed they may have absorbed moisture in the fridge and gotten soggy. Of course I’m guessing, it’s hard to figure out without more details. Sorry that you were disappointed! :(

  17. Mari
    Mari07-14-2013

    Loved the recipe….the cookies were devoured in 2 days. Next time, I’ll add more lemon zest. I also tried this recipe with peanut butter (2 large TBS), instead of the lemon zest. It turned out okay, but let the peanut butter cookies cool in the fridge for 2 hours. If you eat them while they are warm, they taste bitter/burned.

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny07-14-2013

      It took you 2 whole days to eat them all? Mine usually only last about 2 hours! ;)

  18. Thelma Connolly
    Thelma Connolly07-24-2013

    I tried the Lemon Almond Shortbread cookies & they are simply AWESOME!!!! I live on low cal/low carb diet and they are Fab!!!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny07-25-2013

      I know right??? I love these so much that I don’t make them too often or I just can’t stop eating them!!!!

  19. mnk
    mnk08-04-2013

    Oh my! I just discovered your blog, and said to my husband “how come we’ve never seen this before!” Your blog is a Godsend! Thanks so much for the amazing recipes.

  20. Rachel
    Rachel08-17-2013

    I just made these tonight. Instead of messing with the chilling and cutting, to get cookies, I sprayed a mini muffin pan (16 holes anyway) and scooped the dough evenly into each cup and pressed firm. I ended up with 16 fabulous cookies that held together perfectly!

  21. Josephine
    Josephine10-25-2013

    Hi Mellissa. I just discovered your blog the other night when browsing around collecting low carb meal inspiration – and wow! I really think your recipes are creative and very inviting. I am definitely gonna cook up a few of them! So cool with a new source of food inspiration!
    All the best from Josephine (from Atastylovestory.com)

  22. Shel
    Shel12-25-2013

    Late to the party, just wanted to say these were a fabulous Christmas cookie, too. I grabbed the wrong fruit off the tree and our first batch was orange flavored. I sweetened with the recommended amount of erythritol and added some liquid sucralose.. After 30 minutes in the freezer, the dough was firm, but would crack or break. By holding a finger on the front edge of the dough, I was able to easily slice into nice looking cookies. We all know how tasty these are warm, but they just get better and more short-bready if given the opportunity. Some of them made it almost 24 hours and they were the best!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny12-26-2013

      Thanks for letting me know Shel! I like the orange idea – maybe dipped in chocolate afterwards since I love orange and chocolate together! I’ll get to work on that one soon – thanks for the inspiration! So glad you enjoyed them and thanks for taking the time to comment!

  23. maria loukakos
    maria loukakos01-01-2014

    Great recipe.. Worked well and biscuites held together beautifully. Thank you

  24. Jill
    Jill01-29-2014

    I made these tonight with a few changes. I had no lemon so used 2 teaspoons lime juice. Based on some of the other posts, I added 1 egg and since coconut goes so well with lime, I added 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut. They were delicious!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny01-30-2014

      Thanks Jill – I haven’t tried the egg but I’m wondering if it makes them easier to work with? Will have to experiment! Thanks!

      • jill
        jill01-30-2014

        T they were actually very easy to work with and I had no problem with them crumbling. I brought some to work today and they were a big hit!

        • Mellissa Sevigny
          Mellissa Sevigny01-30-2014

          Glad they were a hit Jill, I’m definitely going to try an egg in my next batch!

  25. heather
    heather03-03-2014

    I’m not sure what I did wrong but these didn’t turn out for me. :(

  26. Stephanie Wagner
    Stephanie Wagner03-08-2014

    Can I just say making these cookies comes at the perfect time with all of the Girl Scout cookies coming out now. I’ll also have to hunt down some low carb recipes for Samoas, Thin Mints and Tagalongs!

    • Mellissa Sevigny
      Mellissa Sevigny03-08-2014

      I think Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food has some copycat girlscout cookies on her site – if not a Pinterest search should turn some up!

      • Stephanie Wagner
        Stephanie Wagner03-08-2014

        That is so funny you just now said that! I JUST finished pinning all three of her recipes! haha! Baking day for me!

        • Mellissa Sevigny
          Mellissa Sevigny03-08-2014

          Yay! Me too! I’m busy baking 5 different cupcake recipes for the Spring issue of the ezine today! Be sure to box some of your cookies up and send them over here to me – I LOVE all of Carolyn’s cookie recipes! :)

  27. Christine Castaneda
    Christine Castaneda03-12-2014

    Made these again tonight. SOOOO YUMMY!

  28. Steph
    Steph04-13-2014

    These turned out PERFECTLY. I didn’t need to add an egg or anything, I just followed the recipe. Maybe next time I’ll add a bit more zest, just for extra yummy lemon! I also left the dough in the freezer for 45 minutes, just to make sure it held together. Which it did fantastically. Thank you! :D

    Very difficult not to eat them all at once!!

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