Celebrate With Low-Carb Christmas Cookies!

Dana Carpender's Low-Carb Merry Crispness Shortbread Cookies

Christmas cookies! You can have your candy canes, your eggnog, your figgy pudding* – As far back as I can remember, the best Christmas delicacy has been cookies. My mom, a somewhat indifferent cook, was, however, an excellent baker, and would turn out hundreds of cookies, at least a half-a-dozen kinds. Most of these would be lovingly packed into brightly-colored tins and shipped to loved ones. But there were always plenty left for us folks at home, and we devoured them happily.

Little wonder then that I’ve been working on low-carb Christmas cookie recipes since back before the turn of the century when I was just a baby low-carber. While my lust for sweets has dramatically abated, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without cookies. You’ll find great cookie recipes in 500 Low Carb Recipes, 500 More Low Carb Recipes, and of course 1001 Low Carb Recipes.

Choose Your Favorite Low-Carb Sweetener!

However, for the most part those recipes use Splenda. I personally remain unalarmed about Splenda, at least in the quantity I eat it, and it makes a terrific cookie. But more and more people are unhappy about artificial sweeteners in general. So I present for your holiday delectation three new cookie recipes, all made without artificial sweeteners.

You’ll notice a certain reliance on two sweeteners here: Swerve and English toffee flavored liquid stevia extract. I reviewed Swerve for CarbSmart a few months back, and it has, indeed, become a staple in my kitchen. It’s a combination of erythritol and oligosaccharides. Swerve is pretty much entirely unabsorbed by the body, but rather is passed through, which is why I have not included it in the recipe analysis. Unlike most of the sugar alcohols or polyols, erythritol has virtually no gut effect–a very good thing in a season of closeness! Swerve comes in both a granulated and a powdered version; I have used powdered Swerve in these recipes.

If you cannot get Swerve, you can use plain erythritol. You can make powdered erythritol simply by putting granular erythritol in your food processor and running it for a few minutes. However, erythritol has a cooling effect in the mouth, which, in concentration, can be odd in a cookie. This is why I generally combine it with liquid stevia extract, to bring the recipe up to the desired level of sweetness. Here I have used the English toffee flavored liquid stevia from SweetLeaf to add a hint of a brown-sugar flavor.

So brew a pot of coffee or pour a cup of tea, cue up some carols, go sit by the fireplace, and savor the season–and a cookie or two!

* Has any living person actually made figgy pudding?

Low-Carb Peanut Butter Dip Cookies

Dana Carpender's Low Carb Peanut Butter Dip Cookies

Low-Carb Peace On Earth Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dana Carpender's Low-Carb Peace On Earth Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low-Carb Merry Crispness Shortbread Cookies

Dana Carpender's Low Carb Merry Crispness Shortbread Cookies

Check Also

Refusing Holiday Food & Staying Low-Carb

Refusing Holiday Food and Staying Low-Carb by Dana Carpender

The holidays are straight ahead, and with them piles and piles of carby junk, and worse, people nagging you to eat the stuff. Why so many people think that saying things like "But you have to eat it! It's traditional!" and "I worked all afternoon making it just for you" constitutes an expression of holiday goodwill, I have no idea, but sadly this behavior is all too common. You need to think ahead about how to respond to this sort of thing.


  1. Although I usually love everything that Dana Carpenter contributes to your magazine, I was truly disappointed with the article about Christmas cookies. I have no problem using Splenda and purchased this issue specifically for the cookie recipes. However, not one of the recipes used Splenda but Swerve or Stevia. Of all times of the year to change to non-Splenda recipes this is the worst time. At least an article could have been included where Splenda is used for cookies or an equivalency chart. There isn’t enough time to place another ‘specialty item’ food order nor the budget to do so since I have already placed 2 specialty cooking orders in 2 weeks. Looks like it is back to web search and cookbooks to get my baking done.

    • Abbie:

      It’s simpler than you think and you do not have to look elsewhere for recipes.

      You can substitute granulated Splenda for Swerve in Dana’s recipes 1-for-1.

      I hope that helps.


  2. Hi Andrew,

    The link for the shortbread cookies doesn’t work – it takes you to the chocolate cookie instead.

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