The first key to transforming regular old cookies into keto cookies is the flour. While traditional cookie recipes call for wheat flour (often bleached white flour, which offers next to no nutritional value), these keto cookies are made with almond flour. Almond flour is a popular gluten-free flour alternative made of ground blanched almonds. Popular among healthy eaters of all varieties (not just keto dieters), almond flour is also high in monounsaturated fats, which help promote overall health and reduce the risk of heart disease, along with antioxidant vitamin E and the essential minerals magnesium and potassium.
These keto cookies take the power of almonds to the next level, calling for almond butter as well. While almond butter is an amazingly healthy and tasty treat that’s delicious on just about anything, from celery to apple slices, it’s an equally great baking ingredient—for keto cookies and beyond. Almond butter is packed with plant-based protein, vitamin E, and fiber. It also gives these keto cookies a dose of subtle sweetness while adding to their soft, chewy texture.
To maintain the low-carb status, this keto cookie recipe swaps out granulated sugar for erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol that contains a mere 3 calories per gram and serves as a sugar alternative. “Along with stevia, these sugar alcohols are still decent options for people looking for natural sugar-free options,” William Cole, D.C., IFMCP, functional medicine expert, told mbg. Sugar alcohols are considered safer than artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet), and saccharin (Sweet N’ Low), all of which may “actually change the bacterial makeup of your microbiome,” said Dr. Cole. “This can be a trigger for autoimmune problems, diabetes, and metabolic disorders.”
It’s important to note, however, that sugar alcohols aren’t a great option for everyone. They are known to have a laxative effect if consumed in high quantities and can cause major flare-ups of digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and SIBO. Since your body does not completely absorb sugar alcohols, they’re left to ferment in the large intestine, which can cause gas and bloating. The short version: If you suffer from one of these digestive conditions, you may want to avoid this (and most) keto dessert recipes.
These double-chocolate keto cookies also have some tasty ingredients in common with their non-keto cousins, namely cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks. You’ll want to make sure to buy natural, unsweetened cocoa powder and a high-quality, 80 to 90 percent cocoa chocolate bar to chop up into chunks. (Fun fact: The higher the cocoa content in chocolate, the lower the sugar and carbs. While it may take some getting used to, over time you might find that a square or two of this potent chocolate makes a great snack all on its own.)
In addition to adding that classic chocolate flavor, cocoa has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and is linked to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries due to plaque buildup). What’s more, cocoa consumption has been shown to reduce inflammation and is associated with having a lower BMI. Thanks to its powerful flavonoid antioxidants, cocoa may also offer neuron protection and enhance cognition and overall brain health as well as boost your mood.