Of all the cookies to give a keto makeover, a classic lemon shortbread is one of the easiest. The familiar buttery flavor, light and crumbly texture, and rich mouthfeel translate well when adapted to remove carbs from the cookie. We've swapped the sugar for a granulated sweetener and the wheat flour for almond flour, with a touch of coconut flour to improve binding.
For the lemon flavor, a simple lemon extract or juice provide the customary taste that lemon cookie lovers are most familiar with. You can add 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest for an additional pop of citrus, as well.
Similar to traditional shortbread cookies, the prep for these is very straight-forward, requiring no mixer or beating of butter. While the dough doesn't need to chill prior to baking, you can prepare it ahead of time, then roll out and bake when ready to enjoy.
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Mix together the flours in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, then use two forks or a pastry cutter to combine and mash the butter into the mixture until it resembles a shortbread pie dough. The pieces of butter should still be visible, but no larger than pea-sized shape.
Press the dough together with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll out until the dough is approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters or a knife, then place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until barely golden. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack or serving plate.
- Because these cookies are on the delicate side, they will have the best structure if cut into smaller shapes of about 2-inches in diameter. Choose a simple shape over a complex one, for easier transfer to the baking sheet.
- If you like a crispier cookie, you can roll these thinner to 1/4-inch thick. Then, reduce the baking time to 10 minutes.
- Softened butter won't result in the same texture as chilled. If you keep your butter on the counter, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes before prepping the cookies.
- European-style butter has less water than the American version. If it's available, it's the best choice for this recipe.
- Make sure to choose a keto sweetener that is appropriate for baking, ensuring it will not crystalize at higher temperatures.
- If you don't have coconut flour on hand, you can substitute additional almond flour. However, the cookies will be a little bit more crumbly.
- As with other shortbread cookies, these do not use a leavener. If you prefer a fluffier cookie, you can add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.