Preview: With the perfect snap and texture, low carb chocolate pinwheel cookies are deliciously made of almond and coconut flours along with chocolate and other flavors. All the gluten-free goodness comes in a neat, perfectly swirled package perfect for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or afternoon tea!
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On the 10th day of Christmas, we have swirls!
It's the 12 Days of Keto Christmas Cookies, and we're on cookie number 10! Have you ever made a swiss roll cake? Or perhaps you've watched one of those cooking shows I watch far too many of where they discuss the perfect "swirl" in a cake or cookie?
I am the first to admit my swirls are never completely perfect, but they are fun! This recipe is great because it's super easy to make. Also, you have much less risk of the dough breaking than with a swiss roll.
Those are entirely different! I'm sure you're telling the computer now. A swiss roll is a cake rolled up with jam, cream, or frosting inside. These are almost a shortbread-style cookie with no cream whatsoever. However, that all-important roll to create the perfect, or almost-perfect swirl is the unifying factor.
In a hurry?
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The tradition of the pinwheel swirl
In the past, one of my favorite Christmas cakes to make was the Bouche de Noël. I studied French in high school and college, and one of my favorite parts of French culture was and still is the food!
A Bouche de Noël is a roll cake, similar to a swiss roll, made in the shape of a log. Next year, I'm determined to make a keto version for Christmas. Traditionally it's decorated with meringue mushrooms, marzipan leaves, or anything edible to make to appear more like you could stumble upon it in a fairy forest.
I always struggled with getting the cake to roll correctly to create the main part of the cake. Why is that swirl so difficult?
It comes down to several things easily managed when faced with cookie dough instead of a sponge cake.
How to create the perfect swirl
First of all, the layers of dough need to come together evenly so as not to create bubbles or bumps of dough. Both different kinds of dough should be even throughout, just like the cake and filling should be in a roll cake. This is accomplished by taking your time and smoothing out the dough to the correct thickness without any bubbles or imperfections.
Second, a trick I've learned is to guide the dough as you roll it up with parchment paper, not your hands. As you pull the parchment paper up to start the roll, the paper more evenly creates the roll than your hands alone. Also, with a cookie dough filled with butter, the less you touch it the better because you don't want to melt out that delightful butter!
The third trick for creating the perfect swirl is to roll it into a 2-inch diameter log, wrap it in cling wrap, and throw it in the freezer to chill. As I said, butter melts so if the dough is chilled it hardens. Not only then does the swirl stay in place, but then the log is ready to slice and bake anytime and can even stay in the freezer for up to a month.
To make low carb chocolate pinwheel cookies you'll need:
- a large bowl
- mixer, hand or standing
- a spatula
- spoon and knife
- rolling pin
- cookie baking pans
- parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- a freezer
Cookies are made with butter and love.
How to make low carb chocolate pinwheel cookies
To begin, as always, make life easier by getting out all the necessary ingredients and kitchen utensils. Go ahead and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two baking sheets. I've found with these cookies you don't need parchment paper or baking mats on the pans, but use them if you like.
For the ingredients now, first beat the butter and sweetener in a large bowl. I like to use a standing mixer for this, but use what you prefer. Once the mixture lightens up, add in the vanilla and mix it throughout.
Next, for the dry ingredients, measure in the almond and coconut flours. Beat it together thoroughly to make a dough. Obviously, there's no gluten in this so you don't have to worry about beating it too much and developing a gluten structure. Just combine it completely and knead it into a dough.
Then divide the dough into two equal parts. Put one part in an extra bowl to wait then take the other half of the dough and mix in the cocoa powder. Make sure it's well-mixed and equal in its chocolate color throughout. It's not fun to see specks of unmixed white dough in the middle of the chocolate.
Now, take the other half of the dough resting in the extra bowl and mix in the extracts and food coloring. For the cookies in the pictures, I used peppermint and a bit of red food coloring for the perfect Christmas or Valentine's Day cookie.
Tip: Use different flavorings
One thing I love about this recipe is that it's so versatile. You can't really go wrong with the chocolate swirl, and the other layer of cookie dough can be made any number of flavors to suit your taste. My son's not a fan of peppermint so no problem! Add in strawberry, almond, or coconut extract instead. I've even used a few drops of orange essential oil for a chocolate orange cookie.
Another note. It's up to you whether or not you use food coloring, and while I always recommend natural food coloring, the ones from the grocery store can work also.
How to roll out the dough
Get ready to roll out the dough and take out two large pieces of parchment paper. Set the chocolate dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper in the center, and roll it out to about a twelve-inch by eighteen-inch rectangle. Then do the same with the other flavored dough.
Next, remove the parchment paper and place the two kinds of dough one on top of the other. As I mentioned before, to get a good swirl, be careful to keep it flat and even with no bubbles or bumps. It should still be sitting on one of the pieces of parchment paper to act as a rolling guide.
Pull up on the parchment paper evenly to begin the roll and continue to pull upward on the paper to help guide it around. Of course, use your hands on the parchment paper to help form the log if necessary. Now make the dough into a log about 2 inches across and roll it in cling wrap or parchment paper.
This next step is the one I love because it allows you to premake the dough whenever and it'll be ready to slice and bake off when you need for your holiday party or Christmas tea. Put the log in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes up to a month! I like to have several different kinds of slice and bake cookies in my freezer for emergencies.
Bake the cookies
To bake the cookies, first get the log out of the freezer and trim off the uneven edges of dough. Then slice the cookies about 1/3 to 1/2 inches wide in order to make 24 cookies. Place them about two inches apart on the baking pan.
Bake them in the 325-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges barely start to brown. They will be very soft, but once they're cooled they'll be a hard shortbread style cookie. Don't be tempted to leave them in longer and let them burn. I speak from experience.
Lastly, let them cool for at least 20 minutes on the baking pan before moving them to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely and dress them up in a pretty bag for a gift or serve them at a party. Or snack on one while you read a good book. It's up to you!
Reach as high as you can, then reach a little higher. There you will find magic and possibility. And maybe even cookies.
What's your favorite kind of cookie?
Does your family have a favorite cookie? I like to have different options to have a variety for holiday parties. These low carb chocolate pinwheel cookies have the swirl, there's those with cream or frosting, fillings, jams, or even traditional chocolate chip. We love them all, especially my kids. Also, cookies are a fun thing for them to make with you and for all my talk of the "perfect swirl", it's never quite perfect, and it doesn't have to be!
Enjoy baking with the kids and that family time together. You'll end up with happy kids, fun family time, and a delicious cookies snack. What could be better?! Enjoy!
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Happy Valentine's Day, Merry Christmas and happy cookie baking!
Low Carb Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies Printable Recipe
Low Carb Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sweetener of your choice, I use Swerve
- 3 1/2 cups finely ground almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional: could also use almond or coconut)
- food coloring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two baking sheets.
- Beat the butter and sweetener in a large bowl until combined and light, then mix in the vanilla.
- Measure in the almond and coconut flours and mix together thoroughly to make a dough.
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Take one half of the dough and mix in the cocoa powder.
- In the other half of the dough, mix in the extracts and food coloring if using.
- Place the chocolate dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and roll it out to about a twelve-inch by eighteen-inch rectangle. Do the same with the other dough.
- Remove the parchment paper and set the dough one on top of the other careful to keep in flat and even.
- Roll up the dough like a Swiss roll cake, using a piece of the parchment paper to help guide it around.
- Form the dough into a log about 2 inches across and roll it in cling wrap or parchment paper. Chill the log in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Trim off the edges and slice the cookies about 1/3 to 1/2 inches to make 24 cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges barely start to brown.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges barely start to brown and let cool for at least 20 minutes on the baking pan before moving to a cooling rack.
|Amount Per Serving: 1 cookie|
|Total Fat 10 g|
|Saturated Fat 5 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 2 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 20 mg|
|Sodium 4 mg|
|Potassium 19 mg|
|Total Carbohydrate 2 g|
|Dietary Fiber 1 g|
|Sugars 0 g|
|Protein 1 g|
12 Days of Keto Christmas Cookies
- Coconut Macaroons
- Butter Spritz Cookies
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Thumbprint Peanut Butter Cookies
- Low Carb Lemon Cookies
- Chocolate Truffles
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- Pumpkin Cookies
- Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Low Carb Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies