Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies
If there is one thing you can find in abundance on this blog, it's sweets. And I don't discriminate, I like sweets of all kinds - cookies, cupcakes, cakes, brownies, ice cream. But I do like balancing my sweet tooth with a healthy diet (most of the time). Sometimes I can have the best of both worlds and have my sweets but also be healthy.
Case in point: sugar-free sugar cookies.
Now, I know what you are thinking. How can you make a sugar cookie without sugar? While there may not be any refined sugar in these cookies, there are some all natural sweeteners (agave syrup and Stevia) in these cookies that give them their classic sweetness without the sugar rush.
In addition, the cookies are made with some whole wheat pastry flour which really amps up the healthy factor. Almost making these cookies guilt free. Almost.
These sugar-free sugar cookies already have the sugar-free thing and whole wheat flour going for them, but, in addition, they also use half as much butter as my classic sugar cookie. Thanks to the moisture provided by the agave syrup, you only need a half a cup of butter to make a full batch of cookies.
To make the cookies, I start by mixing together the butter, agave, and stevia. Then I add the egg and vanilla. After that, I mix in the whole wheat pastry flour.
You could also use plain all-purpose flour or normal whole wheat flour. Just be warned that by using 100% normal whole wheat flour you will end up with a distinct whole wheat taste. If that doesn't bother you then go for it! If it does, I recommend finding some whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or mix in half all-purpose and half whole wheat to still get the whole wheat benefit.
One great thing about this dough is that it can be rolled out immediately if you are short on time. But I prefer to wrap my dough in plastic wrap and to let it chill for about an hour before rolling it out. This not only helps the flour soak up some of the moisture, but it makes it a lot easier to roll and cut out.
Normally when I roll out my dough, I just roll it out right on my pastry board with a little bit of flour. But because this dough is a little on the dry side (whole wheat flour tends to do that) I want to use as little flour as possible. To roll out my dough without it sticking to anything, I roll it between two sheets of parchment paper and a tiny sprinkling of flour. Of course, I could do this with my normal sugar cookies, but I am just too lazy.
Then I cut out my cookies as normal and pop them in the oven to bake.
These cookies are perfect for decorating because they keep their shape really well, but are also really light and fluffy thanks to the agave syrup. For decorating these cookies, in keeping with the sugar-free theme, I made a batch of this sugar-free buttercream frosting. I did attempt to make sugar-free royal icing...but I am pretty sure that is impossible. You just need some sugar to make the icing work.
Full disclosure, though, the sprinkles are 100% sugar. I struggled to find any sugar-free sprinkles and decided in the end that cookies with 99% less sugar than a normal frosted sugar cookie is pretty dang good. Of course, if you are looking to eliminate all the refined sugar, you can just skip the sprinkles. Or make your own.
These cookies will be perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it. You can frost them with sugar-free frosting, or use my favorite royal icing (which is basically pure sugar) if you are just looking to cut out a little bit of sugar.
I am so happy to have this recipe in my back pocket now. Next time I make cookies for my friends' kids (or myself) I will certainly use this recipe to cut out some sugar and make my cookies a bit more healthy!
Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min
Makes 12-18 cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup agave
- 1 tsp stevia powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter, agave, and stevia for about 1 minute. Add in egg, vanilla, and almond extract and mix together for another 20 to 30 seconds.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flours and salt to get rid of any lumps. Slowly add flour to the butter mixture in two or three batches, mixing in between until the dough forms a soft, slightly sticky ball of dough.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.
- When ready to roll out the dough, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay a piece of parchment down on a work surface. Lightly flour the the parchment and place the dough on top, flattening with both hands. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough and lay a second piece of parchment on top.
- Roll out the dough between the parchment sheets to a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out into desired shapes. Place cut cookies onto the baking sheet 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.
You can substitute honey for agave in the same proportions. You can also substitute liquid stevia for powder stevia in the same proportions.