Is this real life?? SUGAR Cookies (and FROSTING) that’s paleo, vegan AND keto-approved?! I’m so freaking excited about these Christmas Tree Cookies! Not only are they just ADORABLE, but DELICIOUS. How is it that they’re made with wholesome ingredients and NOT loaded with sugar or dyes!? It’s a Christmas MIRACLE!!! 😀
To me, it doesn’t even feel like Christmas until I’ve baked cutout cookies with my kids. It’s a tradition at my house. It’s basically the ONLY time my son will cook with me now, haha. So I cherish it. But I’m so happy that I can actually enjoy these cookies, too!! And as a mom, I’m freaking happy to NOT be loading my kids up with more sugar lol. They get enough of that at school and grandma’s house, ha.
GOODBYE grains, sugar, dairy and eggs
These chewy “sugar” cookies are made with simple, natural ingredients: almond flour, avocado oil, maple syrup, salt and vanilla. (I love to add a little almond extract too!!)
You don’t need any eggs OR any flax or chia or egg replacers! Woohoo! *but* it does result in a more fragile cookie.
So my advice is to make SMALL cookies. “2-bite” size. About 2 inches in diameter. The bigger ones tend to break if you’re not super careful. (and my kids are not careful with anything lol)
Tip: bake similar sizes together to avoid the small ones burning and the large ones being undercooked.
Thank you, Feasting on Fruit!
This recipe adapted from one I came across last year on Feasting on Fruit. (Definitely check out this website for amazing gluten-free/dairy-free recipes)
But that’s not all! 😀 I discovered that you can replace the maple syrup with LAKANTO maple syrup to make these sugar-free and low-carb and they STILL TASTE AMAZING!!
OH HAPPY DAY! Yes, these work whether you’re low carb or not — regular pure maple syrup OR sugar-free maple syrup.
You guys, this frosting tastes like the REAL THING. Like real bakery style, ultra smooth, perfectly sweet and colorful FROSTING.
It took me a LOT of experimenting to get the right consistency AND COLOR. You wouldn’t believe the first batch. (SPINACH FROSTING ANYONE?? LOL) Well that one didn’t go as planned.
I refuse to use artificial coloring because of the related health issues and such. So I had to come up with a natural alternative. I tried matcha, and that didn’t give me the color I wanted either.. it looked like guacamole, haha! And also Grinch skin. It can work if you like that earthy green shade, but it wasn’t what I was going for.
Some of my Instagram friends who were following along with this “saga” recommended spirulina powder. I really wanted to get some, but what I found were GIANT bags that were a little pricey.. and I only needed like a teaspoon!
But what I found after searching online was so surprising… there actually IS a natural food coloring set you can buy on Amazon, Whole Foods, and online at Target and Walmart, too! Thank you Watkins for this set of 4 colors made with VEGETABLES, plants and other good stuff! 😀 Beets, turmeric, spirulina, YAY.
MAKE IT PRETTY
To make the pretty frosting swirls for your trees, you’ll need a set of piping tips. I used this Wilton Cupcake Decorating Icing Tips, 12-Piece Set, which you can get on Amazon or at Target.
The set comes with 4 tips. To make this exact design, use tip “IM.” If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a gallon size ziplock bag. Tip: to easily fill the bag with frosting, place it inside a small bowl and fold the sides of the bag down over the bowl. Don’t worry, it’s easy to pipe on the frosting. It took me all of 2 minutes to pipe these.
To make the “snow” on the trees, use dessicated (finely shredded) coconut (unsweetened, of course). If you don’t have dessicated, you can blend some in a blender or chop it finely with a knife (that’s what I did). *do not use monkfruit or sugar for snow because it WILL melt.
Want some colorful sprinkles? If you scroll back, you can see some of the red/pink sprinkles I made.. SUGAR-FREE sugar sprinkles lol! It’s monkfruit with a couple drops of natural red food coloring. I added these on *after* baking, so they wouldn’t melt.
Remember, this makes a relatively small batch compared to traditional cookie recipes (enough to fill a large dinner plate) but the recipe is easily doubled.
These cookies can be left out at room temp for several days so everyone can admire their cuteness 😉 Note – if you refrigerate them, the frosting will harden, but it softens again when brought to room temp.
I hope you enjoy these Christmas Tree Cookies as much as we did 🙂 Now you can ENJOY without worry. Now that’s a merry Christmas!
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies (Paleo, Vegan, Keto)
To make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Stir together all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well to remove any lumps.
- *update* Lakanto's maple syrup formula may have changed to be slightly less sweet. Taste and adjust dough as needed. You may add a pinch of pure monkfruit or stevia extract, or monkfruit or stevia drops. Adding monkfruit granules may make the cookies crunchy, but it should work.
- Let the dough rest/absorb for a minute. If it's too dry, add a drizzle of oil. If it's too wet, add a sprinkle of almond flour.
- Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment.
- Cut dough using 1.5"- 2" cookie cutters (I used a champagne glass for the circles) Wipe cutters clean in between use if dough sticks.
- Transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting. Handle cookies with care.
To make the frosting:
- Add palm shortening to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix for about 10 seconds to warm/soften.
- Add remaining ingredients and beat until fully mixed and desired color is achieved. (Color will continue to develop/deepen for about 30 minute after mixing)
- Transfer to a gallon size baggie or pastry bag with a 1M piping tip.
- Add a swirl to each cookie and decorate with coconut "snow" or natural "sugar" sprinkles (see post above for how to make). Enjoy!
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and Lakanto Affiliate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through referral links in this post (at no additional cost to you).
Lakanto Maple flavored syrup available here (Enter code PRETTYPIES at checkout for 20% off)
Lakanto Classic Granulated Monkfruit available here (Enter code PRETTYPIES at checkout for 20% off)
Avocado oil from Aldi
Spectrum shortening from Target or Amazon
Macros per 2″ cookie not including frosting:
- calories 70
- Fat 6 g
- Carbohydrate 1.9 g
- Fiber 1.2 g
- Net Carbs 0.7
- Protein 2.2 g
Frosting has zero net carbs if monkfruit is used. 🙂