PROTEIN COOKIES – AN EPIC BREAKTHROUGH!
This was my first successful protein cookies recipe :) It was a big breakthrough for me as I discovered that in order for protein cookies to have a real cookie texture, you can’t really skimp on the fat, and you need to use regular old white flour. I’d like to keep exploring gluten free options (I think oat flour – or Gluten Free Girl’s all purpose flour mix I listed on the Gluten Free Protein Baking page – would likely work, so I’ll have to try those options soon. But for now, this is what has given me success. I made this low carb protein cookies recipe with whole wheat flour to try to make it healthier, but I found that the difference in texture wasn’t worth it. And the difference in nutrition between white and whole wheat is so minimal (only a few grams of fiber and protein per cup), so I’ve made the choice to banish whole wheat flour to the world of breads and muffins etc.
The other thing I learned with this recipe is that when you substitute the fat with liquids like fruit puree, greek yogurt, or almond milk etc, the recipe acts more like a quick bread, and your protein cookies turn into more of a muffin texture (or the dough will be too crumbly to use, which is what happened to me with these ones. The key to a rich chewy or soft flakey cookie texture is fat. This was an important lesson for me.
ERITHRITOL AND UNFLAVORED WHEY – MY NEW STAPLES
This was also the first time I used erythritol as my sweetener (I fell in love with it!), instead of relying on the sweeteners of the flavored protein powders. So in turn, this was the first time I had attempted using plain unflavored whey. I realized that the thickening agents contained in flavored powders were screwing with the texture of my baked goods, and they also offer less control over flavor as well. So in conclusion, if you want to closely replicate the the taste and texture of your favorite baked goods – use plain unflavored whey protein isolate. It won me over after one try. It was also very important that I learned that you can successfully substitute half the flour of a traditional recipes with protein powder (with the addition of some extra liquid to balance things), and have it taste pretty much the same. Win!
RE-CREATIVE BAKING – A GAME CHANGER
This recipe was the birth of “re-creative” protein baking for me (I talk about the distinction between creative and re-creative protein baking on the Protein Baking Basics page). All my recipes before this were attempts to completely innovate a recipe from scratch, using only the healthiest ingredients possible. White flour was a no-no. A lot of my recipes turned out great (and a lot totally flopped haha), but they always tasted like something new and different, never exactly like traditional recipes. This can be a good thing. I love defying the laws of baking physics, and whipping up something totally new, totally healthy, and totally yummy! But as I discovered with this recipe, it can also be extremely rewarding to make protein goodies that have half the flour, no sugar, are substantially higher in protein AND taste almost identical to regular baked goods!
I will continue to do both styles of protein powder recipes, but it was important for me to realize the distinction, and to make it possible to create healthier options that don’t taste at all like healthier options :)
So on to the recipe! You’ll notice in the picture that the cookies I made were whole wheat (which didn’t bode well), and were cut into squares (because I used to little fat and the dough was too crumbly, so I had to press the dough into a thin layer on the baking sheet and cut them afterwards. The recipe I’ve provided for you has been adapted so that you won’t have these issues. Your cookies will be even tastier and prettier than mine!
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup plain unflavored whey protein isolate
- ½ cup erythritol (you can use powdered erythritol for a finer texture)
- 3 packets stevia powder
- 1 cup room temperature butter (I used salted)
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Cream the butter, then mix in the erythritol.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, whey powder, and stevia, then combine this mix with the butter mixture.
- You can either roll the dough into a log and cut it up into cookie size circles, or roll it out flat and cut into squares. Whichever you prefer.
- Place on cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper).
- Bake for 5-7 minutes. They'll still be a tiny bit soft, but they'll firm up as they cool.
- Your shortbread low carb protein cookies should last a week or so in a sealed container, enjoy!
(per 1 protein cookie – 1/24th of recipe)
103 calories 55 mg sodium
4.4 g protein 2 mg potassium
7.8 g fat 5% vitamin A
4.2 g carbs 0% vitamin C
.3 g fiber 0% calcium
.5 g sugar 2% iron