Thursday, June 02, 2011

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb)

These Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies can be eaten for Phase One if you use portion control!

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com

I see a lot of food blog posts about desserts, but although I indulge a bit when I'm traveling I don't make desserts at home all that often.   However a lot of people love sweet treats,  and when I mentioned on the Kalyn's Kitchen Facebook Page that I was experimenting with a Phase One cookie recipe from The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook, it generated a lot of excitement.  

(Desserts are a challenge on Phase One, and before this the Jelled Ricotta Pudding recipe I got from a reader was the only Phase One dessert on my blog.)  I experimented with a couple of versions until I got a cookie I thought was just right, and I'm excited to share the recipe.   Even though I'm not a big sweets person, I liked these cookies so much that I had to remind myself about portion control, so if you're trying to lose weight, keep that in mind!

Really I think these Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies are a pretty classic macaroon (not to be confused with macarons, which are a whole different baking experience!)   The recipe uses ground almonds, and I was actually surprised that an official South Beach Diet Cookbook had these labeled as phase one, since one of the other cookbooks says no nut flours are allowed in Phase One.  I don't know if grinding the almonds yourself makes a difference, but I did follow the recipe for that part.

Coconut is definitely a fruit, but unsweetened coconut has only 1 gram of sugar in 3 tablespoons, which does a lot to explain why it's permitted.  Anyway I'm trusting the book on this, and I did eat *quite a few* cookies when I was testing the recipe without gaining any weight!  (If you're eating them for phase one though, check the South Beach suggestions after the recipe for portion size.)

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Put a generous 2/3 cup slivered almonds into a small food processor or the bowl attachment of an immersion blender and process until just ground.  (I ground mine until it was just slightly more chunky than almond meal.  I'd guess you could use almond meal in this recipe in a pinch, but I haven't tried it.  I would not use the more finely-ground almond flour though.)

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Put the ground almonds into a bowl and add the shredded unsweetened coconut, Splenda, and a generous pinch of salt.  (If you're not making these for South Beach you can substitute sugar for Splenda.)

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
I love this little egg separator to separate the egg white, but you can also do it by hand using the shell.  You need two egg whites.  (The original recipe used one, but I found the cookies were crisper and the dough was much easier to handle with two.)

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Mix in the egg whites, nonfat Greek yogurt and vanilla until all the ingredients are moistened.

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
The recipe called for macaroons made into balls, but I wanted a flatter cookie.  (Anna from Poland followed the recipe in the book and made Coconut Almond Macaroon Balls if you want to see how they look.)  Thanks Anna for sharing that on Facebook!

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
I used a fork to smash mine down into cookies not quite 1/2 inch thick.  The batter is a bit crumbly so I pushed the edges together with the fork too.

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Bake for 30-32 minutes (or slightly less if you don't want the edges quite so golden brown.


Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies
(Makes about 16 small cookies, recipe adapted from  The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook, and this is a cookie that's approved for Phase One in that book!)

Ingredients:
generous 2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (I used Bob's Red Mill unsweetened coconut, which I found at a health foods store)
1/2 cup Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener, Splenda, or sugar (use Stevia or Splenda for the South Beach Diet)
generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt (I used Fage Total Greek yogurt)
2 egg whites (I used extra-large eggs)
2 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325F/170C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.

Use a small food processor or the bowl attachment for an immersion blender to chop the almonds, just until they are ground but still a little chunky.  Put the ground almonds, shredded coconut, Splenda or Stevia, and salt into a medium-sized bowl and mix together with a spoon.  

Separate 2 eggs to get 2 egg whites.  (Save the yolks for something else or discard.)  Add egg whites, fat-free Greek yogurt, and vanilla to the dry mixture and blend together with a spoon until the ingredients are well-combined.  

Scoop out dough one tablespoon at a time and form into a round ball, then place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  (I used a metal tablespoon, which worked well.)  Use a fork to press each ball down into a cookie slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.  (The cookies don't spread out much, so don't worry about that.)  I also used the fork to press the edges together because the batter is rather crumbly.

Bake cookies until they are well set and starting to get nicely brown on the edges, about 30-32 minutes.  (This was quite a bit longer than the cooking time in the original recipe, but I liked the brown edges.  If you want a lighter cookie, take them out sooner.)

I loved the crisp cookies when they were fresh from the oven and barely cooled.  After they had been stored overnight in a plastic container they were much less crisp.  I might consider only baking a few at a time (or even putting leftover cookies back into a hot toaster oven for a few minutes to crisp them.)

The original recipe said 24 cookies and gave the serving size for Phase One as three cookie balls.  I only got 16 flat cookies, so I would limit the serving to 2 cookies if you're doing Phase One.


South Beach Suggestions: 
The low-glycemic ingredients in these cookies make them approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  If you're eating them for Phase One I would limit myself to 2 cookies per day (and maybe don't have nuts as a snack on that day, since nuts are so calorie dense and the macaroons contain almonds.)

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Tasty Ideas for Low-Sugar Cookies with Coconut or Almonds (but not for Phase One, sorry!)
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.  Splenda can be substituted for sugar in most any cookie recipe.)
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Molasses-Almond Cookies from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Ranger Cookies with Pecans, Coconut, and Chocolate from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Triple Almond Cookies from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Cookies with Almond and Flaxseed Meal from Kalyn's Kitchen
Low Sugar or Sugar-Free Almond Flour "Snickerdoodle Cookies (also gluten free) from Kalyn's Kitchen
Gluten-Free Rasberry Coconut Almond Bars from Gluten Free Goddess
Vegan Coconut Almond Cookies from Health Nut
Gluten Free Almond Power Bars from Elana's Pantry
Granola Cookies with Toasted Coconut, Almonds, and Chocolate from Dandy Sugar
Cranberry Almond Coconut Macaroons from The Sophisticated Gourmet
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
counter customizable free hit

59 comments:

  1. Whether dieting or not these cookies look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I looovvee macaroons and anything that makes them a little bit figure friendly sounds fantastic to me! These look great! And are definitely a great way to keep you on track during phase one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These look good, and I'm not even doing phase one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am definitely making these and the ricotta one. I'm with you. I tend to make a lot of veggie and lean meat dishes but almost no desserts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love macaroons and yours look great!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've got to get a food processor....

    Almonds and coconut are two of my favorite cookie flavors.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I, too, am not much of a sweets person - however these look interesting.

    I believe these could easily be made vegan with some flax meal and.... hmm. Something for the yogurt. Maybe silken tofu.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. CJ, I think you might be able to find the nuts in a blender if you're careful not to get too fine.

    Would love to hear how it works if you come up with a vegan version of this!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I JUST made a healthy cookie last night that I'm really excited about. I am really enjoying exploring more healthy and vegan baking. Its quite the challenge. I look forward to trying this recipe out! I love anything with almond and coconut so I'm sure it will be a winner.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of the things I love the most about your blog is that I love the recipe FIRST and then the HEALTHINESS second. I am not even doing South Beach, but I absolutely love every KK recipe I have ever made. These look amazing to me, and will try them soon!

    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  11. Becky, look forward to seeing your new healthy cookie!

    Donna, you're sweet! I did really enjoy these (and I am not that much of a coconut fan, but I loved the coconut in this.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This has my name on it. Coconut, almonds and Greek yogurt. Three of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  13. the cookies look delicious and i will just keep aside my diet till i taste this

    ReplyDelete
  14. Is there any reason not to beat the egg whites before adding them?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Paula, hope you enjoy!

    Kadhyaa, these are diet friendly if you don't eat too many!

    Terri, I didn't try it with beaten egg whites but I'd guess it would make the cookies a bit lighter (and increase the volume so you can eat a few more.) Love to hear how that works if you try it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I on the other hand am a TOTAL sweets person. These still look delicious. I love the addition of greek yogurt!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Kelley I think I am in the minority in my indifference to sweets. I thought the Greek yogurt really was perfect in this.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for these cookies!!! I made them last night and they were so good- even my 10 year old nephew loved them! Such a happy girl right now!

    ReplyDelete
  19. These cookies sound delicious! I've been off sugar completely, but I would love to try these in the future. Almond flour and coconut are a killer combo.

    ReplyDelete
  20. i am dying to try these! hubby and i are in phase one for the first time, and i'm missing cookies!!! i can't seem to find unsweetened coconut at my local grocery store. i was going to try Trader Joes, but where do you get yours?

    thanks so much for the fantastic blog and all the amazing recipes! i love that you give a side dish suggestion and the printer friendly version. i print out the recipe on one side and then the side dish on the other and my meals are set! you made phase one doable <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. Cheri, so glad the blog is helping you with phase one. I found the unsweetened coconut at Whole Foods, in the section where they had Bob's Red Mill products. (You could also order it online from Bob's Red Mill if you can't find it where you live.)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, Kalyn, these look yummy! And thanks a bunch for mentioning me & my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anna, my pleasure. I loved seeing how they turned out for you when you made them as balls!

    ReplyDelete
  24. look great! would love to know how to do it without the yogurt as a dairy free cookie though; maybe the tofu idea? and definitely not messing with Splenda, with the research I've done on that....

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have no idea how you would make these without yogurt; let us know if you come up with something.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey Kalyn! New South-Beacher and new reader here. Any thoughts or experience baking with Stevia?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Laura, I just started experimenting with the new Stevia In the Raw Granular sweetener. I've baked several things with it and am very happy with the results. You could use it in any of my recipes that specify Splenda.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I just made these and they're delicious! Like macaroons!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Melissa, so glad you liked them!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just made these and they are fantastic! Instead of sugar/splenda, I ended up using Agave nectar. The batter was a little runnier than yours, but it still turned out awesome, with the same amount of time! Thanks for a good one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you use the same amount of Avage Nectar as the amount of Splenda?

      Delete
  31. Bellows, thanks for sharing that. Good to know that they will work with agave nectar!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I would love to know where to get that cute little egg separator. Carol

    ReplyDelete
  33. Carol, I bought it at Williams-Sonoma, but it was more than ten years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Do you know the approximate carb count at the 16 cookie count? I made these over the weekend and the whole family loved them. I used the Pampered Chef "Magic Chopper" to crush the almonds. So I had a thought... Girl Scout Samoas. I'd like to add some sugar-free caramel & chocolate to these as well!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I chose South Beach to manage my weight because I didn't want to count calories, carbs, etc., but if you want that information you can calculate it here:
    http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

    ReplyDelete
  36. For those using Agave Nectar and Stevia (I have Truvia, but it seems those are interchangeable) - did you use the same amount of each as indicated for Spenda? Kalyn - I love your blog and recipes. Thank you so much for all your efforts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audra, thanks; glad you are enjoying the recipes. I don't know how Agave would work in this recipe because of the wetness, but I think you could use granulated Stevia in the same amount as Splenda. (Stevia in the Raw Granulated is good.)

      Delete
  37. I tried these with ground hazelnut flour (I am allergic to almonds), 1/2 tsp pure stevia powder for sweetener, and baked on aluminum foil. There was some sticking to foil. Stevia comments: the sweetness was the right amount with some aftertaste. I think that the decreased bulk made the dough stick together better. Thank you Kalyn for making phase 1 better!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Susan, I agree that using the powder Stevia probably makes the dough more sticky. You might like the granulated Stevia in the Raw for baking; I like it a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Kalyn,

    Wanted you to know I tried these this week. I used the smallest cookie scoop you can buy from Pampered Chef and then just squashed the balls between my palms and got 23 cookies from the batch. I figured out the calories, too, for anyone interested and at my size of cookies, they are only 40 calories per.

    They're good-I think I would have liked a bit more vanilla flavor, but I have a really strong sweet tooth. Also, I know lots of SBDers say they have a hard time finding unsweetened coconut. I looked and looked in all the suggested places in my local grocery and actually found it in the bulk section, which was perfect, because I basically just bought enough for the recipe. (Although, I have a feeling I'll be buying more in the future, once I finally jump into SBD for real. (I'm in the "trying out all the recipes" phase. (A Pre-P1 stage I made up so I would have more recipes under my belt and hopefully not get bored.)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I found this recipe on Pinterest last night, and was so happy I had all of the ingredients on hand. I used Truvia, MUCH less than called for...3T I think. While they didn't come out as crispy as I'd hoped, the are as delicious as I'd hoped they would be. Thanks for the great recipe!! I'll be back :)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Velika, glad you liked it, and good to know it will work with Truvia too; I haven't used that much.

    ReplyDelete
  42. 1/2 cup of splenda seems like a lot, i think if you use agave probably 1 egg white is enough. i'll let you know! trying tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi there - love your website! I have the quick and easy cookbook however and I can't find this recipe - the closest I can find is a flourless fig and almond bite that uses ground almonds and figs, vanilla extract and orange zest and it's a phase 3 recipe. I live in uk so maybe recipes are slightly different? I just want to check as really want to diet right, but am desperate for a cookie! Thanks for any info you might have :-) Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  44. This recipe is from The South Beach Diet SuperQuick, which is different than the Quick and Easy cookbook. The book does say it is phase one, but be sure to limit portion size as indicated.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Delicious! I used this cookie base, and made them into "Samoas" by dipping the bases in SF chocolate, and drizzling them with SF chocolate and SF caramel syrup. I'm thinking there endless possibilities...raisins to make a mock oatmeal raisin cookie, mix some carrot in and ice them with a cream cheese frosting..something with peanut butter...the possibilities are endless! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Kalyn! I just happened to land on your blog while searching for phase one recipes (your Moroccan spiced garbanzo beans are currently in the oven). I was wondering if you recommend the granulated splenda for these? Thanks a lot! :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yes, you would need the granulated Splenda for this, or granulated Stevia in the Raw would also work.

    ReplyDelete
  48. These cookies are one of may favorite things!!! When on Phase One it breaks me away from the typical Jell-O type desserts. I have been using half the Splenda (I'm not a fan of the flavor or sweetness) and adding cinnamon. I'm curious if anyone's tried it with unsweetened baking cocco?

    ReplyDelete
  49. This recipe sounds awesome but I thought yogurt wasn't permitted in Phase 1...did this change? I have an old version of the book.

    ReplyDelete
  50. In the newest book up to 2 cups a day of non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt per day is allowed. Highly recommend newer book, lists are much more inclusive.

    ReplyDelete
  51. made these this afternoon while my bebes took a nap.
    they were delish!!
    thank you for the recipe. i love them. :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. I must have done something wrong. I wasn't able to find unsweetened coconut, so I used sweetened, but reduced my "sugar" to 1/2 cup.
    However, my "dough" was runny, not crumbly, as you indicated.
    They still tasted YUMMY!

    Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think the sweetener is necessary to give bulk to the dough, so I would check a health foods store for the unsweetened coconut next time.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Will try these for Passover. Actually, I am always ending up with two extra whites. Maybe I will try them sooner.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi, fun to hear from you Chocolate Lady! Hope you enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Just made these and now my kitchen smells amazing! Thanks for this great recipe!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

Comments don't appear on the blog until they're approved by me, so no need to try again if you don't see it! Feel free make your signature a link to your site if you're a blogger, but links posted within the body of the comment will never be published.

Blogging tips