Whether you have a child on a specialty, keto friendly diet or you just want to recreate this classic childhood dessert, these almond flour animal cookies are a delicious treat for the whole family!
Yes, like you I grew up eating these delicious frosted animal shaped sugar cookies. I loved animal crackers and cookies alike and wanted to create a fun treat using my easy my basic Keto Shortbread Sugar Cookie recipe. This recipe is the base for these popular Gluten Free Keto Samoa Cookies and my favorite Keto Thin Mint cookie recipe too. It’s versatile for so many things, including making keto animal crackers!
This recipe isn’t difficult, but does take more time because there are a handful of steps (mostly just freezing the dough periodically) so keep that in mind when planning ahead. Below I have broken down all the tips and techniques for making a keto friendly sugar cookie cut out, baking, and even icing with a keto friendly glaze.
- Food Processor (Don’t have one? See tips below)
- Measuring Cups/ Spoons
- Rolling Pin
- Pieces of Parchment Paper
- Baking Sheet
- Rolling Pin
- Animal Cookies Cutters
Keto baking can be intimidating, but with a little know-how when it comes to popular grain free ingredients (like almond flour and coconut flour), leavening agents, and some basic techniques, you can be baking with confidence in no time!
This dough recipe is made from my popular Keto Shortbread Sugar Cookie recipe. It takes around 5 min to make and around 40-60 minutes to chill. Like a standard sugar cookie dough, chilling is a huge part of the process into order to give structure and stability to thinly rolled dough that’s cut into shapes.
Whether you choose to make smaller animal size shapes similar to the original or opt to use large cookie cutters, freezing the dough in a series of steps is literally the key to your success. It will take time, it will take patience, but it’s really NOT hard.
Steps for Cutting and Baking the Cookies-
Follow the steps for making the dough and then divide it into four separate dough balls. I prefer to pat mine into a rectangular or square shape that’s not too thick to lend to quicker chilling of the dough. I think working in batches of four is the easiest for cranking out several smaller animal sized cookies, and a batch of dough divided in two for a large cookie cutter.
After the dough balls are chilled (40-60 minutes), preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Preheating is important for even baking, especially with gluten free ingredients. With each chilled dough ball (one at a time), place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it roughly into a slab of dough 1/4 an inch thick. Too thick and it will under bake; too thin and it will be hard to cut out.
Once the dough is rolled thin, place it back into the freezer for around ten minutes or so to freeze a second time. Keep all the other dough balls (rolled or unrolled) in the freezer while you work with one batch. Cut out your shapes and use a small butter knife to help you move them to a baking sheet (if needed).
Place each cookie onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet and bake. Baking time may vary depending on the size of your cookie. These animal cookies took around 7-8 minutes to lightly golden brown. If you have a larger cookie it may take ten minutes or more so be mindful and don’t leave the kitchen!
Common Keto Baking Questions-
I don’t have a food processor, what can I do to make the dough?
The food processor aids in making the cold butter very, very tiny (like when you make a pie crust). If you don’t have one, freezer your butter instead and grate it in like you grate cheese and then mix with a hand or stand mixer. This will give your dough the structure it needs and keep the butter small and well incorporated.
What do you do with the scraps?
The dough often warms up while you’re cutting out your cookies. If you find you have a lot of scraps that will need to be re-rolled, place them back in the freezer again to chill and re-roll and repeat. While I re-chill scraps, I use another dough ball to cut out cookies so I can work through more efficiently.
My cookies spread out too much while baking, what did I do wrong?
HEAT IS THE ENEMY! Cold pan and cold cookies are crucial for baking and reducing the spread of the cookie dough on the pan. Pop your pan back in the freezer (I told you a lot of freezing) for a few minutes before baking to help with this.
Can I sub almond flour with coconut flour?
Honestly, I don’t know because I have never done it. However, I have been baking with these ingredients for a long time and know that coconut flour is often not a good substitute because it has very different chemical properties when it comes to baking. If you try it, let me know!
If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! I will see it and I will respond!
Making the Keto Sugar Cookie Glaze-
The glaze is really simple to make and works best with powdered low carb sweeteners (I personally prefer this brand). Mix in your flavoring of choice (I like vanilla extract) some heavy cream (start slow here and add more if needed to thin it). Whisk until all the lumps are gone and voila, keto friendly sugar cookie glaze!
I used a little pink Wilton gel dye for the pink colored cookies, let them cool completely before dipping and just lightly dunked the tops into the icing to coat. Let the cookies rest and set over a cooling rack so any excess can drip off. Add keto friendly sprinkles if desired and leave them rest for several hours (I mean you have to eat a couple though just to taste test) to dry.
Place your dried cookies into an air tight container and store for up to a week or so. These will also freeze easily (iced or un-iced) if desired.
While making the keto sugar cookie cut out’s are a bit of a time commitment, they are a whole lot of keto cuteness and are delicious too! Save this recipe to Pinterest when you know you have a day of baking in your future and share your final product with me over on Instagram!
Love these keto friendly cookies? Check out more delicious and easy cookie recipes below!
- 1. Make the cookie dough according to the directions. Divide the dough into four balls, lightly flatten and wrap in parchment or in plastic wrap and freeze for 45-60 min.
- 2. Remove one from the freezer and roll it 1/4" thick between two pieces of parchment paper. Re-freeze again for 10 minutes (while this is happening you can prep the other dough balls and repeat this step). Freezing a second time is crucial for cutting out the shapes!
- 3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Use your animal cookie cutters to cut out your cookies and place them on the baking sheet 1" apart or so. If the kitchen is warm, pop the pan into the freezer for 5 minutes or so, otherwise the dough may spread to much. Keeping them colder helps retain the shapes!
- 4. Bake for 6-8 minutes. They should be lightly golden brown but still look a little softer. They will set and harden once they cool. Cool completely before icing.
- 5. For the glaze- Combine the low carb powdered sweetener and the heavy cream and whisk. Divide it equally into two bowls and use the gel dye to lightly dye one bowl pink. A little goes a long way (use a toothpick to dip into the gel and into the icing then discard the toothpick).
- 6. Dip you cookie in the glaze, angle and tap excess to one side and let them dry on a cooling rack and set (this may take several hours).
- 7. Store finished cookies in a airtight container or freeze for 3 months.
Add sugar free sprinkles (I've seen them available on etsy) if desired for an more authentic animal cookie look.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 71Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g