I love pie, but outside of Thanksgiving, you won’t see me making one from scratch. It’s too much work. The pie crust is finicky and the slices can not come out evenly for calorie counts. Pies like lemon meringue are even more work. Making a crust and a meringue is a lot. I think I found a solution, at least for the lemon meringue pie. Erin McDowell at Pure Wow came up with a recipe for Lemon Meringue Cookies. Lemon meringue without the pie headache. I’m going to take this a step further and make these cookies low carb and sugar free. While the calories aren’t bad for a cookie, I think I can do better. I can see this being a lovely low maintenance treat for a potluck (if we can dare to have those again).
Here are the original stats:
Here’s what I changed:
- I replaced all of the sugar with a granulated sweetener to reduce the sugar.
- I replaced the all-purpose flour with almond flour and coconut flour to reduce the carbs.
- I reduce the butter by half and added in unsweetened applesauce to reduce the calories.
- I changed the Italian meringue to a French meringue because we are using sweetener instead of sugar.
Here are the final stats:
Here is the final recipe:
Low Carb Lemon Meringue Cookies
For the cookies:
- 1 cup granulated sweetener
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 large (56g) egg, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon oil (optional)
- 1.5 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the meringue:
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup granulated sweetener
- Small pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1. For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, rub the sweetener and lemon zest together until well combined. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, applesauce and lemon-sugar together until combined, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the egg and beat until well combined, then scrape the side of the bowl well. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and lemon oil (if using), and beat until fully incorporated.
4. Add the flours, baking powder and salt, and mix until uniformly combined.
5. Scoop the dough into mounds (approximately 2 tablespoons each) on the prepared baking sheets. Press each mound flat. Stagger the rows as you scoop.
6. Bake the cookies until they just begin to brown at the edge, 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Cool completely on the baking sheets. (At this point, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.)
7.For the meringue: Add the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt and vanilla (if using), to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Start out on medium speed until the egg whites are foamy.
8. Crank the speed up to high and gradually add the sweetener. Whisk until stiff peaks.
9. Scoop a tablespoon of meringue onto each cookie and use a small spatula to swipe it across the cookie. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the meringue. Serve within 8 hours.