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Dec 20, 2011 06:39 AM

Diabetic cookie recipes?

Hi, all. My FIL is a newly diagnosed diabetic and I'd love to give him some "safe" cookies this Christmas. Does anyone have a recipe or two that might work? I've seen so many recipes online, but I don't have a lot of time to experiment. I thought the safest route would be to use recipes that have been tested and recommended by my fellow 'hounds.

Thanks so much!!

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  1. I'm also diabetic. There's absolutely no reason why your FiL shouldnt continue to eat whatever cookies he has previously enjoyed. He just needs eat them in the context of the rest of the days eating. Nutritional advice for diabetes has moved a long way on from the times when we were told to avoid sugar, etc. The whole emphasis is now on a balanced healthy eating which probably means simply eating cookies less frequently than before.

    1. Christina - Harters is basically correct that there is no reason a diabetic cannot eat "regular" cookies, if done in moderation. On the other hand, especially in this season of over-indulgence, it is nice to provide diabetics with reduced-sugar treats so that they can consume some cookies, as well as other carbs during their meals. This is especially true if your FIL is a Type 2 diabetic whose treatment depends on oral medication, diet, and exercise alone, as opposed to insulin.

      One reduced-sugar cookie recipe that I've made with success (my son & husband are both Type 1 diabetics) is the Chocolate white chocolate chip recipe from the Nestle white chocolate chip package. The recipe calls for both brown sugar and white granulated sugar. I've substituted Splenda (the variety that measures equal to sugar) for the white sugar, but otherwise do not modify the recipe -- i.e., it still has brown sugar.

      Note that, this is by no means a "low carb" dessert. In addition to the brown sugar, the flour and chips also have carbs. So your FIL needs to use moderation, but it does reduce the total carb content, while still letting him indulge his sweet tooth.

      2 Replies
      1. re: masha

        It's always a good idea to retain SOME real sugar, for the sake of browning and texture. Sugar is hygroscopic, so switching to a substitute makes a major difference in moisture levels. It also promotes browning and crispness. So, for example, you would be more successful using Splenda for spritz cookies than for thin, rolled cookie cutter cookies. I routinely sub Splenda for half the sugar in virtually any baking recipe, without adversely affecting the final product.

        You can have a lot of freedom if instead of sweetened chocolate, you use unsweetened cocoa plus Splenda. It also helps to use White Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur is the usual source), which won't spike blood sugar the way actual white flour does. If you have access to Trader Joe's, I believe they have WWW flour now, and also get their almond meal. You can use it instead of half your flour, regardless of type. It has more fat and will not crisp as well, but it is better for cholesterol and blood glucose than flour is. There is disagreement about claims that agave nectar is safer for diabetics than sugar. It is not as sweet as honey, and has nice caramelly flavor notes. TJ and Costco have the best prices on it.

        1. re: greygarious

          Great points. The recipe that I suggested does use unsweetened cocoa (but white flour).

      2. It's very thoughtful and considerate of you to want to do this. And the suggestions above are all great and will help a bit.

        But it's important to remember that no baked goods or pastries of any kind can ever be truly diabetic "safe" -- they can only be a little less dangerous/problematic. Chances are your FIL knows this and will simply adjust his food intake and his meds accordingly. So if using these substitutions hurts the overall quality of the dish, which it invariably does, I wouldn't bother.

        Even the ADA (American Diabetes Association) has recently adjusted its guidelines and is perfectly fine with drinking a full-sugar Coke or Snickers Bar, as long as you shoot up judiciously and properly.

        Having lived with this for more than a decade and reading what feels like every word ever written on Glycemic Index and Load, I just know to nibble cautiously and bring extra pens with me wherever I go.

        1. I'm Type 2 and I make meringue cookies with the granulated splenda (it's a 1 to 1 conversion from regular sugar). YOu can do any type of flavoring but I usually add cocoa powder to mine. A mini pavlova would be nice.

          1. This is such a loaded topic and even dieticians in different countries have different takes on this. The thing is, even if you use a sugar replacement, if there is flour in the cookie, that also can be a problem. And, I know (I assume your FIL is type 2 since he was newly diagnosed) people who use their medication and eat what they want. It might be safest to ask him what he'd eat, flour, sugar, etc.

            These peanut butter cookies have no flour and taste surprisingly good, plus they come together in no time.


            Meringues, as DCfoodblog recommended is also good since they don't have flour. If a little flour is okay, I've made Mexican wedding cookies w/ splenda and not sifted confectioners sugar over them afterward.