When rich, buttery shortbread meets indulgent chocolate and peppermint, it’s a match made in heaven. These chocolate peppermint shortbread bars are a true Christmas treat, oozing with festive flavor—and surprisingly low in sugar!
Honestly, the almond flour shortbread is so comfortingly crumbly and scrumptious on its own. It has a subtly nutty flavor, a perfectly buttery bite, and is totally gluten free and grain free! Plus, using almond flour also makes these shortbread bars low carb and keto friendly.
Now, you could shape the dough into gluten free shortbread cookies, or use it as a low carb shortbread crust. But, to make this a holiday dessert, I wanted to pump up the Christmas spirit with a luscious chocolate topping and some bright bursts of crushed peppermint!
The sweet chocolate perfectly complements the savory almond flour shortbread. And, using dark chocolate keeps the sugars low, boosts the antioxidants, and makes these shortbread bars feel extra gourmet! With a refreshing crunch of peppermint, it’s like taking a bite out of Christmas morning.
To Make Low Carb Shortbread Bars:
Already, my gluten free shortbread crust is designed to be low carb—made with fat-rich almond flour, grass-fed butter, and a natural low carb sweetener, erythritol. So, no carbs from grain based flours or added sugars, and loads of fiber from the almond flour!
The main carb culprit here will be the chocolate. Really, you can use any chocolate that you like—milk, dark, white, or even dairy free! But, for low carb shortbread bars, you’ll want to steer clear of sugary milk chocolate and white chocolate.
Using 60% dark chocolate, each of these peppermint shortbread bars contains 7g of sugar and 9g of net carbs. But, use a stevia-sweetened dark chocolate, and you can bring it down to just 2g of sugar and 7g net carbs!
Finally, you could skip the peppermint topping to knock off 1g more of sugar, for REALLY low carb shortbread bars. Although, I’d argue that 1 gram of sugar is worth it for the fun flavor and festive color that the peppermint adds! (Or, try using sugar free peppermints!)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter and erythritol together with hand mixer. Add vanilla and salt. Beat in almond flour, adding ~½ – ⅔ cup of flour at a time. (If your mixture isn’t turning into a dough, add 1 Tbsp of butter and adjust to desired consistency. It should hold together when pressed.)
Press into a small glass baking dish (I used a 6×8-inch dish) lined with parchment or foil.
Bake until light golden brown, about 25-30 min.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
To make your topping, melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir in peppermint extract.
Spread melted chocolate mixture on top of cooled shortbread and sprinkle with crushed starlight mints.
Refrigerate until set.
Cut into bars, serve, and enjoy!
Yields 12 shortbread bars (depending on size of cut).
Nutrition: Low Carb Shortbread Bars, made with stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips
Per square (depending on size of cut), yields 12 servings: 193 calories | 18g fat | 13g carbs | 6g fiber | 2g sugars | 5g protein
*Nutrition below provided for Shortbread Bars made with 60% dark chocolate chips: