Savannah Smiles Cookies

Low Carb Girl Scout Savannah Smiles Cookies: If you’ve ever proclaimed to yourself that I must live the life of sexy abandon as a foodie writer, think again. Guess how many versions of this recipe went into the trash this week before I finally made a version I could tolerate, let alone share. No, really. Guess.

One? One! I wish! I wish. That’d be like winning the mental recipe lotto.
Two? We’re getting warmer. Warmer, but still more ingredients going into the trash.
Three? Three! How about no. Thankfully, no ovens caught fire. This time.
Four? Maybe? YES! Four! FOUR! Ah! Ah! Ah! (I’m turning into the Sesame Street Count over here.)

So this incredibly hard-fought for recipe is brought to you by the letter “F” for “F…inally done” and the number 4… Ah! Ah! Ah!

Enough with regaling you about the jealousies you no doubt feel knowing that dozens of dead, sad carcasses of cookies never meant to be went into the waste bin. Let’s talk lemon!

When life hands you lemon cookies by Girl Scouts, you spike the box between your legs and you Tebow it out. “Thank you, Jaysus for lemon cookies!” I love lemon. Love love love. It’s the tongue puckering, cheek smacking flavor of citrusy excitement that makes me want to break out into a possibly embarrassingly bad jig. That said, it’s probably all right.

While this recipe isn’t prexactly the crunchy Mexican Wedding Cake type goodness the Girl Scouts are known for, I was able to finally edit the most delicious cookie recipe ever from How Stuff Works Hungarian Lemon Poppy Seed Lemon Cookies. These cookies are A-May-Zing. You can cover them with powdered sweetener post-cooking, but they’re actually so wonderful, I wouldn’t bother. Leave these as they are. They’re perfect.

  • Note: You can definitely leave these in ball form for baking. Whether flattened as a patty or not, they’re quite wonderful either way. If you want them to crunch, leave them on the counter for a few days, uncovered, in an arid room. They’ll crunch.
  • Please also note you can and should powder your own sweetener instead of buying powdered, which tends to cost more and contain starch. Just use your bullet, blender, food processor or Ninja.
  • Please finally note (darnit, I forgot what I was going to say). Oh yessss…. the disparity in carb count between whole carbohydrates and net in the nutritional information. It comes from the fact that sugar alcohols such as erythritol and xylitol pretty much cancel themselves out. So the carbs from the SA’s tend to negate. So if a cookie started at 20 carbs and had 20 sugar alcohol carbs, expect that I’m subtracting those. Hence the disparity. If you use a different sweetener, you might want to run your own numbers just to be safe. Sweeteners affect different people different ways. If you want to be safe, you can always add a carb per cookie for posterity.
  • The powdered sweetener will give that wonderful cooling effect you’ve come to love from lemon coolers type cookies.
  • I’m an Aquarius. (Too much?)

Low Carb Girl Scout Savannah Smiles Cookies

2/3 cup sugar equivalent substitute
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1 egg
2 tsp lemon extract
3/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
Powdered sweetener, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sweetener until smooth.
3. Add in lemon extract and egg.
4. Add in baking soda and salt.
5. Add in flours and poppy seeds.
6. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls.
7. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and press gently to flatten the tops slightly.
8. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are golden.
9. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer to cooling rack to fully dry/solidify, about 2 hours.
10. Optional: Dust with sweetener to finish.

Makes about 42 cookies.
Nutritional Information per low carb cookie fabulosuness: Calories:  39  Carbohydrates:  1.3 g, Fiber: .7 g,   Net Carbohydrates:  .6g,  Protein:  .8g, Fat: 3.5g
Nutritional Information for original Girl Scouts Savannah Smiles Cookie: Calories:  24  Carbohydrates:  4.3 g, Fiber: 0g,   Net Carbohydrates:  4.3g,  Protein:  .2g, Fat: 1g

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  1. You’re super smart, even it takes 4x longer…LOL! I love your funny stories, they make the recipe so much fun. I think that’s why I visit your blog daily – – – you keep it real!

    I definitely want to try these! Thanks for all your hard work?

    • Jeanette– Thank you for saying so. I get SO BORED sometimes. Plugging in numbers running values on the ingredients, trying to not catch the walls on fire… If I can’t cut up a little bit what the hell’s the point? I’d go a little bonkers.

  2. Soooo cool! I happen to have both flours here at home. Jamie, what sweetener did you use on yours? Just curious. Never have worked with the sugar alcohols before but definitely willing to start playing!

  3. Hi!
    Can’t wait to try these! Do you think I could use honey for the sugar (we’re on GAPS) and perhaps fresh lemon juice for the extract?
    Thanks so much!

  4. Oooooo. Jamie, those really look good! They look like Mexican Wedding Cookies, all except the poppy seeds, at least. Mmmm.

  5. Jamie,
    If you love lemon you should try these waffles. They are so good!!!
    I will be trying this cookie recipe for sure!! I love lemon too!

  6. Going to the kitchen to bake right now!!!! Love lemon.

  7. Hi Jamie,

    I’m deathly allergic to almond flour, so do you think pecan flour would work just as well? I’m a devout lemon-lover and want to try making these cookies.

    Thanks, Anne

    PS You are wonderful!!! Thanks.

  8. Hey Jamie

    Cookies are cooling. Nuts! have to wait for 2 hours!

    BTW- In the recipe directions you might want to add the step for adding the egg and for adding the poppy seed.
    I forgot about the poppy seed, but I sure they will be great. Counting the minutes until taste test time.

  9. Thanks for sharing this recipe! My little girl is a Girl Scout and is currently selling cookies, and Savannah Smiles are her favorite. She wanted to buy (another) box from herself today, so I suggested that we make these instead. I’m so glad we did! My husband loves them (and he’s hard to please), they really hit the spot for me, and my daughter says that they are BETTER than the “real” cookies.

    As the sweetener, I used half Truvia and half EZ Sweetz (available on Amazon), and I dusted the tops with ground-up Truvia. I didn’t use poppy seeds, but otherwise made the cookies exactly according to the directions. My batch made 22 cookies (using grape-size dough balls), which I flattened in my hand and shaped into smiles. We ate them both warm and cold. I thought about making them thinner next time to make them easier to crisp up, but my daughter declared that she prefers them soft.

    This is one of my favorite low-carb recipes!

    • I am so glad you guys liked these! Yeah! My kids said they were like lemon poppyseed scones. I did get more per batch than you did, so maybe I made mine even smaller?

  10. Cookies are delish. DH loved them also. I also used half Truvia and half EZ Sweetz. I got about 38 and they measure just under 2 inches across when flattened, and they are still fairly thick, but I don’t think they are quite as thick as the ones pictured above. I thought that next time I might add just a little lemon zest? Thanks so much for all you do, really appreciate it. I make quite a few of you recipes on a regular basis and really enjoy them.

  11. I just made these and used truvia and chia seeds instead of poppy, (that’s all I had at home) OMG! I tried one warm – couldn’t wait and they are amazing. My batch only made 20. I guess my walnuts are bigger than yours. LOL Awesome Thanks 🙂

    • What? We’re comparing the size of our nuts now?

      I kid! I may have to make another batch… you know, for purely scientific purposes, naturally. 😀

  12. I made these for this evening’s dinner treat. I used granulated Splenda and only had 1 tsp of lemon extract but the flavor was definitely lemon. I omitted the poppy seeds as my husband (the lemon lover) isn’t keen on them. He raved about them and considers them a make again cookie. Thanks for passing along what will be a staple in our cookie jar.

  13. Gonna make these for nh sweetheart for Valentines day! Thanks.
    Ps virgo

  14. I just finished making a batch as written. I used Z Sweet-whirled it around in a small coffee grinder so it wouldn’t turn out gritty. I opted not to coat with powdered sweetener.

    The verdict…OH, YEAH!!! They hit the sweet spot, they’re low-carb, and my parents like them. Oh, yes-I like them, too.

    I found you through Jimmy Moore. A thousand thank-yous!

  15. These are amazing! These are the first low-carb cookies I’ve made that I could confidently give to anyone. I had to make one change, due to a missing ingredient: I didn’t have lemon extract, so I used a True Lemon packet, and they’re wonderful. Highly recommended!

  16. Wow, I’m excited to try these! This might be obvious, but are these OK for induction (I am new at this!)? Thanks!!

  17. It’s girl scout cookie season (duhn duhn duhn). I bought a box for the hubs today, but I was good and waited until I got home to make a batch of these. I agree with some others – I only got about 29 (you have teeny walnuts…hehe). Regardless, I’m SO stoked to eat these! They’re baking now….

  18. Hi Jamie! Me and my family totally LOVE the Girl Scout version, but if people like these MORE than them, than I SO have to try them!

  19. Could you twice bake these like biscotti to get the crunch instead of leaving them sit for a few days?


  1. […] lemon wedges coated in powdered sugar – the Scouts sure do like their shortbread and lemon. Your Lighter Side provides a low-carb take that retains the tastiness of the original with half the […]

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