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What Are Lactose-Free Cookies?

Brandon May
Brandon May

Lactose-free cookies are cookies made without the use of butter, milk or other dairy products, and are produced in dairy-free facilities or kitchens to decrease the risk of contamination. All cookies labeled lactose-free are completely free of dairy, yet this does not necessarily mean these items are healthier than their lactose-containing counterparts. When making cookies without lactose, shortening or dairy-free butter alternatives are often used and blended together with sugar, wheat flour and eggs. Chocolate chip cookies made without lactose often use carob chips or dairy-free chocolate chips that contain only pure cocoa butter and chocolate, as well as sugar.

For those with dairy sensitivities, finding a dessert made without dairy can be somewhat of a challenge as many recipes use some form of dairy, whether it's butter or milk. Butter is a common ingredient made from dairy, and cannot be consumed by those with lactose intolerance or a high dairy sensitivity. Vegetable shortening is often used to replace butter in lactose-free cookies, as it is a hard fat that mimics the texture of butter but it is without the taste of dairy components. Some packaged cookies use powdered milk to make a cookie creamier and to add taste, so looking for cookies without this ingredient is necessary for those suffering from lactose intolerance.

A lactose-free oatmeal raisin cookie.
A lactose-free oatmeal raisin cookie.

Chocolate chips are common ingredients in chocolate chip cookies, and often contain milk to create creamy, milk chocolate chips. In lactose-free cookies, carob chips may be used to replace traditional chocolate chips, as these are often made without dairy and are commonly used in vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes. Dairy-free chocolate chips are also available, using pure cocoa butter, chocolate and sugar as their main ingredients. Sometimes lactose-free cookies will use dairy-free milk chocolate chips made with the use of different milk alternatives, like coconut, rice or almond milk.

A lactose free cookie.
A lactose free cookie.

Due to the different levels of severity experienced when exposed to lactose and dairy products, people who suffer from lactose intolerance must consume products made in a dairy-free facility. Most store-bought lactose-free cookies are made in a facility free from any form of dairy and will be certified for its safety. Although lactose-free cookies are safer for individuals with a dairy sensitivity, it does not necessarily mean that these cookies are any healthier for the body. Most cookies, regardless of being lactose-free, can still include large amounts of sugar and trans fats, making it important to enjoy them in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

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    • A lactose-free oatmeal raisin cookie.
      A lactose-free oatmeal raisin cookie.
    • A lactose free cookie.
      By: Calgary Reviews
      A lactose free cookie.
    • Carob is often used as a lactose-free alternative to chocolate in cookies and other baked goods.
      By: Marnel Tomić
      Carob is often used as a lactose-free alternative to chocolate in cookies and other baked goods.
    • Wheat flour is commonly used to make lactose-free cookies.
      By: m.u.ozmen
      Wheat flour is commonly used to make lactose-free cookies.
    • Many people have an allergy or intolerance to the lactose found in dairy products.
      By: lidante
      Many people have an allergy or intolerance to the lactose found in dairy products.