On the third day of Christmas baking with Sweet'N Low®: Three French Hens, er, French Butter Cookies

I partnered with Sweet’N Low® to bring you this special “12 Days of Christmas” recipe.


The Christmas countdown has begun! This year, I’m singing along to “12 Days of Christmas” with Sweet’N Low® and celebrating the holiday season with a new recipe inspired by the classic song.

The makers of America's favorite pink zero-calorie sweetener selected a dozen bloggers—one for each day of the song—and tasked each with sharing a holiday recipe based on our assigned verses. My verse? The third day of Christmas, that of “Three French Hens” fame!

Throughout the years, I’ve occasionally debated the virtues of the gifts given in the “12 Days of Christmas” song. With this campaign, I’ve considered the gift of three French hens in particular. Because other than folks with a poultry-raising pastime, I can’t imagine anyone swooning over receiving three French hens on the third day of Christmas. Or any day.

I have no doubt, though, hordes of holiday revelers would appreciate a French treat of another sort: these delicate, delectable French Butter Cookies designed with holiday flair—and made with half the sugar of similar sweets, thanks to Sweet’N Low®.

Sweet'N Low® has been helping millions of people around the world sweeten food and beverages without added sugars and unnecessary calories. Fans of zero-calorie sweeteners may already know that one packet of Sweet’N Low® is as sweet as two teaspoons of sugar. The little pink packets help reduce sugar and calories and easily dissolve in both hot and cold beverages

substitution guidelines from the sweet’n low© package

Did you know, though, that Sweet’N Low® can be used to reduce sugar and calories in your favorite recipes? It can! And it’s especially easy with Sweet’N Low® Bulk for cooking and baking, sold in packages equivalent to five pounds of sugar. Eight teaspoons of Sweet’N Low® are equivalent to one cup of sugar, so simply replace half the sugar called for in a recipe with Sweet’N Low® and keep half the sugar to ensure proper volume, texture and browning.

Which is just what I did when making these French Butter Cookies in celebration of the third day of Christmas (much tastier than three French hens, if I say so myself). French Butter Cookies are pretty simple to begin with, but now they can be made with less sugar. Good news all around when it comes to holiday baking… and eating.

French Butter Cookies

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons Sweet’N Low® 8 oz. or 8 packets Sweet’N Low®

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon for sprinkling atop cookies before baking

In a medium mixing bowl, use electric mixer on low to beat the butter until smooth. Add the Sweet’N Low® and sugar, and beat until fully blended and smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, beating again until well combined.

Add the flour and salt. Mix on low just until the flour is incorporated and dough is crumbly. Do not over mix as it will toughen the cookies. Turn crumbly mixture out onto work surface and gently knead a few times, just until dough comes together.

Divide dough in two. Form two discs, wrapping each completely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 15 minutes to make dough easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.

Remove one disc from refrigerator. On lightly floured parchment paper, roll out dough to about 1/4-inch thick (see tip below).


Using round cookie cutter—or rim of small drinking glass or a small canning jar—cut out as many cookies as fit rolled dough. Using cookie stamp, stamp top of each cookie (see tip below).


Carefully transfer cookies to baking sheet. Sprinkle each very lightly with cinnamon for a holiday—and French hen-colored—flair.

Re-roll remaining dough and repeat steps. Repeat with second dough disc, removing it from refrigerator at some point during the rolling and cutting of first disc so it’s not too hard to roll out.

Bake cookies 5-8 minutes depending on thickness, removing from oven before edges brown. Carefully transfer to wire racks for cooling.

Cool cookies then savor the flavorful, flaked layers o’ buttery goodness that melt in your mouth. (Don’t forget to save some for guests and giving, too.)

Makes 18-24 cookies



  • If dough seems too cold to roll, work it with your hands a bit—with the plastic wrap still on—to warm it enough to roll.

  • Dough rolls out more easily when it’s covered with the plastic wrap used during chilling, after placing on floured surface for rolling.

  • When using stamps, dip stamp in flour before pressing into cookie to limit stamp sticking and dough destruction. After stamping, use a soft pastry brush to gently remove flour from cookie before transferring to baking sheet. An air dust blower (typically used for cameras) works well, too. An air dust blower is great for blowing excess cinnamon off the cookies, too.

  • No cookie stamps? No problem! These French Butter Cookies are just as decadent without a design on top. (They take less time to make, too—a bonus for time-strapped bakers.)

For more information on Sweet'N Low® and for more sweet seasonal recipes, visit www.sweetnlow.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.