Soft Lemon Cookies

Featured-SoftLemonCookies_NerdsAndNomsense

This is my first official post, so let’s bust the champagne over the prow of this shiny nerdship and jump right in.

Last week, I was part of a live reading series here in Chicago called Two Cookie Minimum.  John, the host and curator, had invited me to read in the fall but my grad school schedule meant I just wasn’t available. Finally, when the January reading rolled around, I was able to say yes. Part of the charm of this reading series is obviously the cookies. To repay John for his patience, I told him I’d be happy to contribute some cookies for the cause.

A very good friend of mine is vegan and since I can’t eat wheat/gluten, baking for fun can be a bit of a challenge. For me, baking is a stress reliever and when I’m writing and I get stuck, the first thing I do is start scrolling through my recipe bookmarks.  I chose these Soft Lemon Cookes because it’s been freezing, grey, and miserable here in Chicago and we could all use something to brighten it up.  And I thought they would pair well with Jameson and ginger ale, which is my drink of choice.  (Spoilers: They did.)

SoftLemonCookies_Jessica_NerdsAndNomsense-4

A couple of quick notes:  

  • I used Meyer Lemons because I prefer them and they were the prettiest at the store.

  • If you want to make this with All Purpose Flour, eliminate the xanthan gum.

  • If you don’t have vegan butter, you can also use solid coconut oil at a 1:1 substitution.

  • I brought out the lemon extract in case the lemon juice wasn’t…lemony enough.  If you need to add a splash, you can.

 

Soft Lemon Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Quantity: ~24 Cookies

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup gluten free flour – I used Bob’s Red Mill

¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¼  tsp salt

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 heaping tablespoon of lemon zest – this was roughly two lemons

½ cup (one stick) vegan butter

¼ cup applesauce

2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup of powdered sugar

SoftLemonCookies_Jessica_NerdsAndNomsense-1

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Zest and juice your lemons.  (Try not to do this when you have a cut on your thumb from an unfortunate run in with the lid from a can of olives.  This will lead to a lot of colorful language and an unpleasant burning sensation.)
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.
  5. Using the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, beat together sugar, lemon zest, and vegan butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.SoftLemonCookies_Jessica_NerdsAndNomsense-2
  6. Next, add applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides as necessary. Mix until fully combined.  (In vegan recipes, applesauce can be used as binder like egg would be in a traditional recipe.)
  7. Dial back the mixer to low and add dry ingredients slowly. Once all flour is in, flip it up to medium speed and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. (Seriously, don’t. The dough gets really sticky and soft.)
  8. Take about one tablespoon of dough and shape it into a ball. (Note to self: get cookie scoops. That will make your life easier.)  Roll them around in the powdered sugar.
  9. Line up cookie balls on baking sheet roughly two inches apart – these cookies spread.
  10. Set your iPhone timer for ten to twelve minutes and when the edges are firm, you can take the cookies out. The cookies will be light in color and should look a bit underdone in the middle
  11. Leave cookies on the baking sheet to cool and set for ten minutes. (I sprinkled some more powdered sugar over the just out of the oven cookies. You could also use regular white sugar or lemon sugar, if you’re feeling fancy.)
    SoftLemonCookies_Jessica_NerdsAndNomsense-3

    (Now with bonus glowering Loki!)

  12. Move cookies to wire rack to finish cooling.  They’ll crisp up around edges as they cool.
  13. Store in an airtight container if you don’t eat them all on the first day.

 

Many thanks to The Sweet Life, from whom this recipe was adapted.  

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Like I said, these were excellent with whiskey, but would be equally as tasty with hot tea while curled up under a blanket.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Soft Lemon Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A simple soft lemon cookie that is both gluten free and vegan-friendly.
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 12+
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup gluten free flour - I used Bob's Red Mill
  • ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of lemon zest - this was roughly two lemons
  • ½ cup (one stick) vegan butter
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Zest and juice your lemons. (Try not to do this when you have a cut on your thumb from an unfortunate run in with the lid from a can of olives. This will lead to a lot of colorful language and an unpleasant burning sensation.)
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and set aside.
  5. Using the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, beat together sugar, lemon zest, and vegan butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Next, add applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides as necessary. Mix until fully combined. (In vegan recipes, applesauce can be used as binder like egg would be in a traditional recipe.)
  7. Dial back the mixer to low and add dry ingredients slowly. Once all flour is in, flip it up to medium speed and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. (Seriously, don't. The dough gets really sticky and soft.)
  8. Take about one tablespoon of dough and shape it into a ball. (Note to self: get cookie scoops. That will make your life easier.) Roll them around in the powdered sugar.
  9. Line up cookie balls on baking sheet roughly two inches apart - these cookies spread.
  10. Set your iPhone timer for ten to twelve minutes and when the edges are firm, you can take the cookies out. The cookies will be light in color and should look a bit underdone in the middle.
  11. Leave cookies on the baking sheet to cool and set for ten minutes. (I sprinkled some more powdered sugar over the just out of the oven cookies. You could also use regular white sugar or lemon sugar, if you're feeling fancy.)
  12. Move cookies to wire rack to finish cooling. They'll crisp up around edges as they cool.
  13. Store in an airtight container if you don't eat them all on the first day.
Notes
I used Meyer Lemons because I prefer them and they were the prettiest at the store.
If you want to make this with All Purpose Flour, eliminate the xanthan gum.
If you don't have vegan butter, you can also use solid coconut oil at a 1:1 substitution.
I brought out the lemon extract in case the lemon juice wasn't...lemony enough. If you need to add a splash, you can.
 

1 Comment

  • mahoraner says:

    just letting you know, regular sugar isnt vegan (especially domino) since they use bone char to filter it, but these came out good when i used wholesome sweeteners sugar for them

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