The easiest tangiest vegan lemon cookies ever! I love baking cookies and have so many cookie recipe books, but I always seem to stick to the same type: chocolate chip oatmeal! I have an enduring soft spot for chocolate chip cookies that I don’t think will ever fade.
However, whilst I was browsing some of my favourite food blogs recently, I came across this delicious sounding cookie from Jere at One Hot Oven. Her recipe for chewy Iced Lemon Cookies sounded so different to the usual type of cookie that I make (no chocolate!), and perfect for Spring!
This recipe contains a generous amount of lemon, both from juice and zest of THREE lemons, so the flavour is absolutely unmistakable! Jere’s recipe pushes the lemon quotient over the top with a zesty, tangy icing which helps keep the cookies moist and delicious in the cookie tin.
I veganised Jere’s recipe, and made it suitable for cooks in the UK by using Orgran Egg Replacer, vegan butter and Golden Syrup instead of Corn Syrup.
We start with the most important ingredient of all, Lemons! As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. However, I think if you make these cookies, you’ll enjoy your excessive lemon life bounty even more. Lemons do come in varying sizes. In the UK, if you buy them from the supermarket, they are usually quite small, nothing like the huge lemons you see chefs on TV using.
Here’s a really useful article about sizing your lemons for baking. To be honest, this recipe uses mostly zest, and the only danger you might be in is making your lemon cookies too zesty…and if that’s the case, you probably won’t be making these cookies anyway!
I find that a Microplane is the grater for that fine lemon zest. I have had mine (in pink!) for over 10 years and it is still as sharp as ever. It works brilliantly for nutmeg or ginger too.
There are quite a few different ways to replace eggs in baking, some work as binders, some give you volume and others a tender texture. It is important to understand what the egg is doing in your recipe before you decide on what to replace it with. I like to use either Orgran Egg replacer or flaxseed eggs in cookies because they help give cookies a crisp outside and a chewy middle. Replacing the egg element with apple sauce or yogurt can give a cakier texture, which, whilst they will still taste yummy, is not really how you want cookies to be!
Method and Tips
- This is your usual cookie dough mixture: cream sugar with butter, then add egg replacer with lemon juice, then your dry ingredients.
- I like to chill my dough (all doughs actually) for a while in the fridge. It makes them a lot more stable to handle and roll into shape.
- These cookies are formed using a 1″ cookie dough scoop but you can, of course, make much larger cookies if you like. Actually, I think these would be amazing as saucer style cookies, perfect for a fun dinner party dessert!
- If you want to make ahead, scoop out your balls of cookie dough and freeze them in a ziplock bag so that they are ready for whenever a cookie craving hits!
- To prepare the cookies, I like to scoop them out, roll them into balls and then coat in a little icing (confectioners) sugar. Jere’s recipe used caster sugar instead but I like the finish of the icing sugar. It really doesn’t matter to the overall taste though!
- Make sure to leave at least an inch space between cookies on your baking sheet because they will spread out.
- I found that my cookies spread out better during baking if I pressed them down a little bit before putting them in the oven. My first batch didn’t spread out as much without a little flattening. This could be due either to the egg replacer or because I used golden syrup instead corn syrup, and so the batter had a slightly thicker texture.
- To ice your cookies, use the back of a teaspoon (not a measuring teaspoon) and don’t use too much icing per cookie. About half a teaspoon will be plenty for these little cookies.
- You can place your “empty” lemon shells over the end of your taps to clean them!
- You can replace the lemon with limes or oranges to make an equally delicious tangy cookie!
- You can replace the plain (all-purpose) flour with gluten-free plain flour instead.
- Mixing Bowl
- Electric Hand Whisk
- Lined Baking Sheets
- Lemon Juicer
- ¾ cup Vegan Butter or Margarine (I used Stork)
- ¾ cup soft Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Vegan Egg whisked up with 2 tbsp Water I use Orgran Egg Replacer
- ¼ cup Golden Syrup
- 2¼ cups Plain Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- Zest of 3 Lemons
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- ¼ cup Icing Sugar for rolling cookies in before baking
- 1 cup Icing Sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice (reserved from lemons zested)
- ½ tbsp Maple Syrup
- ¼ tsp Zest
- Preheat oven to 180c
- In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vegan egg, lemon juice, zest and Golden Syrup. Mix well.
- Finally, add the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.
- At this point you can chill the cookie dough overnight in the fridge, or make the cookies straight away.
To make the cookies
- Using a 1" cookie scoop, scoop out balls of the cookie dough.
- Roll into balls then coat in the icing sugar.
- Place on prepared sheet at least 1" apart, and press down gently.
- Bake for between 10-12 minutes. They will still be soft in the middle, this is good, you want a chewy cookie!
- Leave to cool for a couple of minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Whisk the icing sugar, lemon juice, zest and maple syrup together. Icing needs to be thick enough that it doesn't drop off a spoon. Add a little more juice or icing sugar to achieve the right consistency.
- Using a teaspoon, smear the icing over the cookies. Grate a little extra lemon zest on the icing whilst still sticky, then leave to set.