I had a challenge this week to make a dessert that was gluten-free and dairy-free. Now, I’m used to baking gluten-free as I’m able, but dairy-free is slightly more challenging as it requires no chocolate, butter, milk, etc. The important thing to note about baking gluten-free and dairy-free is that you don’t have to exclude these things, but rather replace them with alternatives that really do work just as well (I promise). In this case, I used gluten-free flour and a dairy-free butter spread.
These cookies are super light and fluffy. That’s due to using two eggs (which I hand-whipped for a few minutes separately) as well as the gluten-free flour. I also chilled the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes as well to ensure that the cookies didn’t flat.
These cookies taste like a dreamsicle in a way and the lemon zest definitely enhances the flavor. I brought these to a ladies’ paint class and got rave reviews on them. In the past, I’ve done orange-zested cookies and those are delicious as well – so it’s up to your preference.
- 1.5 cups of flour (I used Pillsbury gluten-free)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter (I used Smart Balance dairy-free)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- lemon zest
- Set the oven to 350 F
- Mix together the first three ingredients in a bowl and set them aside.
- Put the softened butter and both sugars in the mixer and blend together.
- In a separate bowl, use a whisk and beat for 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs to the sugar mixture as well as the vanilla extract and continue to mix.
- Take a lemon and using a zester, add lemon zest into the mixture. If you don’t have a zester you can use a grater instead.
- Cut the lemon in half when you’re done and squeeze out the juice (you may want to do this over a strainer to catch the seeds). Get about a 1/3 cup of juice and then blend it in.
- Add the flour mix into the bowl, a little at a time until it is completed blended.
- Put the bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
- Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet and put it in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies have risen. Try to take them out before or when you see the edges start to golden just a little. You don’t want to over-bake the cookies.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Dash of vanilla extract
- Splash of milk
- Lemon Zest
- Let the cookies cool completely (or else the glaze will not stick).
- Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl.
- Add the fresh lemon juice, vanilla extract, splash of milk and lemon zest. Whisk together.
- I completely estimated the powdered sugar here, but add more if the gaze
is too thin. It should be a little thick, because it will run right off of the cookies.
- For best results, use a cookie drying rack on top of a cookie sheet so that the gaze can run off of the cookies and collect on the pan below. If you try to gaze them on a flat surface, you will have trouble getting them off once they dry and they will fall apart in the glaze.
- Use a spoon and drip the glaze over the cookies several times. Let the cookies dry completely for an hour or two before serving.