Healthy Lemon Sugar Cookies
Yields: 24 cookies
 
These lemon sugar cookies are a huge hit with my family, especially with my brother! Lemon cookies are his all-time favorite. These are soft and chewy with lots of bright sunshiny citrus flavor! Leftovers will keep for at least a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They also freeze well!
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the lemon zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil or butter, vanilla extract, butter extract, and liquid stevia. Stir in the lemon juice. Stir in the maple syrup. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap, and shape into a 1”-tall rectangle. Cover the top with another large sheet of plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days*).
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F, and line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  3. Leaving the cookie dough between the sheets of plastic wrap, roll it out until between ⅛” and 1/16” thick. Carefully peel back one piece of the plastic wrap. Lightly flour your cookie cutter, and press it into the dough, making sure each shape lies as close to its neighbors as possible to minimize unused dough. Peel the unused dough away from the shapes, and place them onto the prepared baking sheets. Reroll the unused dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, and repeat.
  4. Bake the cut out cookie dough at 325°F for 6-8 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To prepare the icing, stir together the erythritol and almond milk in a small bowl. Transfer to a zip-topped plastic bag, cut off a tiny piece from one corner, and drizzle over the fully cooled cookies.
Notes: Whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour. Regular whole wheat flour may be substituted in a pinch, but the cookies will have detectable “wheat-y” taste.

Use a store-bought gluten-free flour blend (like this one!) for the gluten-free option, but make sure you measure it carefully, like this or with my favorite kitchen scale!

It’s very important to measure the flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much will dry out your cookie dough and make your sugar cookies crumbly.

If using coconut oil, the cookies may have a faintly detectable coconut flavor.

Vanilla extract may be substituted for the butter extract, but the cookies will not have the same iconic “sugar cookie” taste.

This is the liquid stevia that I use. It’s one of my favorite ingredients (you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!), and I buy it online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. You cannot substitute pure maple syrup, honey, agave, or any type of sugar (coconut, brown, granulated) for the liquid stevia because cookies require a precise balance of wet and dry ingredients. (See my blog post above for more information.)

Honey or agave may be substituted for the pure maple syrup.

The lemon juice and maple syrup must be at room temperature. If cold, they will immediately re-solidify the melted butter or coconut oil.

This is my favorite plastic wrap. It clings SO much better than other brands I’ve tried! And this is my favorite rolling pin. Its surface is much more even than traditional wooden rolling pins, and it’s perfect for rolling out dough for cinnamon rolls too!

If chilling the cookie dough longer than 2 hours, it may be necessary to “thaw” the cookie dough on the counter for 15-20 minutes before trying to roll it out. It gets stiffer the longer it chills, so letting it rest on the counter for a short period of time makes it easier for you to roll it out!

If your cookies have air bubbles in their tops after baking, place another (room temperature!) baking sheet on top of them shortly after removing the cookies from the oven. Leave the baking sheet on top while they cool to room temperature.

I used this cookie cutter.

Regular powdered sugar may be substituted for the confectioners’ style erythritol in the drizzle, but start with 1 teaspoon of milk instead because regular powdered sugar is much less absorbent.

Any milk may be substituted for the unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

For more information regarding the ingredients and instructions, please see the text of my blog post above.

{gluten-free, vegan, clean eating, low fat, lower sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2019/05/08/healthy-lemon-sugar-cookies/