Lemon Icebox Cookies

Next on our cookie agenda are these lovely lemon ice box cookies. These tiny little cookies are the perfect bite-sized snack or after dinner treat. They would be great gathered in a pretty bag and given as a gift. They’re sweet and crunchy with just the right amount of lemon.

lemon icebox cookies

You start with the lemon zest. There is something that always excites me about putting lemon zest in a recipe. Perhaps it’s because I know it’s going to be delicious. I can’t wait till we have a home where I can have a lemon tree. I hate buying lemons, as I never seem to use them quickly enough, so I often don’t buy them and then I don’t have them when I need them…but I digress.

lemon icebox cookies

For this recipe we’re going to use a food processor. Make sure you have a big enough bowl (a mini food processor won’t do) or you’re better off just working by hand with a dough mixer. It is rather pleasing to watch your flour and Earth Balance mixture turn to dough, just like that, but don’t get carried away and over mix. Remember to pulse!

This makes a fairly large batch, probably double what I was expecting, but the tiny cookies will most likely “magically” disappear once made. Plus you can keep the dough frozen for a few weeks and bake a few whenever you like.

lemon icebox cookies

Now I have a little confession with this recipe. As I mentioned before, one of the most difficult parts of taking a standard cookie recipe and making it vegan is replacing the eggs. Eggs play many different rolls in baked goods and different substitutes serve different purposes. Since this recipe used only egg yolks, I wanted to add a little bit of moisture back into the cookies. The obvious answer here is water. So I plopped in 3 tablespoons of water, before I had mixed the dough, and right before I remembered that there were only egg yolks, not full eggs (think less volume). Immediately the dough was overly wet and impossible to handle. I had to add back about a 1/4 cup of flour to bring it to a better consistency.

That being said, you might be fine just leaving out the water all together and only using 2 cups of flour, but I’ll give you the recipe as I made it since I’m sure it still comes out tasting fantastic.

Lemon Icebox Cookies

from Martha Stewart, originally found here

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon zest (about 4 small lemons)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling

Put the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest in your food processor and pulse until combined. The lemon zest will basically disappear.

Add the Earth Balance into the bowl and pulse until it combined into a granulated mixture. Add water and lemon juice until a dough is formed.

Separate the dough into 3 sections and shape into 1 – 2 inch rolls. Wrap in plastic and freeze for at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 300ยบ and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On another piece of parchment, sprinkle the remaining sugar and roll your logs to coat the outside. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds and lay about an inch apart on your baking sheets. Cook for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets half way through. Let cookies cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

Dinner guests

chickpea cutlets with nutritional yeast/mushroom gravy
lemony garlic potatoes and brussel sprouts

Had my mom and her husband over for dinner a little while ago. This the first time I’ve had them over for a meal that I made and also the first time they’d been to Shawn and my apartment. I had wanted to make the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon for awhile and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

First off, I have to say I love using vital wheat gluten. It’s so much easier than spending the time taking however many cups of flour to break it down yourself. When I made these, I was only able to buy a small package at the market but as of this week they now sell it in the bulk section. Sounds like more seitan for dinner (and of course chickpea cutlets).

These were really delicious and unlike a lot of protein substitutes I’ve had. I would like to experiment using different ingredients using the same basic formula. The potatoes and brussel sprouts were also inspired from Veganomicon. While they were quite tasty, they were a bit undercooked, which I’m not sure if that was because my oven wasn’t hot enough or if I was rushing. No one complained though.

lemon poppyseed cupcakes with lemon curd filling
I also made these cupcakes for dessert. Even though I love frosting, I really enjoy making cupcakes without it whenever I can. These cupcakes from My Sweet Vegan turned out really well. They were sweet but not too sweet and I was really excited about the lemon curd filling. I didn’t have any small cookie cutters at the time to cut the holes in the tops so I just tried to cut them with a small knife. They’re not the neatest ever but I think cute nonetheless. I’m going to have to try to come up with some fun fillings for cupcakes.

Mini Lemon Bundts

Here are some mini lemon bundt cakes I made just a few weeks ago. I veganized a recipe that I’ve attempted many times in the past but pretty much gave up on until this time. They’ve never come out looking so good. They were a lot more cakey than I expected but delicious with such a sweet lemon icing on top. I bought this mini bundt cake pan specifically to make these guys but I find it makes a lot of regular recipes more fun. Like banana bread. Somehow things are just more exciting when they’re in single servings.I’ve actually been baking up a storm lately. Trying to get in some good practice although this sweltering weather is probably not the best for hanging out in the hot kitchen. Of course I don’t have photos of all the treats I’ve made lately. Tonight’s project was oatmeal cookies. So yummy.

Hopefully I’ll get some brownies in this week and come up with some other ideas. Also really looking forward to making some vegan ice cream since it’s so hot. Even after the disaster that was my last attempt (okay it wasn’t a disaster, it was just um, crunchy).

Went to a vegan baking class on Sunday hosted Spork Foods which was really exciting and inspiring. There will definitely be some yummy surprises in the future…

Lemon is great for desserts

I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked cheesecake. I only started eating cheesecake when I became vegan because it’s one of the most common vegan desserts around oddly enough. So I have grown to like it over the years, but quite often there is something a little off about vegan cheesecake. That is not to say I haven’t had a few that have been quite delicious. In any case, I decided to try my hand at it. I have to say the results were fantastic. I combined a couple recipes I found to come up with a lemon cheesecake that was light and fluffy with just a hint of lemon. I will admit that I used a store-bought crust. Next time I’ll try my own.
I want to be posting a picture of the lemon bars I made this week but they were so good they were eaten immediately. So good. You would have no idea that they were vegan. This is not something I would usually say about my desserts since it makes vegan sound like a bad thing. In this instance though, the crust was just so flakey and the consistency of the lemon filling was just unlike anything I’ve had. Let me just say again…so good. It was possibly the best dessert I’ve made so far.
Instead here is a simple chai tea cupcake. This batch came out okay, but I desperately need a new oven! I’m also not as big a fan of cupcakes that use soy yogurt in the recipe. Perhaps it was just the uneven baking of the cupcakes this time though.