The sun is shining, the light is coming (don’t forget to set your clocks one hour forward this weekend), and a warm-up is on the way. The general consensus is spring cannot get here soon enough. I have been impatiently awaiting its arrival since those early days of February when I first noticed light in the sky past 6 p.m. Despite my sunny mood, I went shopping for a space heater and a winter coat this afternoon. Ever the pessimist.
I took this recipe from The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry. When describing the recipe, he suggests brightening up a dreary afternoon by enjoying one of these cookies alongside a cup of tea. This is the perfect description for these bright, lemony cookies.
The author was right on that these cookies are flavorful when eaten plain but “next level” when topped with the icing. The coconut oil and shredded coconut lend the cookies a slight coconut flavor, but overall, it is far outweighed by the lemon.
Unfortunately, implementing the recipe was not as promising as the descriptions. The coconut oil – which is actually a solid, not a liquid – was difficult to fully incorporate into the batter. I was oftentimes left with chunks of it showing up in random places. In the future, I may melt the coconut oil before I beat it into the cookies since it will solidify as the dough chills.
After I rotated the first batch of cookies halfway through their baking time, they were little more than a pool of dough on a baking sheet. I thought about sending them straight to the trash, but I decided to give them a chance to finish baking. Turns out, this was a good decision.
The cookies were not only salvageable, but pretty darn delicious. However, I do have a suggestion to help you optimize this baking experience: You must chill the dough.
These cookies spread across a baking sheet like a wildfire across a dry forest. To minimize this, I suggest chilling the dough as long as possible or perhaps putting it in the freezer for a bit. I even thought about putting cookie cutters around the balls of cookie dough in an effort to fence them in.
The good news is, the dough is very forgiving immediately after it comes out of the oven. If a few cookies bake together, simply use the edge of a spatula to reshape them. Try not to wait too long because they do set up fairly quickly. They also cool quickly. By the time the last baking sheet came out of the oven, the first batches were cool enough to ice with the lemon glaze. And that is one form of ice I will happily accept all year. Enjoy!
- For the Cookies
- 1 cup plus three tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil (in its solid state)
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- For the Icing
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- optional: additional coconut for sprinkling
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, shredded coconut, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, coconut oil, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest until well blended.
- Combine the dry flour mixture with the wet sugar mixture and blend just until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate the batter at least 30 minutes (overnight if possible) before baking.
- When the batter is chilled, drop it by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave at least two inches (more if possible) between each cookie dough ball.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cook completely.
- While the cookies cool, prepare the icing.
- Sift the confectioners' sugar (to remove lumps) into a bowl, then stir in the lemon juice, water and lemon zest.
- Spoon over the cooled cookies, and sprinkle the wet icing with coconut if desired. Allow the icing to set, about one hour, before enjoying.