I have always loved lemon desserts. They are so flavorful and tangy. I am especially fond of freshly squeezed lemon juice, nothing else really compares and you’ll notice the difference in baked goods.
Sunshine used to make lemon coolers, they were tart, buttery cookies covered in powdered sugar. As teenagers, my sister Lynn and I ate an entire box while out shopping for the day. Although not the healthiest of lunch choices, I am guessing we weren’t the only ones to finish a box in one sitting. There really is something addicting about the sweet/tart combination. Even Girl Scouts, Nabisco, and Schwan has offered similar style cookies over the years.
So, when I saw a recipe for gluten free lemon coolers by Elizabeth Barbone I had to give it a try. I was skeptical of her method, but in the end I was able to bite into a crumbly, lemony and oh so good gluten free version of lemon coolers.
This recipe does require some patience, as the dough has to be chilled and the baked cookies cool in the confectioners’ sugar. I think they would be a good activity for a lazy summer day (or maybe a rainy afternoon). My daughter loved helping me make these. Really, I think she just loved making a mess in the kitchen. And with no eggs in the recipe, I let her eat the dough. But, in the end we spent the afternoon making lemon cookies that the whole family could enjoy.
If you enjoy lemon desserts, I am sure you’ll enjoy baking up some gluten free lemon coolers. They do pack a lemon flavor, but we didn’t find them overly tart. Perhaps it was the brand of lemon extract I used, but I thought these could use a more intense lemon flavor. So next time I might increase the lemon extract and/or juice slightly. I doubt this will effect the texture greatly.
Happy gluten free baking!
Gluten Free Lemon Coolers
- 1 1/4 cups white rice flour
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 TB lemon extract
- the zest of one lemon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus about 1 pound for dusting
- 2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice (the juice of 1-2 lemons)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar about 30 seconds. Add rice flours, cornstarch, xanthan gum, lemon extract, and zest. Mix for one minute. The dough will be sandy/crumbly. Add lemon juice and mix until a dough forms.
- Spread a piece of plastic wrap out on counter and place dough in center, wrapping the plastic wrap completely around the dough; you can leave the dough in a ball press or gently to form a disc shape. Refrigerate wrapped dough until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Roll chilled dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on cookie sheets one inch apart. (I prefer to flatten them slightly before baking)
- Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Meanwhile, fill a 9×13 baking dish with the 1 pound confectioners’ sugar.
- Remove cookies from oven and immediately place hot cookies into the confectioners’ sugar, making sure all sides of the cookies are covered. Allow cookies to sit in the sugar for 2 hours or overnight. Bake the remaining cookies and add to the pan of sugar. Shake off any excess sugar before serving the cookies.