Monday, March 16, 2015

Lemon Cookies and Sunny Memories

Finally, Girl Scout cookie season is over.  It's so awkward having to dodge the little sashed saleswomen outside of the Safeway.  That plus about 15 of my coworkers seem to have Brownies or Daisies, and we just finished the Science Camp cookie-dough drive, and the candy bar drive prior to that... I just need a break from saying "no thanks" to adorable children.

I was a Girl Scout, Brownie through Cadette.  I did all the camping, cookie hocking, crafting and volunteering.  By the time we hit Cadette, my troop's activities consisted of sitting around my best friend Christina's kitchen table, picking at our nail polish, eating Wawa hoagies and asking her awesome mom questions about life and womanhood.  It was a year of camaraderie, growing up, growing apart, learning to use eyeliner and realizing I hated it.

One of my favorite cookies growing up was the much-maligned Lemon Pastry Cream:

Way to make it a kid-appealing treat, right?

For years I avoided the dreaded "low-fat" cookie, but once I took my first bite, I was hooked on the flaky cookie and bright citrus flavor.  And probably the addictive magic fairy dust that the GSA clearly laces all of their baked good with.

This past weekend I attended a vegan Girl Scout Cookie swap, and took a swing at recreating the LPC.  The lovely lady hosting the swap is gluten free, so these cookies are too.  They came out really well- great texture and a bright citrus sunshine flavor!

I ate all of these in one sitting.  Not really. But I wanted to.
Lemon Sandwich Cookies 
2 cups almond flour*
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea aalt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Mix together all of the ingredients until you have a smooth dough.  If it's too squishy, you can toss it in the fridge for a bit to firm it up.

Form dough into cookie-shapes on a pan lines with parchment paper.  These cookies don't rise or spread, so whatever shape they are in when they go in the oven, is the shape they'll be when they come out.  I got about 24 small round cookies per batch.

Bake for 8 minutes, then peek at them and leave in for another minute if not yet brown around the edges.  Mine were done in 9 minutes on the dot.

Adapted from this recipe
*I used Bob's Red Mill almond flour, and they turned out fine.  I know that Honeyville is the gold standard for almond flour, but if all you have is Bob's, this recipe will still work for you.

These cookies are good on their own, but if you want to do it up right, make them into sandwich cookies with this filling:

Lemon Cream Filling
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 T coconut oil, softened
Zest of 1 whole lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon (save the other half for tea)
Powdered sugar (Whole Foods Organic 365 is vegan)
**This makes enough for 3 batches of sandwich cookies, 4 if you skimp on the filling.

Mix the first four ingredients together until smooth.  Beat in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the consistency looks right for you, between 2 and 5 cups.  You can use less sugar and make a glaze to drizzle over the cookies, or you can use more to make a frosting-type filling.  

Put the frosting in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set up a bit (the coconut oil will help here) and then make your cookie sandwiches.  Devour.

Gluten-Free Vegan Do-Si-Dos, Lemon Pasrty Creams, Thin Mints, Samoas!

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