Healthful Lemon Cookies – TWD #Cookiesandkindness

If you want to do away with gluten (or wheat), animal fat and sugar in baked goods, these might be the cookies for you. It’s hard to believe that these gluten-free cookies are actually delicious with a pleasant texture to them. There is very little compromise in the taste department. Sweet! I know enough friends and family members who are gluten intolerant, have troubles with blood sugar or in some cases, a desire to follow a more restrictive health and fitness style. This may be the approach to bake healthful cookies and to enjoy them too.

I know I was taking a bold step here. I had all the ingredients laid out to bake Dorie’s lemon sugar cookies at Tuesdays with Dorie. What if I take away the all-purpose flour, sugar and butter and substitute them with gluten-free flour, agave and coconut oil?

I can’t let go of the compulsion to take the healthier option. I forged ahead, adapting Dorie’s recipe, but without any all-purpose flour, sugar or butter. Since I had no clue what I was doing, I did a simple one-to-one substitution.

There was no sugar and butter to cream. So I proceeded by putting together the wet ingredients: agave, lemon juice and coconut oil. Whisk together the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Since this was an experimental project, I halved the recipe. Took half an egg, whipped, and mixed in with all the ingredients until a cohesive dough formed. The dough was soft, but manageable. I separated the dough into two pieces. Shaped and rolled them up in a plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator.

After one hour in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer, the dough was ready to cut into rounds and bake.

What came out from the oven were some delicate, lightly sweetened and crispy cookies. I can hardly taste the lemon flavor. More lemon zest or lemon extract would have helped. I consider this gluten-free, no sugar and no butter adaptation to a conventional sugar cookies recipe a success.

For sure, my gluten-intolerant friends will be very happy with these healthful cookies. These are not the type of gifts they get too often. I too have benefited from learning something new: one to one substitutions work. However, you may be able to get away with much less fat, since gluten-free flour does not absorb as much fat as all-purpose. Please see the cheat sheet below for details.

Gluten-free, no sugar, no butter lemon cookies


What cookies will you bake to share? Take part in the #cookiesandkindness movement! Get Dorie’s recipe for lemon sugar cookies here.

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  • Reply
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    April 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

    These look great and food to know that here, one to one subs worked (coming off the heels of working with 70 recipe testers all over the world for my own book, I know this to be true!). And funnily not 5 minutes ago, I read an article about coconut oil not necessarily being "better for you" than butter BUT yay for this working out. They look great and nothing like most of the GF cookies I've seen. Good for you! Also, I'm always looking for ways to adapt things like baked goods for my GF colleagues so these are bookmarked!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    One to one subs is a new approach, to me, without much extensive testing. I'm glad you confirm the effectiveness of it. Can't beat the taste of butter, in my mind. Since coconut oil is all the rage, it doesn't hurt to give it a try. At the least, it's legit! Like you, I'm always pushing the envelop on making baked goods more healthy.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Good on you for making them healthier and your gluten free friends would love you. I really enjoyed these cookies made as in the book – so delish.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    I love it when the healthier version can still taste wonderful!

  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    April 6, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Glad all your substitutions​ worked out. I am a Registered Dietitian and the jury is still out on coconut oil especially with diabetes.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

    You did a wonderful job of adapting these cookies. The texture looks perfect, which can be hard to achieve with alternate ingredients. I know the people in my life who have celiac disease appreciate it when friends go that extra step to include them.

  • Reply
    April 6, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    That's a very good point. I like butter; it makes everything tastes better. Tastewise, it's hard to find a replacement for real butter.

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