Simple, tender gluten free lemon meltaway cookies that literally melt in your mouth. The cookies are a delight, and the preparation couldn’t be simpler.
Cookies 🍪 come in all shapes, sizes and textures (kind of like people?). Most people🚶(kind of like cookies? *no*) will quickly tell you which sort of cookie (crunchy or chewy) is their fave.
But then there’s the meltaway cookie, like these gluten free lemon 🍋 meltaway cookies. I challenge you to find even one person who can’t get on board with a light, tender and simple cookie that quite literally melts in your mouth.
Meltaway cookies are even a total winner for the cook, since the dough is not only simple to throw together, but incredibly easy to handle and requires no chilling before baking whatsoever.
Just be sure not to overbake the cookies, or they’ll go from tender shortbread-style cookies to crumbly and dry. And be careful about using a high-starch flour blend. Go with one of my recommended flour blends, and as always I recommend baking by weight, not volume!
I dressed mine up with a light drizzle of lemon glaze, too, to bump up the lemon flavor and honestly to make them look as pretty on the outside as they are delicious on the inside. But of course they’re *almost* perfect without it, too.
Meltaway cookies can also be made into large, flat rounds that can be decorated however you like (like these bunny cookies 🐰), but most of the time I like to keep them simple as can be.
Ingredients and substitutions
There is quite a lot of butter in these cookies, and I would not recommend using Earth Balance buttery sticks. They have too much moisture, and I don’t think the cookies would hold their shape. I think Melt brand or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand vegan butter might work in place of the butter, though.
There is no whole egg in this recipe, and only one egg white, which helps provide structure. You may be able to replace it with aquafaba, which is just the brine from a can of chickpeas. I recommend beating it until foamy, and using the same amount, by weight (25 grams).
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/3 cup (48 g) cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup (77 g) confectioners’ sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg white (25 g), at room temperature
2 teaspoons (1 fluid ounce) freshly-squeezed lemon juice, plus more as necessary
Granulated sugar, for dipping
For the glaze 1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 to 4 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the lemon zest and mix to combine, breaking up any clumps of zest. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg white and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will be thick and smooth. Add more lemon juice by the half-teaspoonful and knead it in with clean, dry hands as necessary to bring the dough together.
Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round between the palms of your hands, and press down slightly into a thick disk. Press with the moistened tines of a fork into a small bowl of granulated sugar, then press down on the top of each piece of dough until the tines leave an impression about 1/4-inch deep. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges and firm to the touch (about 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.
When the cookies are cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and mix well. Add more lemon juice by the half-teaspoon, stirring to combine after each addition until you have a smooth but very thickly pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze in a zig-zag pattern on top of each cooled cookie. Allow to set at room temperature.