[pinit] So … we’re trying something new today. Well, I mean, it’s not that new. It’s a recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Cookies. They are crispy around the edges, and chewy and tender toward the center, with juuuuust enough lemon flavor (without any lemon extract, even) for happiness without any awkward puckering. Basically, they’re the perfect lemon cookies. So what’s new? Certainly gluten free cookie recipes are nothing too new around here. But with this cookie recipe, first I adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart (thanks Martha!), and they were really so lovely and crispy-tender. And then I made a Lighter Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Cookie recipe by cutting the fat in half, and the sugar nearly in half. Much, much lighter. Why did I do that?
I did this two-for-one recipe today (see the lighter version here) for a few reasons. First, everyone likes options. And judging by the comments and emails I get, you like lots of options. I don’t ever count calories (for myself or my family), or even fat and sugar, really. Instead, I try for everything in moderation. But you’re not me. And your family isn’t my family. So I thought some of you might like to at least consider the lighter version. If it’s not for you, go for the version in this post!
Second, since GFOAS Bakes Bread is out in the world, you know I’m writing another new cookbook (always! lucky lucky me, really). And some of you already know that that new cookbook is basically a cookbook of copycat recipes of some of your favorite desserts, snack cakes, crackers and candies, which we’ll never eat gluten free if we don’t make them ourselves. Those are generally not low-fat or low-sugar (with a few exceptions). So to make them taste just like the original, I have to use allllll sorts of fat and sugar. And to me, they’re treats and that’s perfectly fine. But since I know that many of you are also interested in lightening up your treats and crackers and snacks, I’m considering adding in variations for many of those recipes in the cookbook like I’m doing here—lighter versions. The original recipe for each snack in the cookbook will taste exactly like the original. A dead ringer. The lighter (or sometimes Paleo-ified version) won’t be a dead ringer, but it will be pretty close. It will be the recipe I’m more likely to feel good about giving to my family for breakfast. Or in my kids’ lunchboxes. You get the idea, right?
That way, you can choose! The recipe just above? That’s the lighter version. It’s not quite as tender (sugar doesn’t just make baked goods sweet; it tenderizes too! so do egg yolks, which are missing in the other version). But they’re really lemony, still crisp on the edges and chewier toward the center. Just not quite as chewy.
And just above, we’re back to the regular version. That recipe follows here. You decide which works for you!
Gluten Free Lemon Poppyseed Cookies
10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (28 g) vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, which is trans-fat free), melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
1 egg (60 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 lemon), reduced by half
2 cups (280 g) all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons lemon zest (again, from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Coarse sugar, for rolling (I used Sugar in the Raw)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter and shortening on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, egg, vanilla and reduced lemon juice, beating well after each addition. In a separate medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest and poppy seeds, and whisk to combine well, working out any clumps in the lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixer bowl in 3 batches, beating until just combined after each addition. The dough should be fluffy and light. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until chilled.
Once the dough has chilled, scoop it by the scant tablespoonful onto the rimmed baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart. Roll tightly into balls, roll in the coarse sugar to coat completely, and then press down into a disk about 1/4-inch thick. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden brown (about 10 minutes). Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.