A completed Iced lemon cookie in the shape of a tree.  These cookies are just plain good, not good for gluten-free.

A completed Iced lemon cookie in the shape of a tree. These cookies are just plain good, not good for gluten-free.

Every year we need to make lemon cookies for Santa. Apparently Santa only wants lemon cookies and although we have left him other cookies its really a no dice situation. It’s gotta be lemon. I already have a lemon cookie recipe but quite honestly its a pain to make those cookies. These have fewer ingredients, are easier to make, use a cookie cutter which is fun and lets us make shapes from them, and can be decorated.

I do every step up to and including cutting out the cookies and then I freeze the dough in cookie shapes. I freeze them a single layer at a time and then when they are frozen I put them in a zipper plastic bag and then just bake them as I need them over the holiday. Otherwise I am pretty sure that I would end up in an asylum. I can’t make all those cookies in the week coming up to the holiday. I just can’t.

These are almost a lemon shortbread but not quite. Interestingly I don’t think that they would be as good with wheat flour. Something about the gluten free flour leaves a cookie that is rich and yet crisp. Just like tempura or fried chicken which are much better with rice flour, these too benefit from the gluten-free flour.

For the cookies
2 cups shortening – I used Earth Balance Coconut Spread but you can use Spectrum Butter Flavor if you cannot tolerate coconut
1 cup granulated sugar (if you like a less sweet cookie or are definitely going to ice them you can use 3/4 cup.
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon rind
4 1/2 cups Perfect Flour Blend from Namaste plus more for rolling (if you use another brand you may need to add xanthan gum)
One recipe lemon icing (separate recipe since you can use it on other cookies

For the lemon icing
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 T lemon juice
water to achieve desired thinness (I find about another 2 tablespoons to be right for me)
OPTIONAL 1/2 tsp freshly grated lemon rind

Large bowl
Electric mixer
Measuring cups and spoons
Rolling pin
Waxed paper
Cookie cutters
Cookie sheet (preferably shiny aluminum)
I also use a silicone pad (an old silpat)

Grate the lemon rind while allowing the shortening to get to room temperature and soften.
Cream the shortening in an electric mixer
Mix the lemon and the sugar in a separate bowl
Add the lemon sugar to the shortening
Combine thoroughly
Add flour one cup at a time
The resulting dough will be sticky
Chill the dough for about half an hour (not too long or it will get crumbly, you just want it a little firmer.
Roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thick between two layers of wax paper and cut into shapes
Bake at 300 for 20 to 25 minutes on a silpat. Cookies will not brown
Ice when cool then allow cookies to sit out for icing to harden. It should be shiny and smooth.