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Paleo Lemon Sugar Cookies - Gluten-free, dairy-free, with nut-free option

I’m not a huge lemon fan (generally I want my desserts to have chocolate), but the flavor on these are so on point. And I don’t take credit for that – these are a paleofied version of my best friend Grandma’s cookies. Grandma Lucille Molen was an amazing petite, silver-haired gracious fireball. Strong and independent as well as a master in the kitchen, she often won fans through her baking. She was sweet with a little bit of spice, just like these!

I know some of you might not be familiar with palm shortening or maple sugar, or they might be harder to find in your local stores. BUT, if you are tired (like I was) of eating paleo cookies that were just ok but not really amazing – you need to use them! Maple sugar is much lighter in flavor than coconut sugar (like of like how white sugar is lighter in flavor than brown sugar) and makes such a difference. Also, palm shortening cooks more like regular butter or shortening than ghee does. I also recommend your almond flour is “fine” or “super-fine.” I find fine or super fine almond flour at Costco or Sam’s Club, but this is the same Blue Diamond kind I get from Sam’s Club on Amazon. Anthony’s and Bob’s Red Mill also make fine almond flour.

The frosting really seals the deal and makes these a home run. You’re going to love these!

Paleo Lemon Sugar Cookies

Servings 24 cookies
Author Autumn @wholefoodfor7

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup palm shortening
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 cup almond flour* see notes for nut-free
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup palm shortening
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

  2. Cream shortening, sugar, eggs, and lemon extract.

  3. Add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

  4. Scoop small spoonfuls (about 1 tablespoon) of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing about 2" apart to allow for spreading as they bake. Bake for 12 minutes in the 350 degree oven. Cookies are done with they have spread flat and tops bounce back when touched.

  5. While baking, combine all the frosting ingredients in a small bowl, whisking or beating with a mixer to combine.

  6. Let cookies cool, and then frost. Enjoy! We love these stored in the fridge or freezer for a thicker frosting texture.

  7. Cookies can be frozen in a single layer and then stored in the freezer in a sealed container for 3+ months.

Recipe Notes

NUT-FREE SUBSTITUTION - I definitely prefer the almond flour/tapioca flour combo above, but I know that's tough for nut-free homes. To make this nut-free, use 1 cup total cassava flour to replace the almond + tapioca flour. This will result in a smaller batch of cookies, about 18 cookies.
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Can I use coconut sugar or ghee instead? Yes, I these will turn out with coconut sugar, but, again, I don't love the flavor nearly as much and maple sugar is worth investing in for better Paleo cookies. I have not tried ghee instead of palm shortening in these, as I really love the results of the shortening - let me know if you do!

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