July 11, 2012

Lemon Snowdrop Cookies

I remember the first time I was introduced to lemon squares.  My classmate and good friend, Amanda, with whom I rode the school bus would have these treats in her lunchbox every so often.  Her mother would wrap these homemade desserts in tin foil.  Watching Amanda open them was like watching someone open a present.  The homemade lemon squares were precious, delicious pieces of love that I was lucky to get a taste of!

A mom from Callan's preschool made lemon cookies for a school function.  They were such a big hit that she shared the recipe with the whole community.  I had not tried them but when I followed the link (to the recipe from the blog Sophistimom) and saw the picture of the powdery white treats, fond memories of Amanda's lemon squares immediately came to mind.  Curious, I checked over the recipe's ingredient list and was pleasantly surprised that, unlike lemon squares or bars, no eggs were needed for these cookies.  I knew then in no uncertain terms that I had to try these!

The recipe did patiently sit on my iPhone for a couple busy, busy months before I finally had time to make them.  But make them I did, for Ryken's birthday party, with a couple of substitutions to make their milk-free and add a little fiber.  The end results were so delicious and easy to make, I made them for a dessert buffet at my brother-in-law's wedding.

Lemon cookies, chewy and oh so refreshing

Lemon Snowdrop Cookies
Adapted from Sophistimom's Chewy Lemon Snowdrop Cookies recipe

1/2 cup vegan margarine (for soy-free cookies, use Earth Balance Soy-Free in the red tub)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (Trader Joe's organic sugars are bone char-free so they are vegan)
1/4 cup agave nectar
Zest of 2 or 3 lemons (limes are fine, too, but you'll probably need to use more limes)
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
Powdered sugar for dusting

I tried rolling the dough balls in powdered sugar before baking.  This
didn't work as well as dusting the finished cookies with the sugar.
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease or line a large cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Cream margarine and sugar together in a medium bowl.  Add agave nectar and combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and lemon zest.
  4. Stir in flour mixture to margarine mixture until the dough is fairly combined.  Some lumps are fine. 
  5. In a small bowl, add baking soda to the lemon juice.  The combination will instantly fizz and bubble.  Stir quickly to dissolve baking soda.
  6. Immediately add the lemon juice mixture to the dough and mix or knead until well combined.
  7. Hand-roll the dough into 1-inch or 1.5-inch balls.  They will flatten out on their own during the baking process.  Do space them about 2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are just beginning  to turn golden.  (I took mine out between 8-9 minutes.)  They may appear a little soft and pale but they definitely will continue to cook a little on the pan while they are cooling off and achieve a more golden color.  So important not to overbake!
  9. Cool the cookies on its pan.  Then dust or sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar.  Store cookies in an airtight container in a cool place.
Here's hoping that these cookies bring back some fond childhood memories for you.  If you are new to lemony baked treats, bake these and make some new memories with your loved ones!


  1. HI,

    I would love to try making some of these cookies. What brand of whole white wheat flour do you use?


    Lisa T.

  2. Hi Lisa,

    I used Trader Joe's white whole wheat but King Arthur's is terrific as well. Let me know how yours turn out! ~Irene

  3. Wow, Irene!

    I'm so touched that you remember those lemon bars from all those years ago. That recipe came from my "Grammy" Rosalie, a close, elderly friend of the family, who had lemon trees in her backyard and found creative ways of using the bags and bags of fruit they produced.

    I've tried to recreate the recipe a few times over the years, though nowadays it doesn't fit with my dietary requirements.

    I'll definitely give your version a try!

    Also, you might like to try an eggless lemon curd recipe for a similar consistency to the bars? They use cornstarch to thicken the mix, which I believe is gluten free?

    I found this one:


  4. Hi Amanda!

    Thank you for checking out the blog and providing the lemon squares so long ago. We had some great times on the bus and at school, didn't we? :)

    I will definitely try the eggless lemon curd recipe. Thanks for finding that. I'm all about lemons and limes these days although the temperatures here are making it harder to preside over a hot stove!

    Hope you are enjoying your summer. Any Olympic fever?