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  • Writer's pictureGutsy Baker

Soft & Chewy Lemon Cranberry Cookies (Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free)

If you love lemon, you will love these gluten free lemon cranberry cookies. They are FULL of lemon flavor and have chopped cranberries throughout to give them that tang. Covered in a lemon icing, they are the perfect original holiday cookie that everyone will love!



a pile of lemon cookies dressed up for the holidays with cranberries and pine

WHY YOU WILL LOVE GLUTEN FREE LEMON CRANBERRY COOKIES


  • Full of fresh lemon and chopped fresh cranberries, these are the perfect sweet and tangy holiday cookie!

  • Made gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free so everyone can enjoy these delicious cookies during the holidays. Or any time of year!

  • The softest cookies with a slightly chewy center.

  • Easy to make!

  • Top with sugared cranberries and rosemary or pine sprigs for a cute and pretty garnish.


a bite shot of a cranberry lemon cookie

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INGREDIENTS IN HEALTHIER CRANBERRY LEMON COOKIES



SUBSTITUTIONS + SWAPS


LEMON JUICE: This must be fresh and not bottled! You may also use orange juice if you prefer orange and cranberry.


COCONUT SUGAR: You can replace this with any granulated sugar. It is a small amount so should not change the flavor of the cookie.


MONKFRUIT: I use this as half the granulated sweetener these cookies. I suggest to replace this with a white granulated sugar or sweetener, it will pair better with lemon than a brown sugar.


DAIRY FREE BUTTER: You can try to sub this for coconut oil or palm oil shortening but I think butter works best here. I have used both Miyoko's unsalted butter and Country Crock Plant Butter sticks with great results.


HONEY: May be replaced with pure maple syrup


EGG: This has not been tested yet but I think 1/4 cup of plain dairy free yogurt would work best here as an egg sub to make these cookies vegan.


TAPIOCA FLOUR/FLOUR: This can be replaced with arrowroot starch.


lemon cranberries on a wooden board covered in icing that looks like snow


HOW TO MAKE THE SUGARED CRANBERRY PINE GARNISH

THIS IS THE BEST PART OF THE COOKIES! It makes the cookies look frosted and snow covered.


To make the sugared cranberry garnish:


  1. Measure out 18 whole cranberries and brush with maple syrup. Then roll in a cup of granulated sugar or monkfruit until fully coated. Lay on a flat plate or baking sheet until sugar hardens.

  2. Cut 12 small pine sprigs or rosemary sprigs. Brush with maple syrup and roll in the same granulated sugar.

  3. One sugar hardens, cut cranberries in half and press in a group of 3 on each iced cookie. Add the pine or rosemary sprig!




HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE LEMON CRANBERRY COOKIES

(see recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions)


  1. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the dairy free butter, lemon zest, monkfruit, coconut sugar and honey until smooth. Then add in the egg and lemon juice.

  2. In another bowl, mix together the flours, salt and baking soda. Then add this to the wet ingredients until a batter forms.

  3. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours up to overnight.

  4. Remove from fridge and chop cranberries finely with a food processor. Mix into dough.

  5. Scoop dough into balls and gently press tops flat. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until edges just brown and center is still a little gooey.

  6. Wait to cool and then drizzle with icing. Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprig!


a close up of a bite shot of a lemon cookie



FAQs


Do lemon cranberry cookies freeze well?


Yes! I would make the cookies unfrosted and freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Do not frost and garnish the cookies until ready to enjoy!



Can I make the dough in advance?


Yes, but I suggest you add the cranberries in after the dough freezes and defrosts. Cranberries hold a lot of water, and even with squeezing the juices out first, they may make the dough too wet when defrosting. If you choose to add in the cranberries in before freezing, you might need to add 2 more Tbsp of flour to the dough.



Can I make gluten free lemon cranberry cookies also vegan?


Yes, replace the honey with maple syrup. And replace the egg with 1/4 cup of plain dairy free yogurt. It has not been tested but I think this will be the best egg replacement here.



Can I make orange cranberry cookies instead?


Yes! Replace the lemon juice with orange juice and lemon zest with orange zest. Don't skip on the zest, this is what gives the cookies their flavor.


Other notes to make the perfect lemon cranberry cookies:


  • Spoon and level the flour. Meaning, fluff the flour with a spoon and spoon into measuring cup.


  • Make sure to cream the butter and sugars with a hand mixer.

  • Squeeze the cranberries in a paper towel to release the juices before adding to the dough.

  • If refrigerating the dough for more than 2-3 hours, I suggest to add the chopped cranberries in AFTER the dough has been chilled, when you are ready to bake. The cranberries will release water into the dough the longer they sit, making the dough sticky and too moist.


lemon cranberry cookies with a sugared cranberry garnish


If you make these gluten free lemon cranberry cookies, leave me comments or ratings below! And tag me in your creations on Instagram!




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