Lemon Bar Cookies

I love anything lemon.  I don’t know why, but I rarely make lemon desserts, even though I love them so much.  Lemon bars take the cake, and while I’ve made a few vegan lemon bars in my day that are really tasty, it’s hard for any of the them to come close to the bars my mom used to make.

Speaking of my mom, these cookies are from a little stocking-stuffer Cookie baking book that she bought for me years ago.  None of the recipes are vegan, but most of them are pretty easy to vegan-ize, and the recipes I’ve made so far have been fantastic – including these amazing cookies.  Ryan told me they’re the best cookies I’ve ever made, and I make a LOT of cookies…

I think that these are called frosted lime wafers in the book, but you can substitute lemon, as I did.  Or stick with the lime instead if you prefer.  I’m sure it would be really tasty, and they’d make a great dessert for taco night!

I’m calling these Lemon Bar cookies because the shortbread-like cookie and tart/sweet lemon glaze taste just like a little bite of lemon bar to me.  Here’s my vegan version…

Lemon Bar Cookies

6 ounces margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For cookies, beat margarine in a stand mixer, or with an electric hand mixer.  Add the sugar, baking soda and lemon zest, and beat until combined.  Beat in lemon juice.  Add the flour and mix just until the dough comes together.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2-inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets.  Bake for 5 minutes, rotate the trays in the oven, and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the edges are beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and cool on racks.

For the glaze, in a small mixing bowl stir together the confectioners sugar, melted margarine, and enough juice to make a mixture of glazing consistency.  Dip tops of wafers in glaze.

Notes: Don’t make the glaze until you’re ready to dip the cookies.  It starts to crystallize a bit as it sits, and the tops of the cookies won’t look as smooth if you wait too long.

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28 Responses to “Lemon Bar Cookies”

  1. Hi, these look delicious, and I would love to make them, but where I live (in Cape Town) it’s impossible to get decent tasting vegan margerine (it’s hard to get vegan margerine generally, actually). Can I substitute an oil? If so how much? Not sure if it will work, but would appreciate any tips. Thanks.

  2. These sound so yummy! I’m in a similar category – absolutely love lemon, but rarely use it.

  3. Made these when so friends came over. We inhaled them. Absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for this and all of your recipes. We’ll be rooting for you on Cupcake Wars!

  4. Hi, looking! You could definitely try using oil – I’d use a bit less. I’m not sure how it would affect the texture. If you’re able to get vegan shortening you might want to try that along with the oil.

  5. Thanks, Kim! I’ll take that and go go go. Going to try coconut oil for the glaze so it sets well, and canola for the cookies themselves. Sadly vegan shortening, and vegan anything is hard to get in these parts. But such is life – as you know.

  6. how did you get a photo with little crumbs flying into the universe? amazing!

    and these look and sound delish.

  7. vivaciousvegan 16. Dec, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I adore lemon anything so these are right up my alley! I am going to make them for Christmas, would you mind if I showed them on my log, I will give you a shout out!

  8. Hi, vivaciousvegan – please feel free to post them!

  9. totally delish! i put them in the freezer and they were so yummy frozen too :)

  10. these sound absolutely yummy! i definitely wrote this down so i can try them in my home! thanks!

  11. I made these for an wedding shower and everyone loved them! I am new to veganism and have been experimenting with vegan baking a lot. These are the first cookies I have made that have been excellent instead of just ok!!

  12. Hi, Janille! So glad they went over well!

  13. OMG! These are amazing. I’m not a vegan, but my mum didnt have any eggs and I came across this recipe. Thank you sooo much for posting this. Definately going to make these for gatherings.

  14. Thanks for the feedback, M – so glad you liked them!

  15. I was looking around the internet today for lemon cookie – WOW – your Lemon Bar Cookies are amazing!! I made a batch and my husband, who only wants chocolate desserts, has already eaten half a dozen, even before the frosting has firmed up! This is going to be my go-to lemon cookie recipe. I have three Meyer Lemon trees in my yard and am always on the lookout for delish lemon recipes. I am also glad I found your blog because so many of your recipes look amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Hi, Laura! I’m so glad you liked the cookies!

  17. I have made these twice now and they were a hit! But mine stay in little dough drop shape, they don’t flatten out like the picture. What am I doing wrong, I substitute some of the margarine for Greek yogurt, could this be why?

  18. Hi, Amanda! Since the only thing you’re doing differently is adding the yogurt I imagine that’s the culprit. You could always flatter them a bit with your hand or the bottom of a glass before baking them.

  19. LOVED these cookies. They were delicious, light, and looked just lovely! I highly recommend these for a simple and tasty sweet treat :)

  20. Hey Kim,

    I’ve made these cookies three times now. They’ve been a hit each and every! Non-vegan friends have gobbled these little treasures up. Thanks for the recipe.

  21. You’re welcome, Ken! So glad you like the recipe.

  22. Made these on the weekend – they are outstanding! I topped with a few bits of lemon zest for pretties.
    Thanks so much!

  23. I made these for an art show opening and they were a huge hit! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  24. Can you tell me the yield? Thanks! Can’t wait to make these!

  25. I want to make these lemon bar cookies for my grandson who is allergic to eggs. These sound amazing. I wanted to make for Christmas. Since I’m cooking so much, I wanted to freeze to save time. Can I freeze unbaked dough balls? How long will it take to thaw for baking?



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