There are always mixed feelings in regards to Valentine’s Day, so much so that February 14th is also known as “Single’s Awareness Day” or just a Hallmark Holiday. Whatever your sentiments about this Friday, we can all agree that it is an excellent excuse to gorge yourself on sweets. Personally, I am more than happy to accept chocolates in any form, including giant hearts or artificial roses ;)
So for this Valentine’s Day, or any day really, here is a sugary treat for you all to enjoy (equally delicious alone or with your valentine)! I knew that I wanted to with a pink theme, but in the dead of winter, was especially inspired to do something completely out of season- pink lemonade! I added just enough fresh lemon juice and zest to give this cookie a bit of a zing, but not enough to overpower the sweetness of the cane sugar and vanilla. To get the pink color, I used good-old-fashioned red food coloring, but if you are more granola than me, I highly recommend trying making your own from beets! Here are instructions for that.
These pink lemonade cookies were some of the easiest baked goods I’ve ever made, and oh-so chewy and buttery. But there’s actually no butter in this cookie! There is actually no dairy, egg, or gluten at all, and you would never know it. These are made with soy butter and the extra indulgent addition of soy cream cheese. I used Bob’s Red Mill GF all-purpose flour (made from garbanzo beans), but you could use any type of general flour here, as well as dairy products in equal proportions to what I used in these vegan/GF version.
Whatever your dietary preference, be sure to top with rainbow sprinkles! Side note: I was recently at Starbucks and overheard the best order: “I would like a grande salted caramel mocha with extra fun please” aka she wanted more sprinkles…amazing! A girl after my own heart. So I hope these cookies provide the extra fun you need to get through this wonderful (or awful) sugar-high holiday!
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (e.g. earth balance), softened
- 1/4 cup dairy-free cream cheese (e.g. Go Veggie or Daiya)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp red food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt
- Use electric mixer to combine sugar and butter.
- Add in the rest of the wet ingredients (cream cheese through food coloring) and mix well, scraping down sides when necessary.
- Gradually stir in dry mixture, and mix until all combined. Place dough in refrigerator for 15 minutes or so.
- Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on greased baking sheet. Make sure there is at least a couple of inches between cookies – they spread quite a bit while baking.
- Sprinkle each cookie with rainbow sprinkles.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are starting to golden (will still be pretty gooey)
- Let cookies sit on baking sheet until slightly cooled to let them firm up before using spatula to transfer to a drying rack. Eat up and spread the Valentine’s Love!