Zingy Lemon Glitters

Zingy Lemon Glitters

The Recipe:

Zingy Lemon Glitters

Soft and chewy old fashioned style sugar cookies flavoured with lemon zest and candied ginger. You won't notice or care that they're vegan, unless you are vegan, then maybe you do care. Adapted from Isa Chandra Moskovitz's "Citrus Glitters". The recipe itself is pretty flawless, so adding candied ginger was the only change. This is solid sugar cookie base recipe that could easily adapted to any flavour.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 24 cookies


  • 3 to 4 tablespoons turbinado demerara, or other coarse decorating sugar (optional)
  • 95 g (½ cup) Trex or ½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening like crisco
  • 150 g ¾ cup sugar 150g
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) almond milk (or your favourite milk substitute)
  • 2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest or your favourite citrus fruit
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 280 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour (I like the 4.5 ounce cup of flour but this recipe works better with 5oz per cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fine-ground cornmeal or grind coarse cornmeal in spice grinder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch/ corn flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) candied ginger pieces chopped into small bits – not minced, but not hunks either


  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/Fan 160°C. Set rack to the middle position and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Pour the decorating sugar onto a plate for later.
  • Whisk the flour, cornmeal, corn flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium to large bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the almond milk, zest, ginger, and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bit by bit and mix on medium speed, stopping to scrape the bowl from time to time. Continue to mix until it forms a soft, workable dough. If crumbly, check to see if it comes together when pressed.
  • Working with 1 full-to-heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, roll into a ball and press to about ½ inch thick into the decorating sugar, if using, careful to just coat one side. Arrange on the baking sheet, sugar side up, about 1-2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet when half done. They shouldn't get more than lightly golden around the edges – if they start to brown at all. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for about 2 minutes, the bottoms may still be soft at this point, and move to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Store in an air tight container.


Think of this dough as the jumping off point for any vegan sugar cookie, swap out the lemon zest and candied ginger with whatever flavour you like. They do spread, so if you experiment with rolling them out, I’d definitely keep them well chilled til baking time.
Untested Variation I’m trying next: Add 1 tbsp powdered freeze dried raspberries – Pink Lemonade Gliltters! I may or may not take the ginger out, it could be done with or without lemons and using any freeze dried fruit you come across, like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries – or a combination. It’s probably more versatile to get chunks rather than powder and grind the fruit yourself.
Keyword cookies, desserts, sugar cookies, sweets, vegan, vegetarian

The Waffle:

When I made this, reviews I’d read made it sound like the cookies could be tough or crunchy, but the recipe in the book swears it’s a soft chewy cookie, so I wondered if the dough might need to rest. I also wanted to add the candied ginger, but didn’t know how our daughter would like that, so I basically made 4 cookies in 1 batch. I weighed the dough, split it in half, folded ginger into half (really, just ran the mixer on low for a couple turns while sprinkling in the ginger pieces), then figured each half would make a dozen cookies, so I made 6 from each half batch of dough straight away. Then I set the rest aside to rest for a couple of hours before baking the last half of the full batch.

Resting made no real difference here, so I don’t know if the others were pressed too thin or had too much flour. All the cookies came out lovely soft and chewy, but not cakey. Ideal. The dough was quick and easy to make and just as easy to work with, it’s not sticky at all.

I tried and failed to dye the sugar, thinking of using the colour to help distinguished which were ginger for those who wouldn’t like it – I used it anyways, cos I just wanted to move on with the day and at a minimum, it would indeed help tell the flavours apart and in the end, I like the pinky-red splotches the ginger-free cookies were left with. I don’t know if I’ll bother doing it again though.

I got the lemon shape by rolling these and pressing into circles, then pinching two ends into the cookies before baking, I did this so I could tell which ones came from the dough that rested (~2.5 hours).