BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

In [Lemon] Mint Condition

43 Comments

Years ago, back when a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house really was a trek through the woods, and quite a few miles, I would spend the long car ride anticipating all of the goodies to come. Nothing less than the perfect grandparents, they kept their home stocked with the foods that my young, underdeveloped palate adored, and often was denied in most circumstances. It was as if they went grocery shopping with just us kids in mind. Cabinets stacked high with dried pasta, we could have chosen a new shape each visit and still have never run out of new whimsical noodles to try. Candy dishes decorated every spare flat surface, and I recall on more than one occasion slipping away to “play piano” in order to get dibs on the mint chocolates stashed on the glossy wooden lid.

Best of all, though, was the spare fridge in the basement. That’s where the real treasure was hidden: the cookies.

Perhaps they had a penchant for buying in bulk, but it seemed as though there were never fewer than a half-dozen open packages to pick at. Eaten right away, with the refrigerator’s cool breath still clinging to them, chilling each morsel to the core, it was a unique experience that made even mundane, store-bought baked goods seem somehow special. My absolute favorites were the big, crisp cookies covered in so much powdered sugar that you couldn’t help but spray some of the white sweetness all over your clothes, and the surrounding furniture, as you ate. I never learned the name of those cookies and haven’t seen the exact ones since, but they sound a whole lot like the discontinued lemon coolers, a classic Girl Scouts offering.

With the annual Girl Scouts’ harassment in full-swing, these sweets immediately came to mind, and I couldn’t resist a little trip down memory lane. A bit more grown up than those original cookies, my version adds a bright splash of peppermint to the party, replicating that cooling sensation I enjoyed so much. For the full experience, you’ve simply got to store them in the fridge… Although considering how easy they are to eat, I can’t promise that will allow them to last any longer!

Lemon-Mint Cooler Cookies

1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 – 4 Drops Peppermint Oil, or 1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoons Peppermint Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, thoroughly cream together the margarine and granulated sugar using the paddle attachment. Pause periodically to scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary. Once the mixture is homogeneous and fluffy, add in the lemon zest, peppermint, and salt, and mix to combine. Introduce the flour and baking soda next, starting the mixer on a slow speed until the flour is mostly incorporated, to prevent the dry goods from flying out and re-decorating the kitchen. Finally, add the lemon juice and vanilla. It may seem as though the mixture is too dry to come together, but be patient and keep mixing; it will eventually form cohesive dough. Resist the urge to add more liquid!

Scoop out walnut-sized balls and roll them between your palms to achieve smooth spheres. Place them at least 1-inch apart on your prepared baking sheets, and flatten them out slightly. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the bottom edges just begin to brown. Carefully pull the cookie-topped silpats or baking sheets off of the hot sheet pans, and let rest for 5 minutes before tossing them in the confectioner’s sugar. Let cool completely before enjoying. Better yet, store them in the fridge for an even more cooling treat!

Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

43 thoughts on “In [Lemon] Mint Condition

  1. Visits to your grandparents’ house sounds like so much fun! I’ve actually never had this kind of cookie (crazy, I know — I can see I’ve been missing out!), but they sound wonderful! I love your addition of peppermint.

  2. I remember eating cookies like these when I was young! I love lemon cookies. The GirlScouts also sold a lemon drop cookie that has crossed my mind a few times recently. Maybe some night I will actually attempt it.

  3. These must be delicious, even more so that there is a story behind them and I like that.
    Lemon & Mint, it sounds like a very logicial combination but I never thought about it before … and this very simple but surely very efficient frosting <3
    Good job once again, and thank you for the background info about your grand parents. Did you make some for them ?

  4. These sound delightful. I may have to attempt them with the gluten-free AP flour and see what happens.

    I know what you mean about the annual Girl Scout cookie drive. Its become so…everywhere! You can’t go to the shops without seeing at least a half dozen booths on the weekends and early evenings weekdays. And the best cookies of my youth appear to not be available anymore, like the lemon coolers, lemon frosted sandwich cookies, and the strawberry shortcake cookies. Sigh.

    These I’m sure will make a wonderful substitute. Thanks!

  5. Sweet story about visiting your grandparents :) I have very familiar memories of my own visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They had a special drawer in the kitchen full of cookies and crackers but the big hit for me was their cereal closet. They had every cereal known to man! I loved it.

    BTW, I love your blog. I am newly vegan and I have gone through and read every blog post you ever wrote. And I’ve got your cookbooks too! I really appreciate the heart and soul you put into everything you do. So – thanks!

  6. Those sound and look so good Hannah! I like everything with lemon and mint goes so well with it.Loved also your story :)

  7. There is no doubt that I will be whipping up a batch of these soon! What a fantastic story you recounted, as well! My grandparents’ house was also replete with goodies…any snack imaginable in the pantry, a garage pantry filled from top to bottom with a zillion different sodas, a freezer full of frozen mini pizzas and ice cream. Of course, they also had the candy dishes on every spare surface, containing a multitude of Brach’s offerings.

    And thank you for identifying the annual tradition as the “Girl Scouts’ harassment!”

  8. My grandmother also had the best candy/cookie selection when I was a kid. It was all about the mint melanos for me :) Also wanted to add that I’ve been admiring your photograhy a lot lately. Gorgeous. And cheers to the little uniformed monsters… I mean Girl Scouts, for their continued harassment of citizens nationwide.

  9. Good food + fond memories = the best posts.

  10. These sounds so good! I have missed your blog! I used to follow you when I was doing my vegan strong blog, I love your recipes. I finally got myself logged in to twitter and saw your tweet. Glad I found you again!

  11. These look lovely! I’ve never thought to put mint in lemon cookies, but I’m definitely giving these a try!

  12. As always, your photos are impressive! I feel like a lot of people can relate to your story; up until a couple of years ago when I would visit my grandparents in Michigan we would head right on over to the Hostess store to get my Grandma and I’s favorite treats. These cookies sound so refreshing and I can totally imagine eating them cold, mmmm…

  13. I am so happy about this recipe! Lemon coolers have always been a huge delight of mine, and I cannot wait to experience their vegan alternative (I’ll probably enjoy them more!). Definitely makin’ these.
    Bette Jane

  14. wow! These cookies look wonderful, can’t believe they are vegan!

  15. I’m trying to imagine this cooling tart tangy minty bite and it really must be amazing! My grandma always had our favorite Italian bread and little ice cream bonbons in the freezer. The best.

  16. These Lemon Cookies sound so tempting and delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe and the lovely memories. Cheers :)

  17. I love how you made these without evening having to use any dairy products, amazing !

    ratedkb.blogspot.com

  18. Those sound soooo good. I can practically feel the powdered sugar melting in my mouth.

  19. The minute I saw these I knew I had to make them! I love lemon cookies and the mint just makes them sound irrististable! They look gorgeous. And sound deliciously perfect with tea!

  20. Ah, for my brother and me, the magic of going to stay with my grandparents in Sydney was the second freezer in the backyard stocked full of Magnum ice creams. We’d get one – at least – a day. Oh, the blissful memories!

    What’s the bet there’s a recipe in your new book that will align with my grandparent sweet-hoard memory? :) xo

    • Aw, if only I had another hundred or so pages I could fill! Unfortunately, I was cut off- The book could be no more than 256 pages, and I was right at the very limit. Maybe I’ll make an ebook for using the ice creams in fun ways like cakes and novelty bars, but for the book, I had to stick with focusing on the ice creams themselves. It would be really easy to adapt the recipes though… Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still use the base in popsicle molds! :)

  21. Looks so refreshing for a cookie!!! I want!

  22. I **love** that your grandmother had an extra fridge full of cookies–my kind of family! The lemon mint cookies sound awesome!

  23. Oo I’ve never had lemon and mint in a cookie together! Sounds yummy.

  24. Oh Hannah! These cookies sounds delicious…mint and lemon, so refreshing…I can almost taste them…yum yum! I would love to find a fridge loaded of cookies :)
    Hope you are having a fabulous week!

  25. Oh I know exactly what kind of lemon cookies you mean…I can taste them now! The mint sounds like a fantastic addition! Will be making these soon to herald in spring :)

  26. They are gorgeous! Definitely making them!

  27. These cookies sound so lovely, Hannah. Do you think the girl guide cookies have been improved in terms of health in recent years? I remember they used to have trans fat.

  28. These cookies look delish! But I have a question. Ingredient list says 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the instructions say to cream together the margarine and granulated POWDERED sugar. Which is it, regular sugar or powdered?

    • Whoops! Now that’s a silly typo. The granulated sugar should be creamed with the margarine; the powdered comes in later for the finishing. Thanks for catching that- I’ll go correct the recipe.

      • Thanks so much Hannah. I want to make these this weekend. I have lots of lemons on my tree, and I love lemony baked goods.

  29. Pingback: CRAVE-ABLE RECIPE ROUND-UP – Cookie Edition

  30. Hannah,

    I made just made the Lemon Mint Coolers and they are fantastic! Thanks for sharing your recipes, as always!

    • Thank you for giving them a try, and thanks for the feedback, too! I’m so happy they lived up to your expectations. That’s what makes all the recipe writing worthwhile. :)

      • I just made another batch with Organic spelt flour. Really delish! My question is now that I have tons of these cookies, can I freeze some of them? I am a little concerned that the powdered sugar will defrost funny because of the moisture.

      • Good question! I haven’t tried freezing them myself so I can’t say for sure, but I think they should do just fine in the freezer. The only problem you might have is the powdered sugar “dissolving” once they thaw, as you mentioned. If that bothers you, you can always toss them in a fresh coat of powdered sugar before serving. Let me know how that goes, too! :)

  31. Thanks Hannah. These cookies are the best!!! I took a box of them to my girlfriend today. And my husband is eating them up fast. So I may not need to freeze them after all. This is a keeper recipe, we are loving them here in San Diego.

  32. Hannah, I totally made these yesterday, and they were delicious! I’m planning to make more tomorrow, maybe even take some pictures for my blog. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  33. Hi Hannah. FYI, I did end up freezing about half a dozen of these cookies. Defrosted them after a week and they were totally fine. Looked and tasted just like they had not been frozen.

  34. Really, really good! I used real butter (didn’t have any margarine) and whole wheat flour which gave the cookies a nice flavor. Thanks!

  35. Pingback: Lemon-Mint Cooler Cookies | Too Many Lemons

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