Vegan Anginetti (Lemon Drop Cookies)

Photo credit: Christina Gregory (@thevedgeapp on Twitter/Instagram)

Being “just” half-Italian actually hasn’t hindered me in Italian cooking and eating! When I was little, Momma Mac, who is not Italian, would (at least try to) cook traditional dishes for my dad, being from Naples. While my parents divorced when I was 4, Mom always made it a point to expose me to Italian culture and food. She even knitted me a shawl in the colors of the Italian flag (if Mom shares it, I’ll post) and kept some of my dad’s Italian music records to play and (try to) sing. Mom doesn’t sing or much less speak Italian.

One of BEST things would be when Mom would bring home Italian pastries. We had a number of awesome pastry shops in my neighborhood, where you could get everything from cannoli to St. Joseph’s Creme Puffs to my personal favorites, Anginetti. You may have heard of Anginetti, better known as Lemon Drop Cookies. When spot on, you got the right mix of lemony tartness with sugary sweetness and a hint of salt. All in an almost shortbread cookie with icing. Of course, with sprinkles, because how many Italian treats NOT have sprinkles!

Being vegan, you don’t have to give up your favorite cultural/traditional eats. So, naturally, I veganized a recipe for my beloved Lemon Drops. I recently made them for an event on Sunday and shared a few with friends. Sadly, I forgot the sprinkles, but not really sad, because folks enjoyed them just the same!  That’s the best part of baking.

Photo credit: Macaroon’s Snapchat

Vegan Anginetti (Lemon Drop Cookies)
Source: Macaroon’s Little Kid Memories
Makes approx. 24 cookies

Ingredients

Cookie dough:

  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. course sea salt
  • 1/4 c. vegan shortening
  • 1/2 c. vegan granulated sugar
  • Egg replacer, equivalent to 3 eggs, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Icing:

  • 3 c. vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 c. cold water
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Garnish (either is optional)

  • Rainbow sprinkles 
  • Fresh mint leaves

Directions:

Cookie

  1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Grease or line with parchment paper 2 large baking sheets. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside
  3. Using a mixer with a paddle, cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. 
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in prepared egg replacer and extract, beating for approx 1-2 minutes
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the mixing bowl. Set on low, mix until combined. Dough will be a bit crumbly (If too dry, add 1-2 T. water)
  6. Scoop and pack dough into small cookie scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Place on baking sheets about 2 inches apart
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. When ready, rest on baking sheets for 1-2 minutes before transferring to wire rack

Icing:

  1. As cookies bake, mix powdered sugar and cold water in a medium-to-large bowl until smooth
  2. Stir in extract and zest
Assembly:
  1. When cookies are cooled, place sheet of parchment paper (use the one you baked with) or paper towel under the wire rack
  2. Pour icing over the cookies, covering their top
  3. Let icing sit a few moments before adding sprinkle or mint leaves (1-2 mint leaves per cookie)
  4. MANGIA!!!! (EAT!!!!)
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