Two gluten-free lemon squares on a dessert plate.

Gluten-Free Lemon Squares, Almost

This recipe came from my friend Joy Gray. She creates recipes for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program.

My lemon squares weren’t as good as I had hoped they would be because of several mistakes I made in the process.

The first mistake I made was not using the gluten-free flour mix designated. Joy used NuLife All-Purpose Sorghum Flour Mix. I didn’t have that, so I used Carol Fenster’s recipe for her sorghum flour blend. I didn’t realize that the NuLife mix has xanthan gum already mixed into it and I didn’t add any xanthan gum to my flour mix.

My second mistake was that I combined the sugar, flour and salt, then I realized I was supposed to cream the butter and sugar together first. I decided to use a pastry blender to mix the butter with the flour/sugar mixture. This may have worked ok if I had remembered the xanthan gum, but I’m not sure.

The biggest mistake I made was that I didn’t let the crust cool completely before adding the lemon filling mixture. When I poured the mixture onto the hot crust, the center section of the crust exploded into bits and mingled into the filling. The filling ended up having more of a cookie-like texture instead of being creamy like lemon pudding.

Without the xanthan gum, the crust was very crumbly and fell apart as I tried to remove the squares from the pan. So, although my lemon squares were edible, I was quite disappointed with them.

If you make this recipe, be sure to follow the directions carefully and don’t make the same mistakes I did!

Ingredients



Crust

  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup NuLife All-Purpose Sorghum Flour Mix
  • Pinch kosher salt

Filling

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup NuLife All-Purpose Sorghum Flour Mix
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Crust:  Cream butter and sugar together with paddle attachment in electric mixer. Add salt to sorghum flour mix and slowly add to butter until mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.

Dough and pastry blender in brown mixing bowl.

I used a pastry blender to mix the crust ingredients. This may have made the crust even more crumbly, I’m not sure.

Press into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Gluten-free crust dough for lemon squares pressed down in the bottom of a square baking pan.

The crust was about 1/8-inch thick after I pressed it down into the bottom of the pan.

Filling: Wipe out mixing bowl and whisk eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, sorghum flour mix and salt.

Lemon filling in brown mixing bowl with whisk.

Lemon filling mixture.

Gently pour over the crust and bake for 30 minutes until firm. Cool thoroughly.

Baked lemon squares in baking pan, edges overcooked.

The lemon squares were over browned on the edges because I didn’t let the crust cool before pouring in the filling.

Cut into squares and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Gluten-free lemon squares in baking pan with a few squares removed so you can see the crumbling crust around the sides.

You can see how the crust crumbled when I cut the squares. This is why you use gums in gluten-free baking.

Gluten-free lemons squares in bowl, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar.

Makes about 20 squares.

Recipe © Joy Gray, Amarillo, TX.

Milo graphic

Milo says….

Lemon is not my favorite snack flavor, Maizy. Please make these with BACON filling next time!

Three gluten-free coconut-lemon cookies on a dessert plate.

Gluten-free Coconut-Lemon Cookies

Holiday parties are always uncomfortable for those of us with celiac disease. How many times have you experienced that awkward moment at a party when you realize there is NOTHING on the buffet table that you can eat?

I have found that it helps me if I can bring something to the party that is gluten-free. Then I know there will be at least one thing available for me to eat. I just ask the host/hostess if I may bring a gluten-free dessert and that usually opens the door for more discussion about what other foods are being served and if I might need to bring a main dish I can eat.

Here is an easy-to-make recipe for some cookies I think will work perfectly for gluten-free party snacking.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus extra for rolling)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, gently melted (not hot)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (I used dried lemon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Combine the almond flour, 1 cup shredded coconut, coconut flour, and sea salt until thoroughly mixed. I used a food processor to chop up the coconut into smaller bits then transferred it back into a mixing bowl. If you have a large food processor you can probably mix the dough it in as well.

Food processor with flour and coconut mixture inside.

I used my food processor to chop up the coconut and mix the dry ingredients.

Add the honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until dough forms.

Ball of gluten-free coconut-lemon cookie dough in a large brown mixing bowl.

I mixed in the wet and dry ingredients in a large bowl with my hands to make a nice ball of dough.

Pinch off small portions of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Coat the balls in the extra shredded coconut if desired. I had trouble getting the coconut to stick to the outside of the balls, so a made a small divot in the top and smashed some coconut down into it.

About two dozen cookie dough balls covered with coconut on parchment paper and baking sheet.

Coconunt-Lemon cookies on parchment paper ready to bake.

Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 250ºF for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.

Baked cookies on cookie sheet surrounded by bits of toasted coconut.

The cookies didn’t spread out while baking and turned a nice golden brown.

Cool completely before serving. Store the cookies in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Closeup of some of the cookies on the baking sheet.

Gluten-free Coconut-Lemon cookies ready to taste.

You can also enjoy these as a no-bake snack by putting the dough in the refrigerator until firm rather than baking it.

Makes about 24 cookies

Adapted from Lemon Meltaways in the Spring 2014 issue of Simply Gluten Free magazine.

 

Milo graphic

Milo says….

I don’t know what you are eating, but I WANT some!