Chewy Lemon-Coconut Cookies with Lemon Icing

After reading Bryant Terry’s TasteMaker interview, you’re probably curious to try one of his recipes. He was generous enough to share  these Chewy Lemon-Coconut Cookies with Lemon Icing, which is one of his favorite easy recipes from his latest book, The Inspired Vegan.

As with all the recipes in The Inspired Vegan, Bryant has a suggested soundtrack and literary accompaniment to further bridge his belief that food should be experienced as part of our whole lives and not just in a vacuum. With this recipe and pairings he’s got me yearning for some Aretha on the turntable, a cup of tea, and a few of these cookies for my afternoon pick me up.

Chewy Lemon-Coconut Cookies Iced

Chewy Lemon-Coconut Cookies with Lemon Icing Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Bryant Terry
With a cup of hot herbal tea, these lemony cookies brighten up dreary afternoons. Eaten plain they are flavorful, but topped with lemon icing they are next level.

  • Yield: About 2 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies
  • Soundtrack: “Hello Sunshine” by Aretha Franklin from Aretha Now
  • Book: Lemons Are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


  • Icing
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Cookies
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ground flaxseeds (whole flaxseeds will not do)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup solidified coconut (a.k.a. coconut butter)
  • 3/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • For the icing:

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the sugar, lemon juice, water, and lemon zest until smooth.

  • For the cookies:

In an upright blender, combine the flaxseed powder and water and blend until creamy. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the solidified coconut oil, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat with a spoon until well blended and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flours, 1/2 cup of the coconut, the baking soda and salt. Combine the dry mixture with the wet mixture and stir just until well combined and smooth in texture. Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drop the dough by tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined or well-greased baking sheets. Bake until the edges are starting to turn golden, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time. Let cool for 2 minutes on the sheets, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to let cool completely.

Spread the cookies with lemon icing. Sprinkle each cookie with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the remaining coconut and let set for about 1 hour.

To keep up with Bryant’s adventures, check out his website and his new web series, Urban Organic.

Photos by Jennifer Martine and food styling by Karen Shinto.

TasteMakers is a monthly interview series with people I’ve met who have inspired me and a chance for them to share some of their wisdom.

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