A Southern Grace: when life hands you lemons...

July 18, 2013

when life hands you lemons...


...find some shmuck who'll buy them from you for a profit.

Just kidding. You should obviously make a lemon dessert, and as lemon desserts go, these cookies are pretty terrific. They're essentially sugar cookies--they have that same buttery texture and sugar-coated goodness. However, by a)thoroughly mixing some lemon zest with your sugar before you cream it with the butter, and b)adding a little lemon juice, you can easily have the most refreshing sugar cookies known to mankind.

I personally love the crackled top of cookies like these. I never really thought about it, but to achieve that look, you apparently need to have the tops of the cookies set early so they don't expand while the innards are still trying to rise. With that being said, the oven must be hot enough to cook the tops first, there has to be a proper amount of leavening, the cookie balls have to be thick, and you don't want to overmix the dough such that gluten forms. Who knew so much was involved in getting that rustic look?

If you're seeking a simple yet invigorating batch of cookies, look no further.

Sugar Cookies, Lemonized
(based on this recipe)
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat together lemon zest and sugar until all you can smell is lemon permeating the air.
Add your softened butter and beat until smooth and creamy.
Add egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and mix until combined.
Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar.
Place on prepared baking sheets, about 1-1/2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges and set.
Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Rosita Vargas said...

Grace el jugo de limón le da una frescura increíble a sus hermosas galletas,saludos y abrazos.

Pam said...

Bookmarked. Lemon desserts are my favorite. They look fantastic!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

The kind of cookie I crave at the moment! Exquisite.



~~louise~~ said...

When life hands you lemons, Pin Them, as sugar cookies that is.

I sure wouldn't mind sinking my teeth into one of those cookies right now, Grace. Love the how to on getting that unique top too.

Thanks for sharing...

WizzyTheStick said...

Lovely how one simple ingredient can improve upon a classic recipe

Caroline Taylor said...

Of course you should make a lemon dessert! These sound great.

Leslie said...

Love them. Mixing the lemon zest with the sugar makes alllllll the difference!

Marjie said...

Oooh! Lemon! My favorite!

Guru Uru said...

Lemon is the best in everything :D


P.S. I am going to be exam prepping for four weeks so won't be commenting - see you in a month!

Blond Duck said...

My MIL would love these!

Patricia Bacon said...

Just sat down with my 3rd coffee of the morning and they would surely hit the spot right now!!! As always, love your posts!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Bahaaa! Not just for the joke but also because you used the word schmuck-a word we don't use nearly enough of here :P

Barbara said...

These look yummy, Grace. Thanks for all the cooking tips too. Those little things are what make a cookie great.

Chocolate Shavings said...

Lemony cookies can never be a bad thing - yum!

Lisa-Marie said...

These look AMAZING. AH-mazing.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I absolutely love lemony baked goods and these cookies look fantastic!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Oh, these look delightful! I absolutely adore lemon cookies :)

I Wilkerson said...

What a perfectly fresh cookie for summer!

Laura said...

One can never have too many lemon desserts. Seriously. Pinning now. :D

PS Watching/ed Orange is the New Black?