If you’re keeping track, this is my third lemon dessert in six weeks. What can I say? I’ve got a fridge full of lemons and I know how to use them.
Sunny Lemon Upside-Down Cake ✅
Lemon Meringue Tart ✅
Lemon Sugar Cookies ✅✅✅ Y’all these Lemon Sugar Cookies are so good and so easy! The dough comes together in a pot on the stove just like my Maple Sugar Cookies—no need to dirty a mixing bowl! There’s no chill required for this recipe either, although there are a couple of ten minute rests for the flour to soak in all that buttery lemon goodness. Still, these are easy, easy, easy.The ingredient list here is relatively short, but has one somewhat unusual addition: confectioner’s sugar. This super-smooth mix of sugar and cornstarch keeps these cookies soft, tender and just sweet enough. If you’ve tried my all-egg yolks chocolate chip cookies, you know what a game changer this is!
As for the lemon flavor, it comes from lemons (duh). The dough is flavored with only lemon zest, and the baked cookies finished off with a quick lemon glaze. The finished products are buttery and bright and pretty dang wonderful, but you can add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract if you’d like an extra lemony punch.Pro Tip: wait a little bit to eat these. The difference in flavor between the time they are glazed and thirty minutes later is shocking to say the least. Somehow that half hour allows the lemon flavor to really shine through.Lemon Sugar Cookies are crisp at the edges and chewy throughout, the way so many of the best cookies are. And make no mistake, these are the best cookies—the kind that are low maintenance and deliver big time. Take the time to make a batch this weekend. You’ll see.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
makes about 1.5 dozen cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (from about 1 medium-large lemon)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
5-6 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 of a medium-large lemon)
Arrange your oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment. Set aside.
Place butter in a medium pot (4 quart) over medium-low heat. Melt, then cool 10 minutes.
Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and use your fingertips to rub them together. Whisk the mixture into the butter, followed by the confectioner’s sugar.
Add the egg and yolk to the pot and whisk to combine. Whisk in the vanilla, followed by flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Let dough sit for 10 minutes.
Scoop dough in 1 1/2 tablespoon increments (I use a medium cookie scoop). Roll into balls and place at least 2.5 inches apart on prepared pans. Bake cookies 10-11 minutes, or until puffed and no longer raw looking. Cookies will relax as they begin to cool.
Set a cooling rack over a pieces of wax paper or parchment.
Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze. In a small bowl use a fork to whisk together confectioner’s sugar, salt and 5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. Add more lemon juice by the 1/2 teaspoon, until desired consistency is reached.
Load glaze into a small piping bag and snip off the tiniest corner. The glaze will be dry to the touch within 20 minutes and harden after a few hours.
For best lemon flavor, let glazed cookies rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.