What can I say, I am in love with the lemon color and taste. My favorite flower is a yellow rose which my husband gets me from time to time.
I am not a big fan of the imitation lemon flavor from a plastic lemon at the grocery store, but I adore the fresh squeezed lemon taste. This cookie has freshly squeezed lemons in the cookies and the glaze.
January, it is bitter cold in Pennsylvania right now, and I am dreaming of warm weather and fresh fruit. So it was not surprising that my research for a cookie recipe this week involved lemons.
I will tell you this has a lot of baking powder in the cookie dough. But when you add the milk, it reacts and produces tiny bubbles of gas, which causes the cookies to puff and create a light, airy cookie. This makes a cake-like cookie.
Making Lemon Cookies
The first thing is to get the lemon zest and juice for both the cookies and the glaze. With 2 large lemons, I got about 2 packed Tablespoons of lemon zest and just a little over ⅓ cup of lemon juice. This will be enough for both cookie and glaze.
Zest the lemons into a bowl. I only go twice over the same spot twice with the zester. If you do more than that, you will start to zest the white under the yellow skin, which can be bitter. (zester)
After juicing the lemons, I pour the juice into a measuring cup to ensure I have at least ⅓ cup.
Weigh or measure the sugar into a small bowl and set it aside. Next, Weigh or measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and use a whisk to blend.
Using a stand or hand-held mixer, add the butter and sugar and blend them. Turn the mixer on to medium speed and beat the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes.
Now, add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix until they are combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg.
Finally, add about half of the flour mixture and incorporate the flour into the wet dough on a low mixer speed. Stop and add the milk and blend for about 30 seconds before adding the rest of the flour mixture.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, lightly cover it, and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350°F (175°C or 180°C) for 10-12 minutes. My cookies were done at 11 minutes. Then, move them to a cooling rack after removing the pan from the oven.
Let the cookies cool before starting the glaze.
Weigh or measure the powdered sugar and add it to a mixer bowl. Add on top of the powdered sugar the lemon, zest, lemon juice, and milk. Turn the mixer to a low speed until the powdered sugar has been incorporated, then turn the mixer to a medium speed until the glaze is smooth, about 2 minutes.
To avoid any mess, I put parchment paper under the rack where my cookies cooled before starting. You can use a spoon and drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies, or you can take the easy approach and dip the tops into the glaze.
Turn them right side up and sit the cookies back on the rack so the glaze can harden. It takes about an hour.
Why can't I zest the white part of the lemon?
When zesting a lemon, you only want the outer yellow of the lemon. This inner white part is called the fleshy pith. This can be bitter tasting and will not add lemon flavor to your cookies.
What happens to baking powder if milk is added?
In this recipe, I add milk halfway through adding the flour. Here is the reason why. When adding milk, it causes tiny gas bubbles. This help to make a fluffy inside of the cookie. You don't want to over-mix because this will deflate the bubbles. Since I try not to overbeat my flour, adding the milk halfway through, adding the flour it helps to stop me from overmixing.
Can I use bottled lemon juice?
First, you need the lemon zest for this recipe, so it would make sense to buy real lemons to do both juice and zest. But for cookie recipes that only call for lemon juice, I have always been a big fan of trying both and deciding for yourself.
But for my taste buds, the bottled lemon juice does not seem to have the brightness that freshly squeezed lemons have. It has the tartness, but something is just a little off.
Store these in an air-tight container. They will stay great for at least 7 days.
All About the Lemon Cookies
Perfect Glazed Lemon CookiesBarbara Hall
- ⅓ cup (75.67 g) Butter unsalted room temperature
- ½ cup (100 g) Sugar white
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tablespoon (2 Tablespoon) Lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Lemon zest
- 1 (1) Egg
- 2 cups (250 g) All-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) Kosher Salt
- ¼ cup (61 g) Milk
- 1 ½ Tablespoon (1.5 Tablespoon) Lemon juice
- ½ Tablespoon (0.5 Tablespoon) Lemon zest
- 1 ½ cup (180 g) Powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Milk
TO MAKE COOKIES
- In a bowl, either measure or weigh the flour, baking powder, and salt together (I run a whisk through them to blend), then set the bowl aside. In another bowl, weigh or measure the white sugar and set it aside.
- Zest 2 large or 3 small lemons into a bowl. Don't go very deep; you want the yellow, not the underlying white, which can be bitter. Then cut the lemon in half and juice your lemons into another small bowl. With 2 large lemons, I got about ⅓ cup of lemon juice.
- Cream the sugar and butter on a medium mixer speed for about 3 minutes. Next, add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice blending for about 1 minute. Then scrape down the bowl and add the egg.
- Add half of the flour mixture and blend until incorporated. I stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Add the milk and blend for about 30 seconds before adding the rest of the flour mixture. Don't over-mix. You can always finish with a spatula if needed. The cookie dough is soft, so stick the bowl into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Line 2 cookie sheet pans with parchment paper, and using a small cookie scoop, put 12 small mounds onto the cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F (175°C or 180°C) for 10-12 minutes. My cookies were done in 11 minutes. Move them to a cooling rack once out of the oven.
TO MAKE GLAZE
- In your stand or hand-held mixer, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and milk, mixing until smooth. You can adjust the glaze by adding a little powdered sugar to thicken the glaze or a little milk to thin it out.
- The easiest way to glaze these doomed cookies is to take the cookie and dip the top right into the glaze. But you can also take a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon of glaze and put it on top of a cookie. Then, turn the measuring spoon over and use the back to spread the glaze over the top of the cookie. Enjoy!
I am not a certified Dietitian or Nutritionist. The nutrition amounts given below are provided through a program and are only a guideline.