I was going through Dorie Greenspan’s latest cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies, with my sister and one of the first recipes she asked me to make for her was for Lemon Sugar Cookies. I baked them the following day and they turned out great! These Sugar Lemon Cookies are not super sweet and they have an incredible crispy “shell” protecting a wonderfully chewy center. Dorie’s Lemon Sugar Cookies recipe also automatically ranks high on my list of repeat-recipes because it doesn’t require any special ingredients.
The only ingredient I had to go out and buy was the lemon.
The first step was whisking the dry ingredients together. The second was telling my poor little lemon that it was going to get stripped, sliced in half, and juiced. It was not a good day to be this lemon.
My little lemon yielded the perfect amount of juice: 1/4 cup.
I love rubbing lemon zest in sugar because of the oils and scents that get released. This alone is a reason why I would make these cookies again.
After prepping the lemon sugar, room-temperature butter and salt are added. I used my stand mixer and let everything mix on medium power for a couple of minutes until smooth.
The next ingredients I added were the room temperature egg, the lemon juice, and vanilla extract. I mixed everything for about 30 seconds until everything smoothed out again.
I added the dry ingredients in two stages, avoiding overworking the gluten.
The finished lemon sugar cookie dough ended up looking a lot like vanilla ice cream. It was a little sticky, but the next step helps eliminate that problem.
I took a small cookie scoop, scooped out a heaping teaspoon of dough, and rolled it in sugar. The stickiness disappeared after I rolled the dough balls around in the sugar.
I baked the cookies for 10 minutes. Dorie said baking them between 8-10 minutes makes pale, chewy cookies, and baking them 12-14 minutes makes crispier cookies.
I really enjoyed the texture of these cookies, but going forward, I’m going to use a slightly modified version of the recipe, adding more lemon zest; the lemon flavor ended up being a little light. I suppose if you really enjoy lemons, you could add the zest of three lemons.
Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe
- 2 3/4 cups (374g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Lemons
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 2 sticks (226g) Unsalted Butter (at room temperature, cut into chunks)
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1 Large Egg (at room temperature)
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- Sugar, for rolling
- Position oven racks into thirds and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- Whisk the Flour, Baking Soda, and Baking Powder together, and set aside.
- Grate the zest of two Lemons and squeeze them to get 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice.
- Put the Sugar and Lemon Zest in a mixing bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
- If working with a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment. Add the Butter and Salt to the sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth (about 2 minutes).
- Beat in the Egg, followed by the Vanilla and Lemon Juice. Mix for about 30 seconds on medium speed.
- Turn off the mixer and add half of the Dry Ingredients and mix on low speed until they’re almost incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and add the rest of the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Pour some Sugar into a small bowl. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a teaspoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each portion into a ball between your palms, drop into the sugar, and roll it around to coat, and place on the baking sheets. Leave about 2 inches between the dough balls.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes (less if you want chewier cookies and more if you like crispier cookies), rotating the baking sheets top-to bottom and front to back at the midway mark. Transfer to racks and let the cookies cool before you move them. Repeat with the remaining dough, always using cool baking sheets.
Lemon Sugar Cookies recipe from page 171 of Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan.
Original Recipe can also be found here.