Twice the Lemon Cookies

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | September 10th, 2019 | Desserts, Recipes
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Delicately sweet. Pleasantly tart. Fairly addictive.

Twice the Lemon Cookies

Sweet, tart, and addictive
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cookies, frosted cookies, lemon cookies
Servings: 40
Author: Michele Pesula Kuegler

Ingredients

  • Cookie dough
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

  • Cookie dough
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes on speed 2.
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  • Add extracts and zest, and mix to combine.
  • Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour, mixing until well mixed.
  • Scoop by heaping teaspoonful and form into a ball; gently press ball into 2 inch disk.
  • Place on baking tray.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden on bottom.
  • Transfer to baking rack to cool.
  • Frosting
  • In clean bowl of stand mixer combine butter, half the sugar, lemon juice, extract, and 5-6 drops food coloring.
  • Mix on lowest speed to incorporate sugar.
  • Slowly add more sugar until desired sweetness is achieved and a smooth frosting consistency is acquired.
  • Assembling
  • When cookies are cooled, frost each one with a tablespoon or so of frosting.
  • Place sprinkles in a small bowl, and invert frosted cookie over sprinkles.
  • Gently press cookie into sprinkles.
  • Place sprinkled cookie back onto cooling rack.

Notes

In order not to waste sprinkles, place only a small amount in the bowl as needed.

Lemon baked goods typically make me think of spring. Something about the sunshiny yellow and the bright flavors feel aligned with the returning warmth and blooms. However, that doesn’t mean that I crave lemon only in the spring- not at all. This week we’re going to enjoy a couple lemon treats even though it’s almost fall. Check out these cookies today, and return on Thursday for some delicious whoopie pies!

To learn more about this recipe, originally published in April 2018, keep reading.

Lemon desserts have become something that I enjoy more and more. Just as I adore the pairing of sweet and salty, so do I love the combination of sweet and tart. Either duo works for me, as I like the way one balances the other. Of course, the downside to these pairings is that it’s really easy to eat one more. And then just one more. I’m not sure I want to count how many cookies I ate when I was testing this recipe.

While I was making these cookies, I knew that the frosting would be key. It adds the sweetness that the cookies need. Not that the cookies aren’t sweet, it’s just a milder sort of sweet. Since I wanted really lemony cookies, I knew the frosting would be lemon flavored and tinted yellow. White lemon frosting just doesn’t make sense. And once you have a yellow frosted cookie, doesn’t it just beg for sprinkles?

What I didn’t know as I made these cookies is that I would be challenged by the sprinkles. I baked, cooled, and frosted the cookies. Then I began to top the cookies with sprinkles. Apparently, I don’t use sprinkles very often. They went flying everywhere- counter, floor, you name it. I wasn’t about to give up my vision of sprinkle-topped cookies. Nope. Time to try strategy number 2.

  1. Place a small amount of sprinkles in a bowl that is wider than the cookies.
  2. Take frosted cookie and invert over bowl.
  3. Press cookie gently into sprinkles.
  4. Return to cooling rack, sprinkle side up.

I know this isn’t rocket science, but it felt like a minor victory after the initial sprinkle revolt. Sometimes in the kitchen, it’s a battle between cook and ingredients. Today I was the victor, putting the sprinkles where I wanted them. And the cookies benefited from that- delightfully colorful, they’re appealing to the eyes before the first bite is taken.

These cookies are perfect to make the day brighter on an overcast day, as a dessert to share at a family gathering, or just as a sweet treat to end the day. Don’t forget to top them with sprinkles. They really do make them extra smile-worthy.

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