Monday, April 9, 2012

Baking GALS Round 9 - Lemon Sugar Cookies

First things first – no, I didn’t skip Round 8.  I had just gotten back from New Zealand and wasn’t feeling particularly creative, and since I was sending to a guy I hadn’t ship to before, I went with old trusty – Road Cookies (oatmeal white chocolate cranberry).  I hope he liked them!

This month I decided to send the guys something a little more spring-y.  I love a good simple sugar cookie but what better way to brighten them up than with lemon?  These have a real zing to them as I decided to add a lemon glaze as well.  Lemon is such a great fresh flavor – it’s the perfect thing to get you excited about the upcoming warm weather.  Cookies and margaritas anyone?!


1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable shortening (I used unsalted butter)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
Finely grated lemon zest – about 2+ tsp.
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp lemon extract (I used fresh lemon juice as that is what I had)
2 cups AP flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup sparkling, sanding or granulated sugar (for rolling – I glazed instead)


Combine the sugar, shortening and oil in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until light and well blended.  Reduce speed to medium-low and add the egg, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extracts, beating until well incorporated.

Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar in a separate bowl.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating until just combined.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight (or about 1.5-2 hrs in the freezer if you’re impatient like me!).

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350º.

Shape dough into balls (about 1 Tbsp. or use a small cookie scoop).  Roll them in the sparkling sugar and place on ungreased baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 7 min then rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back.  Bake 5-7 more min, until just slightly browned on the edges.  Cool cookies on the sheets for 2 min and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

If glazing instead of rolling in sugar:  Combine 1-1 ½ cups powdered sugar with fresh lemon juice.  Add just enough lemon juice to reach “drizzleable” (but not runny) consistency.  Use a small spoon or piping bag to drizzle cookies with glaze.  Add sparkling or colored sugars if desired.

**Note – I like a cakier cookie than this provides, despite the use of the baking soda and cream of tartar.  I think next time I make them I’ll add a little baking powder for some extra leavening – maybe just a ¼ tsp.**