Many people love to highlight citrus during the holidays. Me? I celebrate citrus in the winter. There is something about the freshness of the flavor, the promise of other spring and summer fruits coming soon. Citrus lifts my mood during grey winter days.
Coincidentally, winter is the ripe season for many citrus fruits, especially oranges and lemons. So I decided to find a really good cookie recipe that could be used for any citrus for which I was in the mood. I’m starting with lemon, but I think this would be just as fantastic with orange or lime, as well.
Note: this recipe doesn’t use any store-bought extract, and many cooks complain that they can’t get decent citrus flavor from the fruit alone. The reason is simple: they’re not using enough. Many recipes will call for “the zest of one lemon” without qualifying how large that lemon should be. This is why I appreciate that this recipe specifies full quantities recommended to let that incredible citrus shine through. Pay attention to them, and don’t just lightly sprinkle zest into a tablespoon; load that sucker up!
The lemon flavor in these cookies is delicate, but it is bold in the glaze. This allows the freedom to add as much zing as you want. If you prefer sweeter cookies, drizzle the glaze lightly. If you like the pucker, dip them all the way into that delicious tartness!
Glazed Lemon Cookies
(Original recipe: House of Yumm)
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP lemon zest, freshly grated
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix until fully combined.
Add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Continue mixing until fully combined.
Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet. (I used a small cookie scoop.) Bake until light golden on edges, approximately 12- 14 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Once cookies are fully cooled*, prepare the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until well combined. Drizzle onto the top of the cookies using a spoon. Allow the cookies to sit and dry, as the glaze will harden.
Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.
* Seriously, let them fully cool. I know it’s hard when their deliciousness is staring you in the face. But if you glaze cookies even when they’re still only kinda warm, that wonderful sweet glaze will just drip right off, and you will be sad. I’ve done this; don’t be like me.