Wednesday, May 20, 2015

glazed lemon cookies

Our oldest daughter's teacher gave our family a bag of beautiful lemons from a lemon tree that's growing on campus.

I was so delighted!

You can always find lemons, oranges, blackberries/strawberries/and blueberries in my fridge. I use the citrus in my cooking and baking, and my kids love their berries!

I use lemon zest (and a splash of lemon juice) in many of  my dishes, dressings, and desserts.

With so many gifted lemons, I thought it would be fun to make (my favorite) glazed lemon cookies and an amazingly moist and tender lemon bundt cake to share with our neighbors and teachers.

The glazed lemon cookie recipe is one of my favorites, and comes from my loved and trusted Cooks Illustrated Cookbook.

What makes them so special is that they're a combination of a sugar cookie and shortbread. They're tender, slightly chewy, buttery, and lemony.

You can finish them with, or without, a glaze. I actually prefer them without the glaze, but my husband and kids like the extra sweetness that the glaze gives this delightful cookie.

I top the glazed cookies with a few specks of lemon zest for a beautiful finish when I make them to give as a gift, or when I serve them at a bridal or baby shower.


And if you love a cup of hot herbal tea at the end of a long day, then this is your cookie!

Glazed Lemon Cookies
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated zest, plus 2 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie preparation
In a food processor, process the granulated sugar and lemon zest until the sugar looks damp and the zest is thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. 

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt; pulse to combine, about ten 1-second pulses. Scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients; pulse until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. 

In a measuring cup or small bowl, beat together the lemon juice, egg yolk, and vanilla with a fork to combine. 

With the machine running, add the juice mixture in a slow, steady stream (the process should take about 10 seconds); continue processing until the dough begins to form a ball, 10 to 15 seconds longer.

Turn the dough and any dry bits onto a clean work surface; working quickly, gently knead to ensure that no dry bits remain and the dough is homogeneous. 

Roll the dough into a cylinder approximately 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Center the dough on a piece of parchment. Fold the paper over the dough. Grasp one end of the parchment. With the other hand, use a bench scraper to firmly press the parchment against the dough to form a uniform cylinder. Roll the parchment and twist the ends together to form a tight seal. 

Chill the dough until firm and cold, about 45 minutes in the freezer or 2 hours in the refrigerator. (The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.)

Meanwhile, adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions; heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray. 

Remove the dough log from its wrapper and, using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the dough into rounds 3/8 inch thick; place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until the centers of the cookies just begin to color and the edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. 

Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature before glazing.
recipe courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

lemon glaze 
.     .     .     .     .     .
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
1½ cups (6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
.     .     .     .     .     .
When the cookies have cooled, spoon a scant teaspoon of glaze onto each cookie 
and spread evenly with the back of the spoon.
*I prefer to use a pastry brush, and lightly brush a THIN coat of glaze on top. 
Let the cookies stand on a wire rack until the glaze is set and dry, about 1 hour. 
The cookies are best eaten the day they are glazed.

I use the 2-inch cookie cutter from the Williams Sonoma fluted cutter set when I make these cookies. I love the ruffled edges!
You can see more of my 'at home' Kitchen Essentials here


  1. Cookies are very delicious, lemon glaze is amazing.

    Carpet cleaners Chelsea

  2. So wish I was enjoying these with my morning coffee. Not only do they sound delicious, but they are beautiful…love them tied with the yellow and white twine! Happy Thursday!

  3. I can never tire of your lemon recipes. Each and every one is more special than the other. I love, love, love the taste and aroma of lemons. Did I mention I'm really fond of lemons?? :-) The fluted edges on the cookies give them such a dainty finish. Will be making some of these soon. Gee, I wish I were one of your neighbors *sigh* Your photos are spectacular -- as usual. I bet you don't have too many cloudy days.

  4. Oh these are pretty! They look like such a nice, delicate treat to end the day with. I love the light yellow against those grey linen napkins-such a perfect combination. And that touch of zest-perfect! Can you believe the school year is almost over?! Have a great holiday weekend!!

  5. Anonymous3:29 AM

    I envy those fresh lemons, I just love love love them! I can just imagine the buttery-ness of the cookie then the burst of fresh lemon. I wish I had a couple of those to devour right now. Laura@ Baking in Pyjamas

  6. I love how these look and I'm such a fan of lemon... I'm for sure going to try these! Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. They are looking fantastic, dear Suzanne, and sure they taste like heaven.
    Happy weekend to you

  8. Never in Oregon would we receive a fresh bag of lemons. How special! I've mentioned the fact that my husband doesn't care for lemon desserts, but I'm joining the, I don't care, camp. These sound delicious and they're going on the make list

  9. These look and sound fantastic. I can hardly wait to make some. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Wow, these look divine! lemon cookies are one of my favorites! Pinned

  11. Your cookies look delicious! I could really get into those - dangerous at my house. :-)

  12. Lemon cookies are so refreshing and these look simply amazing. I'd better go and grab those lemons from my tree now!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  13. These look delicious! :)

  14. Those sound and look so good. I'd love to be your neighbor right now! ;)

  15. Lemon anything are my favorites - these look so delicious Suzanne - pinning !

  16. Thanks for the recipe. These look yummy! Saving the recipe.....Sarah

  17. These look ah-mazing!
    We would love to have you hop over and share with us at Inspire Us Tuesday

  18. These look so lovley! Love the smell of fresh lemons! I could go for one, maybe two of these right now with my tea! Pinned!

  19. These look delicious, Suzanne and so pretty! I have to pin them...and I must say, I just love your Instagram. Your photos are divine!

  20. Oh, I want to make them tomorrow! I love sugar and shortbread cookies. I know I would want the glaze. This girl loves sugar! lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  21. These look so tasty and your photos are always gorgeous!

  22. I love all things lemon and these are making my mouth water...YUM! I've pinned to give them a try.
    Thanks so much for shairing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  23. Oh to live where Lemons grow. These look perfect. Thanks for sharing on Weekend Bites

  24. Spotted your GORGEOUS photo on the Amaze Me Monday link up and, well, I was truly amazed! These cookies look so delicious that I would like one now. I'll be saving this recipe to try in the future. I'm also now following you on Facebook and would like to subscribe to your blog so that I don't miss anything in the future. Is this possible? I don't seem to see a link to click on. At any rate, I certainly love your blog!

  25. these look incredible and so yummy definitely making these soon thanks for sharing

  26. I love lemon desserts, these cookies sound so good and are so pretty too! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

  27. You're killing me with your delicious lemon recipes! I seriously cannot wait to try this recipe! Pinning!

  28. These cookies look so yummy! (Coming from Worthwhile Wednesdays)

  29. Made these today to take a new neighbor. It's a very tender dough I think it would do best if I had frozen it and I added and extra tablespoon of lemon juice to the glaze to make it spread easier. Delicious worth the effort.

  30. Just made these! So delicious! They did get overdone after just 14 min, but maybe my oven is hot. I had to do two batches because I only have one cookie sheet and the second batch was better at 12 min. We are living in Mexico and for some reason, we can't get lemons usually, so I used limes and the cookies are zingy and tasty! I'm not gonna put the glaze on them as they are quite sweet on their own. You wrote, "And if you love a cup of hot herbal tea at the end of a long day, then this is your cookie!"...which is why I chose your recipe and I can confirm they are fantastic with tea! Thank you, I'll be making these again. Cheers, Sarah


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