Light and Lively Lemon Sugar Cookies

Okay, so they’re not really “lively” but I do love me some alliteration so I’m sticking with it.

Although “lovely” might have been a better choice…

I made these cookies on Sunday to bring to my parents house as a Mother’s Day treat. My mom loves anything lemon and everybody else loves cookies, so I figured they would be universally appealing.

The base of the recipe is very similar to the Snickerdoodle cookies I posted about awhile back, so it calls for 1/4 of the butter of regular sugar cookies (huzzah!).

Someday I’ll get a bowl that isn’t white on the inside. And a kitchen with better lighting. Someday…

The lemon zest adds such great flavor – it’s a nice change of pace from the typical sugary sweet version.

Martha sure knows how to make a zester.

I used turbinado (raw) sugar as the coating for these cookies. White sugar would work too but the texture of the turbinado gives the cookie a nice crunch.

The dough might be a little sticky so toss it in the fridge for half an hour or so if it’s tough to handle.

Flatten the dough a little in between your palms, place it in the sugar bowl, and shake the bowl around a little to coat the sides of the cookie.

That way the sugar sort of caramelizes along the edges, resulting in a crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-in-the-middle treat.

This is a light and refreshing cookie, great for a summertime BBQ – or in our family’s case, a Mothers Day bocce tournament.

Light and Lively (and Lovely!) Lemon Sugar Cookies

makes: 15-20, depending on the size of the cookies /  prep time: 10 minutes / bake time: 9-11 minutes

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5  tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 large lemon (about 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon zest)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • a heaping 1/4 cup turbinado sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Combine the white sugar and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until fully combined, about 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time. Add in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Using a level tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough and flatten slightly between your palms and press it into the turbinado sugar to coat. Bake the sheets one at a time for 9-11 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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