Sunday, March 15, 2009

Zesty Lemon Sugar Cookies

This recipe is one that my mother got from an old friend of the family, Irene Johnston. The cookies are simple and not too sweet. With the addition of Meyer lemon zest and juice they have some zing. Irene’s recipe didn’t have the salt and had nutmeg instead of the vanilla extract. Adding the lemon was my idea. These would also be delicious with regular lemon zest and juice. In a pinch lemon extract would be OK to give them lemon flavor if you find yourself without real lemons.

The star shape is to show off a recent gift of three star shaped cookie cutters. Just like the three bears, they are three sizes. I used the papa

and the baby sized ones.

You can use any cutters you like.

This dough is really easy to work with, unlike some rolled cookie doughs I’ve tried in the past. I added about 2 tablespoons milk at the end when the dough seemed too dry. Worked like a charm.

These taste best when the tips of the stars are just starting to turn golden brown. They are fine without the lemon glaze, but it does add another kick of lemon flavor.

Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies
by Irene Johnston

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Mix the above ingredients together until creamy.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
zest from ½ a medium Meyer lemon (or use regular lemon…it’s delish, too)

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and zest together. Combine with the butter mixture. If too dry, add mile, one tablespoon at a time until dough forms.

Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place unbaked cookies on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F. until lightly browned, about 6-7 minutes. (If dough sticks while rolling, refrigerate briefly). Remove from oven when done, cool on baking sheet a minute, then cool on cake rack until fully cooled.

After cookies have cooled, can be frosted and decorated as desired.

Meyer Lemon Glaze
Zest from ½ a lemon
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
juice from Meyer lemon, heated for one minute in the microwave

Place zest and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Whisk in a little of the lemon juice. Add dribbles of the juice until a glaze is formed. If too thin, add a little more sugar; if too thick whisk in more lemon juice. Reserve left over juice for another use.

Using small offset spatula, ice tops of each cookie. Set on cake rack to dry.


  1. My mouth is watering, lo these many miles away! The glaze looks PERFECT, too. YUM. Now I'm inspired to bake some of these! Isn't lemon just the best?

  2. Wow the cookies look scrumptious! I love the star-shape :)

  3. But ... if only half of the ingredients are in the original recipe ... it's truly your own recipe, then, isn't it?

  4. Love the first picture with the puddle of juice. It looks so fresh and spring-like.

  5. Gorgeous header and cookies! I would for sure go for that lemon glaze and the star shapes.

  6. Is there any baked good that a touch of lemon zest doesn't improve? I'm just addicted to the stuff, in cooking too (especially salads, fish and chicken---yum)!

  7. I can imagine how good these are. The sugar cookie recipe I have includes lemon zest and it completely makes the cookie.

  8. Anonymous3:22 PM

    I'm still trying to use up all the meyer lemons my Gram gave me from her tree. These sound great!

  9. Yum, yum. I love me a good sugar cookie. And since I have a ton of Meyer lemons left, I hear these calling my name.

  10. I'm on the hunt for the perfect sugar cookie these days. I really like the idea of adding lemon to them - I have to try these. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Those sound fantastic! Just came across your blog (searching for a lemon sugar cookie recipe) and really enjoyed looking over your ideas. Thanks!