I had a request to include these lemon sugar cookies in my Christmas cookie boxes again. I made them last year and everyone grabbed these cookies first. I feel like I need to forewarn you that I'm staying at my parents' house this week... and so when I'm baking, I have two little mice constantly nibbling at my baking creations (a.k.a. "Mom" and "Dad"). My mom said that these are her favorite! That means a lot to me because she normally isn't a huge fan of cookies. The good thing about this recipe is that you can make these cookies all year round and you'll get the same compliments every time!
Lemon Sugar Cookies
(Adapted from Pinch My Salt)
Yield: 3 Dozen
2 C. Sugar, divided
Zest of 2 Lemons, divided
1 C. Butter, cubed at room temperature
2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
1 t. Vanilla
1 T. Lemon Juice
2 3/4 C. Flour
1/4 t. Salt
2 t. Cream of Tartar
1 t. Baking Soda
Prepare lemon sugar by blending 1/2 C. sugar with 1 tsp. lemon zest in a mini food processor. Pulse several times until the lemon zest is incorporated. Pour the sugar in a shallow bowl and stir with a fork (breaking up any clumps of sugar). Set aside.
For the cookie dough, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and remaining 1 1/2 C. sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla, lemon juice, and remaining lemon zest. Slowly add the flour mixture. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour (this is an extremely important step)! Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
To shape the cookies, I rolled the dough into a 1-inch ball and then placed it into the bowl of lemon sugar; gently roll it around. Place the ball of cookie dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and press down lightly with the bottom of a glass until cookie is about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat. I was able to fit 8 cookies on one baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. When the cookies are done baking, I just take the whole parchment paper off the cookie sheet and let the cookies rest on the counter (still on the parchment); cool completely and ice with recipe below.
Lemon Zest Icing
1 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
Zest of 1 Lemon
This is a pretty basic recipe for icing. Put all ingredients in a small bowl and stir until combined. Put one teaspoon on each cookie and gently spread it around on a cooled cookie.