my electric juicer has been seeing ALOT of use the last few weeks. with citrus season here and a bounty of beautiful oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits at my fingertips, its hard not to try them all! as with so many recipes i develop, my favorite way to put a twist on a classic, is to incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. I couldn’t help but play around with the classic sugar cookie. the result- these meyer lemon sugar cookies that are entirely too delicious!
these cookies have been floating around in my mind for the last year. in fact, the last time i tried developing this recipe was this exact time last year! ive learned a lot of baking techniques and tricks since then (not to mention baking with lots of different flours). it was with a whole year of experience that i decided to give these cookies another go. lets just say… even with all that experience, it still took lots of tries to get this recipe the way i wanted.
there were so many factors to rule in or out – from browning the butter, to using lemon juice (or omitting it all together), lemon extract (or no), almond extract (helps bring out the vanilla flavor), cake flour or all purpose (or a mix of both). even the heat and type of pan played a role in the eventual outcome of the spread and rise of the cookie. freeze or chill in the fridge? it does make a difference! all this to say, this cookie FINALLY came out the way i wanted and im so happy to finally (after a year) share it with you! enjoy!
I would describe these cookies as
- with delightfully crunchy tops
sweet ingredient list
more than likely you have all the ingredients in your pantry. if not, here’s what you’ll need:
- all purpose flour
- cake flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- light brown sugar
- Meyer lemons (or other lemon of choice)
- lemon extract
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
from these ingredients you will make: meyer lemon sugar cookies and lemon sugar to top them!
you don’t need anything too specialized. however, these are the tools I love to use when making these cookies
- electric juicer (for extracting all the juice possible)
- zester (a tool I use for all citrus recipes!)
- stand or electric hand mixer
- cookie scoop ( to get those perfect size cookies every time)
- parchment paper or silpat
- aluminum baking sheets
- oven thermometer (so helpful to monitor oven temperature)
a few tips for the best cookies
- meyer lemons: were used for this recipe, but you could also use regular lemons, or even pink lemons!
- lemon sugar: was used to sprinkle on top of the cookies. this is completely optional, depending on your preference, BUT it does provide another bright note to the cookie. plus, the crunchy texture is so lovely with the soft chewy cookie.
- to make the lemon sugar: combine 1/2 c sugar with the zest of one lemon. pulse for 15-20 seconds in a food processor. store the sugar in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks. if using dried zest, you can store as long as you would normal sugar.
- chill time: i chilled these both in the fridge and in the freezer. the ones from the freezer spread and the ones from the fridge kept their shape much better. chill time for these is about 4 hours – overnight. if you’re pressed for time, just make sure they’re hard.
- baking temperature: I noticed a slight difference in appearance when baking these cookies at 350 F and 375 F. as noted in my blood orange tahini cc cookies pan color and baking temperatures make a difference in the overall finished cookie. for this recipe, 375 F for 9-12 minutes was perfect each time. in fact, mine were perfect right at 10 minutes.
- cookies are best when allowed to cool completely before storing. store in an airtight container in a single layer with a sheet of wax or parchment paper separating a second layer of cookies. keeps for up to 3-4 days at room temperature.
other delicious citrus recipes
- bergamot lemon earl grey tart
- blood orange curd bars
- blood orange loaf cake
- citrus glazed gingerbread loaf cake
meyer lemon sugar cookies
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- heavy bottom pan
meyer lemon sugar cookies
- 1 1/4 c all purpose flour (150g)
- 1 3/4 c cake flour (210g)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 sticks (284g) unsalted butter, browned and cooled slighly (reduced to 227g or 2 sticks)
- 1 1/3 c sugar (267g)
- 3 tbsp brown sugar (45g)
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- zest from two lemons
- 2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract, optional
- 2 tbsp lemon jiuice
- 1/2 c sugar
- zest of one lemon
- To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom pot. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl and cool to room temperature (15 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and powder and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, with paddle attachment, cream together the browned butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add in eggs and yolk one at a time, beating until each is well incorporated. Add lemon, vanilla and almond extracts, beat until combined. Add lemon juice and beat on lowest setting beat until well incorporated (about 1 minute).
- Add dry ingredients to the wet 1/3 at a time. Mix on lowest setting until JUST combined. I like to leave about 10% flour mixture visible before adding more. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl before adding the next 1/3. Do not overmix. Scoop out dough using a 2" cookie scoop with trigger release onto aparchment lined baking sheet. Dough balls can be close together as you will not be baking these. Loosely over pan in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for minimum 4 hours to overnight.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to either 375F. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until cookies are set around the edges. The center may still look slightly underbaked. Pull cookies from the oven and immediately sprinkle with lemon sugar if using. Cool on the cookie sheet placed on top of a cooling rack for 3-4 minutes. Using a spatula, gently remove cookies from the pan, onto a cooling rack and cool an addiotnal 15-20 minutes.
- ** to make the lemon sugar pulse sugar and lemon zest in a food processor for 15-20 seconds.
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