These Double Lemon Glazed Cookies are hands down my favorite cookie. Chewy on the inside and just a little crispy on the outside and drizzled with a bright, sweet lemon glaze made with fresh lemon juice and zest – trust me, they are irresistible!
Have you ever heard of the Presidential Cookie Poll that Family Circle magazine has been putting out each election year since 1992? It used to be called the First Lady Cookie Contest and the idea was that the spouse of each presidential candidate in an election year would submit their favorite cookie recipe and the readers of the magazine would choose a winner. And apparently in every election since the start of the contest except one, the winning cookie recipe belonged to the spouse of the winning presidential candidate. It’s kind of a hilarious idea fraught with faux pas and so much can be read into the recipes submitted by the candidate’s spouses that each party probably has consultants advising them on their submissions. Regardless, I feel a nonpartisan need to weigh in on this issue that, in an election year like no other, is probably as good a reason as any to sway votes.
Back in 2012, I actually made both Michele Obama’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ann Romney’s M&M Cookies, just for fun. But this year… At the risk of this turning into a political post (which it is not really meant to be), I feel the same way about the Melania Trump’s Star Cookies and the Clinton Family Chocolate Chip Cookies as I do about the candidates themselves. Both are disappointing. If you are interested, this Washington Post article sums up the 2016 cookie contest better than I could.
So I’m taking the write-in approach and submitting my own cookie recipe for you today. If, in some totally crazy world where my husband had political aspirations (he does not) and found himself as a party nom for POTUS, I would submit these Double Lemon Glazed Cookies for this silly, probably (okay, definitely) sexist and bizarre little bake-off, without hesitation. And I’m pretty positive they would trounce any other cookie recipe they came up against. Maybe my white chocolate macadamia nut cookies could be its running mate. At any rate, this is one of my most often requested recipes. In the words of one of this year’s candidates, “Believe me, these are gonna be HUGE” with your family and friends.
Every time I make these I get rave reviews. Even from my husband who turns up his nose at lemon bars or lemon meringue pie or pretty much any other lemon dessert. But not these double lemon glazed cookies. I have to fight him for these and it is always a sad day when the last one is gone. The cookie itself is soft and sweet with a texture somewhere between a sugar cookie and shortbread. Bits of lemon zest fleck each cookie and the top has the slightest crackle of sugar, thanks to my method of pressing down each ball of dough with the bottom of a cup dipped in sugar just before sliding the cookies into the oven to bake.
And the glaze itself is sweet-tart perfection and made from just two ingredients – lemon (both the zest and the juice) and powdered sugar. Once it is drizzled over each cookie and has a chance to set, it takes these cookies over the top. I keep things simple by just pouring my glaze into a plastic Ziploc bag and using scissors to snip off a corner for a makeshift piping bag. A good trick for doing this is to insert your empty bag into a cup and fold the bag over the edges so that the bag stays open and your hands are free to pour the glaze into the bag. Then I drizzle it over the cookies set on a wire cooling rack so that any excess glaze can drip off the sides.
Last year I was invited to a Christmas cookie exchange with some friends and these are what I brought, even though I make them year-round, and they were a huge hit. But definitely don’t wait until Christmas to give these babies a try!
The recipe is pretty straight forward and you will get exactly 12 cookies from each batch. You could make them smaller but then the ratio of glaze and chewy center and slightly crispy edge gets off, and just trust me, 12 cookies from this recipe is just perfect. If you need more, the recipe doubles easily.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar, plus a little extra for cookie tops
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed using a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the vanilla, and beat until creamy, another minute or two.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt to the creamed mixture and mix on low speed until completely combined.
Divide the dough into 12 even-sized portions. I just use a spoon to roughly divide the dough into 4 sections in the bowl, then try to scoop three equal-sized scoops from each section so that I end up with 12 cookies that are the same size. Roll each section of dough into a ball and set on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, spaced evenly apart.
Using the bottom of a glass cup, first get it a little wet by running it under water, and then dip it in granulated sugar. Use the sugar-coated bottom of the glass to press down gently on each ball of dough, flattening it slightly until they are about 3 inches in diameter. You don't want the cookies super thin but they don't spread much when baking so pressing them down helps them bake evenly.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or just until the cookies look set, then remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the lemon glaze by combining the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and enough lemon juice to get a barely runny consistency. You don't want it too runny or you will just have a super thin layer of glaze on top of the cookies, but you want it a little more runny than a frosting that you would spread. I add lemon juice just until the glaze starts to just barely drizzle off my mixing spoon when I hold it up over the bowl.
Transfer the glaze to a Ziploc bag (I find that the freezer ones work better for this than the thin, sandwich variety), seal the bag, and snip off a small corner to create a piping bag. Pipe or drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies on the wire rack in a zigzag motion, allowing some of the glaze to drip over the edges. Let the cookies stand just until the glaze is set before serving.
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