I hosted my cookie swap this past weekend, and, as usual, I came up with some new cookie versions for it. I’m not a traditional Christmas cookie kind of gal. Yes, I have made egg nog cookies before, but I those brownie batter truffles I posted yesterday? They were part of my cookie swap, too. The other cookie variety this year? Chewy lemon cookies.
So yeah, I know. Lemon isn’t exactly a traditional Christmas flavor, but trust me when I say you won’t care once you take a bite of these. I let Little Miss pick out the initial flavor, and when she came up with lemon, I knew I could make a winner. The key is keeping the lemon cookies chewy. I didn’t want the cookies to get crisp and hard, even on day two or three because lemon to me speaks of smooth creaminess, and a crunchy cookie just kills that.
I’d read somewhere awhile ago that adding a little cornstarch to your cookie dough can help keep your cookies softer. I’m guessing that the cornstarch acts as a dough conditioner, but I’m not the food science expert. I just figured it was worth a try. And three days later, I can vouch for the success of this method. In fact, I may start adding cornstarch to all my cookie recipes where I want the cookies to stay soft.
My only fear was that the cornstarch would alter the flavor of the cookies. I made sure to use enough lemon juice – and zesting a lemon would not be a bad thing in this recipe but shhh I didn’t have lemons – so that there was no risk of it overpowering the cookies. You definitely could not taste the cornstarch in these cookies. In fact, Little Miss announced that these were even better than the candy cane brookies I made her last week. Lemon trumps chocolate? They must be good!
My only regret was that the batch didn’t make more cookies. I ended up with 18, but I always feel like I want more so that I can share with others. Next time I make it, I may be doubling the recipe.
Chewy Lemon Cookies
Ingredients for the Cookies:
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 lemon, zested
3 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t cornstarch
1 3/4 c flour
Ingredients for the glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
2-3 T lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Beat your butter and sugar until lightened in color and texture. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir until combined, then beat again another 30 seconds. Add the salt, baking powder, and cornstarch and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
Use a standard size cookie scoop to scoop your cookies onto a sheet lined with a sil pat or parchment paper.
Place a little sugar on a plate and use the bottom of a glass to dip into the sugar then flatten the cookies just a little – to a little more than 1/2 inch thick.
Keep dipping the glass in the sugar, as this will help keep the cookie dough from sticking to the glass.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, just until the tops start to crack a little. You want them to be a tiny bit soft yet. Let them cool on the baking sheet for two or three minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.
Make the glaze while the cookies are cooling. Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and use a fork to stir until combined. You want this to be thick but not so much that you can’t scoop it at all. You may need to add a little more lemon juice but no more than three tablespoons in total.
Once the cookies have cooled for at least ten minutes, use the fork to scoop out a bit of the icing for each cookie and spread gently across the top. It should keep its shape fairly well and not drip off the edges much, if at all. Let the icing harden for two to three hours (if you can wait that long), then store in a tightly sealed container on your counter. Separate layers with parchment paper to ensure the glaze doesn’t stick to the cookie above it.
For the Cookies:
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3 T lemon juice
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t cornstarch
- 1 3/4 c flour
For the Glaze:
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 2-3 T lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat butter and sugar until lightened in color and texture. Add egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir until combined, then beat again another 30 seconds. Add salt, baking powder, and cornstarch and mix until well incorporated. Add flour and stir until just combined.
- Use a standard size cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto a sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Place a little sugar on a plate and use the bottom of a glass to dip into the sugar then flatten each cookie to a little more than 1/2 inch thick.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, just until the tops start to crack a little.
- Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then place on a cooling rack.
- Make the glaze while cookies cool. Add powdered sugar to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and use a fork to stir until combined.
- Once cookies cool for at least ten minutes, scoop out a bit of the icing for each cookie and spread gently across the top. Let the icing harden for two to three hours, then store in a tightly sealed container on your counter. Separate layers with parchment paper to ensure the glaze doesn't stick to the cookie above it.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 143 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 24mg Sodium: 138mg Carbohydrates: 22g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 12g Protein: 2g