Lemons, lemons, lemons! As I’ve told you before, I used to live in The Land of Abundant Lemons (no water…but lemons wherever you go). And now I miss them. They’re so light, and bright, and…yellow. So happy.
So now every spring, I go a little lemon-nutty and start putting them in whatever I can. Juice. Dinner. Desserts. Cookies. They kick-start my summer.
And they’re so good at cutting the sweetness in things that might be a little much otherwise. A sugar cookie recipe with buttercream frosting might be overkill, even for me-with-the-crazy-sweet-tooth. But with a little tang from the lemons? Perfect.
Can I make a sugar cookie recipe confession? I don’t really like the ones that you roll out and cut into shapes and all that jazz. When I’m in a cookie-making mood, I don’t want to wait that long. I know there are people out there rocking the sugar-cookie-shape game and I support you wholeheartedly but I can’t do it. Mine fall apart, or look shapeless, or end up with different colors all running together in the middle in an ugly, gloppy mess. I have not the patience.
So I made these to just be rolled into balls and dropped on the cookie sheet. Give them a little press with the palm of your hand to flatten them out just a bit and bake them up. But watch the baking — I baked my first batch until they were a beautiful golden brown all over and they about broke my teeth. Pull them just as the bottom is starting to brown. The tops will be firm but just barely a shade darker than when you began.
As for the frosting…so yummy, but a little goes a long way. Don’t pile it on in huge mounds like I normally do. Just a thin layer along the top is good. So good.
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 3/4 c butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 6 tsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 c softened butter
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tb whipping cream
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- Using a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter for 1 minute.
- Add granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix until combined.
- Add lemon zest and stir just until combined.
- Stir flour and baking powder together in a small bowl.
- Using a spoon, gently stir flour mixture into batter, just until combined.
- **For my High-Altitude Homies -- I feel your pain! Make sure you add 2 tsp water when you add the flour, and stir just until combined.
- Put the dough on a pastry or cutting board with just a tiny amount of flour. Shape dough into a ball and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet or baking stone (my favorite!).
- Gently press cookies with the palm of your hand to flatten.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove when the bottoms of the cookies are just beginning to brown and the tops are firm.
- Cool and frost.
- Using a stand or handheld mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar together and beat for 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla and whipping cream and blend.
- Add lemon juice and mix for one minute more, adding in more cream if mixture is too thick.
- Refrigerate until ready to frost cookies.
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