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Lemon Sugar Cookies

December 10, 2012
Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

The occasional treating yourself to something luxurious might include an hour at the spa, a makeover, or a wardrobe overhall. Or, sometimes it’s the small things, like a good night’s sleep, or eating dinner while it’s still hot, or a fresh haircut. For this crazy lady, floatation on cloud nine came recently while operating my motor vehicle under which it had just been detailed. Detailed people. Detailed.

That means the chocolate milk stains that had been straw-splattered on the ceiling were gone. The Christmas tree craft puff paint from the homeless shelter benefit last year was removed from the carpet (which I had tirelessly tried to remove myself several times). All the crud that cakes into the crevices of the floor where I had to twist like a pretzel to even see, let alone clean, were spotless. The half munched kiddie crackers and french fry casualties that had fallen into cracks were obliterated. The obnoxious, I-have-no-idea-how-they-got-there smudges that marked the leather were buffed clean. The dust in my air vents wasn’t pushed to the corners, it was completely non-existant. The dirt-stained base boards where my children enter and exit their sweet ride to greet their endearing mother, were sparkling. It wasn’t just a luxury treatment, it was a freakin’ miracle! All that remained were shining all-weather floor mats, a sparkling dash board, and a very strong scent of cherry-ish cleaner.

First, I just sat there, mouth agape, and drooled for a while because that’s what people do. Right? It’s no exaggeration to say that the whole thing made me feel giddy. Maybe that was the cherry-ish fumes I inhaled on the 40 minute school pick-up gig. Either way, my vehicle felt very happy. I knew it wouldn’t last long. Sort of like when I finish the last load of laundry only to see that everyones’ hampers in their rooms are full. Sigh…

We took a trip later that week, and I refused to let the kids eat popcorn with their movie on the way to grammy and grampy’s house. I wanted to relish in it for a while longer. That isn’t asking too much, is it? It was almost suspenseful trying to keep everything looking so pristine. We still had to live.

Shortly thereafter, I was able to retire the pressure of keeping the sparkle, when my spill-proof coffee mug carelessly was left (by yours truly) to the mercy of my driving motion, rendering it to slow seepage across the floor as it rolled about my vehicle. It was a lot of pressure to hold such a high standard in our family vehicle. Not practical to say the least. I was sort of relieved and sort of ticked that the inaugural trashing of the vehicle had begun, but more relieved than ticked. I think. Or maybe that came after the clean-up.

I got over it. I moved on. On to the next small luxury. A sugar cookie that equals in impressiveness to the traditional over-achiever Christmas cut-outs, yet outdoing them with their make-your-mouth-water lemony zip and color.

This is a typical butter based drop cookie. You know, the kind where you can’t stop eating pinches of dough.

Sugar Cookies

If you want a perfectly smooth top to the cookie for icing instead of rolling the dough through the zesty sugar, omit the cream of tartar from the batter, and place the dough balls on the baking sheet. Then flatten them slightly with the bottom of a measuring cup (to about 1/2 inch thickness). If you don’t want to fuss with icing, frosting, etc. well I don’t blame you, and you can follow the recipe as is…

Lemon Sugar Cookies

The dough balls are rolled into a sugary lemon zest snow pile, then baked until the edges are golden brown leaving you with a delectable chewy center encased by a rather admirable crisp border.  This is sure to help bring in the yule tide, don’t you think?

Sugar Cookies

I then dusted the cookies with confectioners’ sugar and extra lemon zest. This is completely unnecessary and merely a nice show-off move. It works.

Chewy Lemon Sugar CookiesThese aren’t your cakey sugar cookie that puffs up. These have a nice spread to them, which goes a long way to pat down my guilt when I gobble four in one sitting. Or maybe it was five… This isn’t about confessions though, people. This is about a darn good cookie!

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Rather, a stack of darn good cookies. Hoard them if you must, but sharing really is the grown-up thing to do here.

Consider this my holiday gift to you.

Made with much love (and lemons),


Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Author: Amanda Wilson / Missy Magpie
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 40
  • Cookie Dough:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, diced and slightly softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about one lemon’s worth)
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Lemon Sugar:
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • To Finish (optional):
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with racks in the center of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until light and fluffy.
  2. Then, add corn syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add egg yolks one at a time until completely incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl in the process.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and Kosher salt. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture until just combined being sure to scrape the sides of bowl again.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon zest. Using a cookie dough scoop, roll into even balls and coat with the lemon sugar before placing on the baking sheet two inches apart.
  5. Bake for 6-8 minutes for 1 tablespoon sized cookies and 8-10 minutes for 2 tablespoon sized cookies, or until the edges just turn golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and more lemon zest, if desired. Store in an airtight container or freeze if not being consumed the same day.



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