Cooks Illustrated

Glazed Lemon Cookies: Sunshine in Cookie Form

The final recipe I made on Sunday was a new one to me called Cooks Illustrated Glazed Lemon Cookies. It all started when my aunt asked me to make her something lemony last Thursday. Originally, I thought I would do Giada’s Lemon Ricotta cookies, but I’ve become kind of disillusioned with them.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re really good. They’re just very cakey, heavy, and not as lemony as I’d like them to be. They feel more appropriate for Christmas than spring/summer. I wanted something that was lighter and crisper in texture and flavor. Cooks Illustrated Glazed Lemon Cookies

I did a little searching and settled on the Cooks Illustrated recipe I found at The Way the Cookie Crumbles. The author of the blog, Bridget, has a great printer-friendly recipe and write-up there if you want to try them out.

After staring at chocolate for a few hours, it was so nice to see and smell lemons and lemon zest. It made me feel like spring is really here. That means summer is coming! I’ve survived the winter. Hurrah!

The recipe starts with a lemon sugar, which I thought was really pretty and fragrant.

It gave me an idea. A nice hostess gift for a baker would be a trio of sugars in little jars: lemon, lavender, and vanilla.

Actually, come to think of it, I might try this recipe with lavender sugar to make a Lavender-Lemon Glazed cookie.

The rest of the recipe is pretty easy. I made a few minor changes. You are supposed to pulse bits of butter with the dry ingredients in a food processor. I don’t like my food processor, so I cut the butter in by hand, using my fingers to crumble everything, and then used my paddle attachment on the stand mixer to make sure everything was like a fine meal. It worked perfectly.

I also added more lemon, about ¾ of a tablespoon, because I really wanted them to have a bold flavor. This made the dough a little sticky, but it was still very easy to handle.

The dough, like the World Peace cookie dough, gets rolled into a log and put in the fridge or freezer so it can be cut into rounds.

After I cut and baked them, I let them cool. When they were almost completely cool, I started on the glaze. The recipe calls for adding some cream cheese to the glaze, but I omitted it because I wanted the lemon to really stand out.

I used 2 tablespoons of freshly squeeze lemon juice and then added confectioner’s sugar until it reached the consistency and sweet/sour balance I like. The consistency should be runny but thick enough that it doesn’t completely slide right off the spoon and/or cookies. I didn’t measure, but you’ll probably need somewhere around 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Just add a little at a time until you reach your preference.

The result is a really bright and fresh lemony cookie that has a rich, buttery, and almost shortbread-like quality. I find the balance between the sweet and sour is great, nothing is overwhelming. It’s the best lemon cookie I’ve made so far and I can definitely see making them again for a summer picnic or barbecue.

The only problem seems to be that they lose some of their original crispness pretty quickly. It might be from glaze and the extra lemon I added. An easy fix would be to make and eat them right away, of course!

And so concludes the tales of my mini baking marathon. After all of these baking posts I’ll be back to talking about the travel and history side of things soon.