First recipe of 2022 and I am beginning by taking full advantage of citrus season! This recipe only utilizes the freshest ingredients (no artificial extracts!) so it provides only a deliciously soft zesty cookie. It does have a slight spread which trust me when I say it is entirely worth it.
I wanted to create a citrus cookie recipe that would have the subtle notes but still have the ability to be decorated without a ton of effort. Most people associate a sugar cookie with a royal icing or buttercream decoration on top, but for those of us who aren’t up for spending additional hours on decorating, I wanted to provide a delicious but simple way to decorate this cookie. Inspiration struck via Erin from Cloudy Kitchen with her Roasted Strawberry Brioche Doughnuts. The strawberry sugar coating idea would fit perfectly with the lemon cookies. Ta-Da!
Of course you can pass on the strawberry sugar if you’d like (but whyyy???), or even do another berry mix such as raspberries, blackberries, or all of the above! You only need to find the freeze dried berries, or powder and mix with granulated sugar and you can coat the cookie shortly after removing from the oven. Any extra of the strawberry sugar mix should be immediately placed into a ziplock bag and placed in the refrigerator.
I do recommend the freeze dried strawberry powder because it is much easier to work with right off the bat. Plus it comes in a refrigerator safe pouch that makes it for easier storage (whole freeze dried berries can dry out in the pouch after being opened if not stored properly). The powder can be kept in the fridge for a few months, and can be added to any other recipes you have going on (cookies, cakes, frostings, etc) for natural flavoring.
Do I need a kitchen scale?
This year I am really going to emphasize that YES – invest in a kitchen scale if you are a serious baker. A kitchen scale will decrease the probability of recipe errors significantly. Even if you bake occasionally I still recommend buying one. They are very affordably – averaging $10 on Amazon.
Why do you have corn starch in your recipe?
Such a random ingredient to add, right? But corn starch actually acts a softening agent to the proteins in the flour. Ask my friend Bob here. He knows all about it. So adding corn starch helps soften this cookie for that oh so soft bite.
Can I freeze the cookies?
Yes! You! Can! I often freeze my cookies after baking (and have completely cooled) so that I do not eat them all within the next 24 hours. Simply place into a freezer safe ziplock bag or freezer safe reusable bag, and freeze! When ready to eat, simply remove from freezer and place on counter top UNOPENED for a few hours. Allow to come to room temperature, and then enjoy! You can freeze the cookies for up to 3 months too. You can also freeze PRE BAKE. Just prepare as usual, cut shapes, and then freeze on baking sheet for at least 30 minutes. Then transfer into freezer safe storage bag/ziplock bag and place back into freezer.
Tools For The Job
parchment paper or silicone mat
blender (if using whole freeze dried strawberries)
Lemon & Strawberry Sugar Cookies
Yields: Approximately 2 dozen 3” cookies @ ⅜” thickness
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours minimum
Bake Time: 10 – 12 minutes
Total Time: Approximately 3 ½ hours
375 g (2 ½ cups) unbleached all purpose flour
220 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
150 g (¾ cup) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
lemon zest from 1 lemon
Sugar Mixture (Optional)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp freeze dried strawberry powder, or whole freeze dried strawberries
In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 2 – 3 minutes) on medium speed. Scrape down and add egg and beat for another minute. Scrape down and mix a bit more to incorporate all ingredients. The mixture should be smooth and not clumpy. In a separate bowl combine flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt. Sift thoroughly and then add to wet ingredients. Mix on low speed until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated, and then turn speed up to medium low until you see dough begin to pull away from bowl and pull together against paddle attachment.
Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper to roll out. Roll to ⅜” thickness (or desired thickness). Note that the dough will be a bit soft and sticky. I do not recommend cutting shapes at this time. Place dough into refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 F and remove dough from refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature a bit (about 10 minutes) before beginning to cut shapes (this makes it easier to handle). Place cookies at least 2” apart on baking sheet, and bake between 10 – 12 minutes (or until you see light browning along bottom edges). While baking prepare the strawberry sugar mixture in a bowl (optional). If using whole freeze dried strawberries then place into a blender and grind down into a powder.
Remove cookies from oven and place on a wire rack. Wait about 20 – 30 seconds before handling because the cookies will be hot. Please be cautious! Very careful take a warm cookie and place into strawberry sugar mixture and coat as much as desired. To make it easier you can place cookie into bowl and then grab the sugar mixture and toss onto cookie. Then remove cookie and place back on baking sheet to allow to cool and set. Enjoy!