Angie Dudley, a.k.a Bakerella, is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Cake Pops and creator of Bakerella.com. Visit PEOPLE.com on Fridays for her sweet spin on celebrity recipes and more.
I love lemon desserts and I love them cold. Think lemon squares, like this recipe, a tradition in Katie Couric’s family.
But I also love lemon in other sweet treats — like cookies! The juice and zest from fresh lemons gives these soft and chewy sugar cookies a refreshing twist that makes a perfect summertime snack.
Adding lemon zest enhances and brightens the flavor of the lemon juice. If you don’t already have a good microplane, invest in one and zesting will be a breeze.
After you make the cookie dough, scoop it into small balls and roll lightly in sugar before baking.
I loved these cookies just like this, but at the last minue decided to whip up a little buttercream to sandwich them together. They definitely don’t need it, though. They’re great on their own… simple and sweet.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
2½ cups all purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
½ tbsp. vanilla
Sugar for rolling cookie dough, optional
Lemon cream frosting (optional, recipe below)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add egg, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix until combined.
5. Add flour mixture and mix slowly until completely combined.
6. Scoop out dough with a 1½ inch scoop and roll dough in sugar to coat.
7. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes and let cool.
8. Optional: Spread a layer of lemon cream frosting on one cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat for as many cookie sandwiches as desired.
Lemon Cream Frosting
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter, then mix in sugar and lemon juice. Add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring if you want to hint to recipients what the flavor is at first sight.