Thursday, July 12, 2012

Soft lemon cookies: a recipe

Soft lemon cookies
I always feel pretty victorious when I find a cookie or dessert recipe that not only tastes delicious but also is not loaded with fat and calories. (Seriously -- I have a victory dance, which is startlingly close to my I-told-you-so-dance, just not quite as sassy.)

However, given that I have been known to candy bacon and salt the bejaysus out of my cookies, that doesn't happen as often as I'd like here in Ninjaville.

But I've got one for you today: a recipe that makes three dozen delightfully yummy lemon cookies but uses only four measly tablespoons of butter.


These lemon cookies were originally pitched in Eating Well magazine as a Christmas cookie.

Say what?

Yeah, I bet that idea didn't fly that well with anyone else either, since the cookies just showed up recently in a "best of summer" supplement.

Clever, clever editors.

Well, the holidays' loss is our gain, as these cookies fairly ooze sunny summery goodness. I much prefer a soft cookie to a crunchy one and these have the perfect amount of center softness. The taste is reminiscent of a lemon bar, without the crumbliness.

They will look a bit underdone when they come out of the oven but that's what helps them retain not only their softness but also their lovely sunny color. If you think they're too soft for you, feel free to bake them another minute but I wouldn't advise leaving them any longer than that.

They'll run the risk of becoming an ordinary lemon cookie.

And we don't do ordinary, do we? Not in Ninjaville.

So, do you have any favorite summer cookie recipes you'd like to share with me?

Soft Lemon Cookies (adapted from Eating Well magazine)

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients and set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, honey, zests and lemon juice and mix until blended. Add the dry mixture and beat until combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (I left mine for about 6 hours).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the dough into small balls (roughly 2-3 teaspoons worth of dough) and place them several inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for about 8 minutes or until beginning to crackle. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes on the sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


  1. Chocolate chip cookies (also made with olive oil) are my all-year-round choice, but for some reason I get the urge for peanut butter cookies in the summer. Maybe I ate too many nutter butters at summer camp.

  2. My favorite summer cookies are those made by someone else. These sound great. Maybe someone will make them for me. Since it's my birthday coming up and all.