I love the taste of lemon, actually it’s citrus I love. Any type of citrus – oranges, limes, grapefruit, kumquats, pomelos etc. The flavors bring out warmth and on these cold(er/ish) days, we all need some warmth. So when looking for cookies to make for this series, I came across this one and thought it would be great. They are decorated in a Christmas motif – kinda, silver dragees, white icing, red/green sugar crystals etc – by the way, I bought the silver dragees when we were in Paris earlier this year. So this is cookie number 4. I’ve got a busy week with cooking classes and personal Chef gigs – tis the season thank you very much!

It’s a good recipe. I rolled the cookies into logs of about 1 – 1.5″ diameter. I got two logs which made over 100 bite-sized cookies (are you tired of me saying make your cookies bite sized this time of year so they all get tried!). I refrigerated the logs over night, only because there wasn’t enough “day” in my day. But they actually made it easier to cut, so you might want to consider it. Baking, at 350F it took 15 minutes (my convection oven). I rotated trays half way through to allow for hot spots, and they were done when nice and golden. Again, watch the time – check it at 14 minutes, then again at 15 etc. They do dry harder so don’t let them over bake/get too dark. Like the Jam Sandwich Cookies, not too much sugar for the quantity – I like that. The glaze on top compensates. I also read the comments and added some lemon essence to the icing recipe. It comes from the Epicurious website, one of my favorite sites for recipes.

In making these cookies and planning for other ones, I discovered it isn’t easy to find cookie cutters in small shapes. I was forced to use fondant cutters with the Jam Sandwich Cookies (Cookie #2) to show enough of the filling on a small cookie. I might end up breaking my rule of small cookies with one in this series. Oh well, perhaps whoever is trying them will share them with someone else as opposed to not trying one at all. In any event, these Lemon Cookies taste great as they are or with icing! As always – enjoy!

For the Cookie:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks (save the whites for an easy meringue, another cookie or icing, it also freezes well – oh yes, you could also add it to your scrambled eggs for tomorrow’s breakfast)

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon extract
Food coloring (optional)

For cookies:
Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
Add egg yolks; beat just to blend
Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat, occasionally scraping down sides, just to blend
Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 10″-long log about 1 3/4″ in diameter
Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour
DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled

Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
Un-wrap 1 dough log, using a sharp, lightly floured knife, cut log into 1/4″-thick rounds, transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1″ apart
Bake until cookies are firm and golden brown around edges, 16-18 minutes – please check at 14 minutes, then leave it in for longer, but check every minute or so
Let cool for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely
Repeat with remaining dough log, using cooled baking sheets

For icing:
Whisk sugar and 2 tablespoons juice in a small bowl, adding more juice by 1/2-teaspoonfuls if too thick. Add coloring, if desired
Spread, drizzle or pipe icing over cookies and decorate as you like – Christmas embellishments, chocolate – your choice!
The icing will dry almost immediately if it is at the right consistency – play with the consistency until you find the right setting for piping or spreading

Lemon Cookies 4
Lemon Cookies 5
Lemon Cookies 6