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Intensely Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies

If you like the flavor of lemon, but have been disappointed with so-called lemon cookies in the past--"What flavor are these yellow cookies?" "Lemon." "Oh, yes, um, I can almost taste that."--then these are the cookies for you. These cookies have that distinctive lemon flavor, with even a little tangy overtone, yet they are light and delicate with a satisfyingly gentle crumbly bite that melts in your mouth. And with a choice of two top finishes (frosting or lemon curd), you're sure to please just about anyone you invite over to share these.

We call these "happy cookies," even though we know that real, lasting happiness comes from within. But they are great conversation starters about just what can make us happy and how to make it last.  See the commentary below for more.


1 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup powdered confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon  lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Lemon Frosting:
1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
You may use lemon curd (I purchase a jar at Trader Joe's) as a topping; similar to a thumbprint cookie


Preheat ovent to 350 degrees.

Important Hint:  Let the butter set out at room temperature.  Try not to use the microwave to soften the butter; it may melt.  It's best to soften butter naturally; this technique creates a melt in our mouth cookie.

In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy.  Add powdered sugar; then mix until light and fluffy.  Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and lemon extracts; beat well.  Set aside.

Mix flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Add flour and cornstarch mixture into the butter mixture and mix well until well combined.

Do not refrigerate this dough.  It will harden and will be difficult to roll into a ball.

Using your hands, roll cookie dough into one inch balls.  Place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown.  Note:  If you are using lemon curd as a topping, make a 1/2 inch deep indentation in the center of each ball and fill with 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon curd.

Remove from oven, and carefully remove from baking sheet (you may want to wait a minute or two).  When warm, the cookies are delicate.  Cool on wire racks. 
While the cookies are cooling, prepare the Lemon Frosting.
In a medium bowl, combine, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice.  Stir until well mixed.  You may add more lemon juice or water to get the frosting thin enough.  Dip the top of the cookie into the frosting.

I hope you're sitting down, because Bob has a dramatic announcement. These lemon delights are now his favorite cookie, displacing chocolate chip cookies. Yes, they are that good.

As for the comments in the description about where happiness comes from, these cookies are the start of a great recipe for finding it. Start with a large batch of these cookies, add a friend or two, add the Lord, and mix well with prayer. It might require some time before happiness is complete, but don't give up.

The Grape Drink Story. Once upon a time, a batch of grape drink was mixed without the purple food coloring. It had all the other ingredients--sugar, flavoring, water, and even a few percent real grape juice. However, when buyers tried it, they said it tasted like water. Moral of the story: Our taste buds are connected to our eyeballs. In other words, the visual cues we receive help the brain to taste things, just as the nose does, too. Why am I telling you this? Because here is a secret. If you want to add an even more dramatic shockwave of lemon taste to these cookies, add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the batter. People will think, "Well, these must be really lemony. Look at how yellow they are." And then of course they will take a bite and say, "These are delightful."

Other recipes of note
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
Very Raspberry Very Merry Coffee Cake with Chocolate
Spinach and Bacon Quiche
Lemon Cupcake Surprise
Quadruple Chocolate Brownies
Intensely Lemon Cookies
Macaroni and Cheese Supreme

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