Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
These cookies taste like summer!
In honor of the warm weather, I began looking for a summery cookie. It’s difficult, because I usually eat a lot of cookies when it’s cold outside and we’re all sad. I wanted a cookie that tasted like summer and happiness, and that means lemon.
These cookies are delicious. I was nervous, since I’d never tried the recipe before. Luckily, I’m awesome at baking, you’re awesome at baking, and the recipe is really easy.
Also, I finally got some parchment paper, which has revolutionized the way I do cookies. Put it on your baking sheets and nothing will ever stick to the sheet again.
½ cup of butter (room temperature)
1 cup of sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg (room temperature)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
about ½ cups powdered sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Cream the butter and sugar. I think the easiest way to do this is with a stand mixer, but I don’t have one at school. You can mix with a spoon, but I just used my hands. If you do this, wash your hands first, and have something to wipe your hands on afterwards. They will be covered in butter.
Basically, just mash the butter and sugar together until it is all mixed. Once it’s a cohesive substance, definitely use a spoon. Continue to mix it until it’s almost fluffy – a few minutes should do it.
Zest before squeezing the lemons for juice. I used about one and a half lemons, but I could have probably just used one. If you’ve never zested a lemon before, you’re in luck. The scent of zested lemon is one of the greatest things I’ve ever personally smelled.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze it. I squeezed it over a larger bowl so the juice didn’t get everywhere, then used the tablespoon to measure it into the mixture. This is also good for getting seeds out of the juice. Next, mix the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg into the creamed butter and sugar.
Now add the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. The original recipe said to add slowly and mix, but I completely forgot to do that, and it ended up fine. It will take a little while for it to all get mixed in, so be patient.
Now you have your cookie dough! Pour a bunch of powdered sugar into a bowl. Take a small amount of dough, form it into a ball, and roll it around in the sugar, shake it a little bit to get off excess sugar. Place the spheres of dough onto the baking sheet a few inches apart from each other.
Put them in the oven for about 9-12 minutes. Mine took 12, so just keep an eye on them.
While they bake, as always, clean up your counter. You probably have powdered sugar everywhere. Watch some Vandermemes because you just remembered that James Van Der Beek is really funny.
After 10 or 11 minutes, the tops of the cookies should crack a little bit, and the bottoms should be just browned. Take them out and let them sit for a few minutes before putting them on a drying rack. If you also don’t have a drying rack, just put them on some paper towels. If you don’t have paper towels, don’t even worry about it.
You can also eat them straight out of the oven, burn your mouth, and keep eating anyway because they taste really good. Once they’re cooled, either hoard them or give them to your friends. I gave these all out to friends, a decision I deeply regret.
Enjoy the warm weather and the cookies, and as always, let me know if you make any!
I tried a second batch of these cookies using other types of citrus. One half was grapefruit, and the other half was lemon/lime. The grapefruit cookies tasted good, but I forgot that lemons have an incredibly strong flavor, so the grapefruit was less distinct. I would probably put more grapefruit zest in if I tried again, or put in a tiny bit of lemon.