Lemon and other citrus flavours are bright enough to cut through cold winter days with their irresistible tang - and they're in season now, so it's the best time of year to experiment with lemons, limes and grapefruit. My friend Gwendolyn Richards has dedicated an entire book to the love of that pucker-inducing tang (and it's called Pucker - brilliant, no?) - and among her most popular recipes is this chewy lemon cookie, which is rolled in sugar and baked until crackly on the outside, chewy within. It comes with its own decoration - perfect for little fingers to help out with, and far less mess than icing and candies.
Chewy Lemon Cookies
The search for a chewy lemon cookie recipe brings lots of traffic to my blog. It seems I’m not alone in wanting a cookie that has lots of lemon tang with some sweetness and softness. This cookie hits all those notes. Excerpted from Pucker, by Gwendolyn Richards (Whitecap).
23/4 cups (685 mL) flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
11/2 cups (375 mL) sugar, divided
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and 11/4 cups (310 mL) sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down the side as necessary. Beat in the zest until well combined.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg, then the lemon juice, beating until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
Using a spoon, scoop out 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls of dough and roll them between your hands to form spheres. Drop into a small bowl of the remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) of sugar and roll gently with your fingertips to coat the dough on all sides.
Space the dough balls about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the cookie sheet and bake until the edges are cooked but the tops are still puffy, about 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies will be barely golden at the edges and still look ever so slightly uncooked on top. Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, until the tops have fallen and crinkled. Remove to a cooling rack.
MAKES ABOUT 30 COOKIES