Bite through the crunchy shell to a fluffy lemon cloud of icing sugar cookie deliciousness…
It had been ages since I’d made a lemon recipe and a quick search for simple options turned up this recipe for soft melt-in-your-mouth lemon cookies.
These lemon melt icing sugar cookies are absolutely beautiful, particularly if you get the chance to eat one or two when they’re fresh out of the oven. The outer shell has a sweet crunch and the inside is a fluffy cloud of subtle lemony goodness.
Rolling and baking the sticky dough in several batches is a bit of a faff, but your efforts will be more than rewarded.
Ingredients (makes approx. 50 icing sugar cookies)
- 360 g / 12.7 oz / 2.75 cups plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- 230 g / 8.1 oz / 1 cup butter or baking margarine
- 170 g / 6 oz / 1.5 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
- 1 egg
- 0.5 tsp vanilla essence/extract
- zest of one large lemon (I could only get small lemons so used 2)
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 60 g / 2 oz / 0.5 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar) for rolling the cookies before baking
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan)/ Gas Mark 4 / 350 degrees F. Grease and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper. I had to reuse each of my sheets three times, baking the biscuits in three batches, and a final partial tray.
In a bowl mix together the flours, baking powder and bicarb of soda. Put to one side.
If you have an electric stand mixer or hand beaters, use them for the next part to make your life easier. Beat together the butter/margarine and icing sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Remember to go slowly at first or the icing sugar will blow up into a cloud.
Beat in the egg, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients gradually, mixing as you go to form a smooth dough.
Now for the sticky part. Have the extra icing sugar ready on a plate or in a shallow dish. Scoop small amounts of dough out of the bowl and roll them into balls. By “small amount” I mean a little over a teaspoon. Use the icing sugar to help combat the stickiness and make the rolling much easier.
Put the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking trays leaving at least 4 cm (1.5 inches) between them to give them room to spread out in the oven. I had to reuse my two trays several times, so it took a while to bake all the dough.
Bake for ten minutes or until lightly browned. I found ten minutes was the perfect amount of time, so set the timer or keep your eye on the oven. Take the cookies out and let them cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling (I encourage you to try at least one at this point, they are beyond lovely while still warm).
A final dusting of icing sugar is an optional final touch!
The texture inside the lemon melt icing sugar cookies is lovely, fluffy and airy. And they smell wonderful!
The cookies will keep for up to 5 days, but will be best if eaten in the first 3 days after baking, if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
If you’re looking for more lemon baking ideas, you might like to try:
And remember, you can see a list of all the recipes on my website by visiting my recipe index.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul