April is the month we can usually, almost always and kind of reliably count on the arrival of Spring. That said, our son, Joshua, was born on April 6 and it’s snowed in New York City on about 50% of his birthdays! Still, it will be spring sometime this month and so I’ve chosen a spritely cookie for April’s #cookiesandkindness recipe.
The cookie, Lemon Sugar Cookies from Dorie’s Cookies, is an easy one – scoop, round between your palms, roll in sugar and bake – and a sweet beloved by all who enjoy the bright flavor of lemon. I use lemon zest and juice to get a nice, not-too-bold flavor, but if you want more pop, add about 1/4 teaspoon of pure lemon oil or extract to the dough.
And remember: Share your cookies! That’s what cookies are meant for and that’s what we bakers do.
If you post what you bake and share, please hashtag it #cookiesandkindness and tag me @doriegreenspan so that I can cheer you on.
Bake, share, post, enjoy – xoDorie
Photograph by Davide Luciano for Dorie’s Cookies
Lemon Sugar Cookies
Makes about 60 cookies
23/4 cups (374 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 or 2 lemons
11/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, and cut into chunks, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sugar, for dredging
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and squeeze the juice. If you don’t have 1/4 cup, squeeze the juice from the second lemon.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer. Using your fingertips, mash and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist and fragrant. If you’re working with a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and salt to the bowl and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla and lemon juice. Turn off the mixer, add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until they’re almost incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the rest of the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Pour some sugar into a bowl. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a teaspoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each portion into a ball between your palms, drop into the sugar, roll it around to coat and place on the baking sheets. These cookies spread dramatically, so make sure to leave about 2 inches between them.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bot- tom and front to back at the midway mark. If you bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, you’ll get pale cookies that will be chewy; bake them for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re barely golden around the edges (the bottoms will be lightly browned), and you’ll get cookies that are chewy in the center and crisp around the edges. The cookies will be crackle-topped and too soft to lift from the baking sheets. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool completely before you move them. Repeat with the remaining dough, always using cool baking sheets.
Storing: These keep in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Packed airtight, they’ll be good for up to 2 months in the freezer.