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Lemon Scented Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Taming of the Spoon
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: About 30 (4-inch) hearts 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



For the cookies

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 2 small lemons (about 2 tablespoons)

For decorating

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 45 tablespoons milk
  • Sanding sugar or sugar sprinkles in your choice of color(s)


For the cookies

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until well mixed. Add lemon juice and lemon zest; beat until lemon is mixed in well. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, then flatten the balls into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 3 days.
  4. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets and chill until firm, about 15 minutes. Gather up and reroll the scraps of dough and cut out more cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough disks. If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate the dough until it is firm again.
  6. Bake cookies 9 to 12 minutes, or until edges of cookies just start to brown. Cool on wire racks then decorate as desired.

For decorating

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and 4 tablespoons of milk. The icing should be very thick at this point. Continue to whisk in more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until icing is just spreadable but is not runny. The icing should feel just a little stiff when you stir it.
  2. Pour icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small (Wilton #5) icing tip. Outline edge of cookie with icing; fill in the outline with more icing using zig-zag lines. Using a small offset spatula, spread icing until smooth. Sprinkle cookie liberally with sanding sugar, then pour excess sugar into a bowl. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let cookies sit in a single layer on a baking sheet or cooling rack for at least 8 hours to let the icing harden. Use a small pastry brush to brush away any stray sugar crystals, if desired.
  3. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


To fill the pastry bag, place the bag tip side down in a tall glass. Fold the top of the bag down over the edge of the glass to form a cuff. Using a large rubber spatula, scrape the icing into the bag, filling it to one-half to two-thirds full. Unfold cuff, twisting the bag closed to force the icing down into the bag and remove any air bubbles. Secure the bag closed with a twist tie.

To prevent the tip from clogging while icing cookies, place a damp paper towel in the bottom of the glass.

To fix any wayward lines of icing and sugar, use the long edge of a toothpick to gently push the icing into place.

For faster decorating, just pipe zig-zag lines on cookies then sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living.

Keywords: sugar, cookies, valentines cookies