It’s still citrus season, and is it just me or does the coming of Spring scream CITRUS DESSERT TIME? Lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime. All of those fruits peak during the cold season here in North America, but they’ll forever remind me of Spring and Summer; after all, I didn’t even know that winter was citrus season until I started food blogging. Anyway, these Soft Iced Lemon Cookies are the perfect (seasonally appropriate!) dessert to take us into warmer weather. A sweet, chewy sugar cookie flavored with fresh lemon zest and then topped with a tangy lemon icing with lots of lemon juice. So good. And if you’re going to cheat on chocolate, it might as well be with these gems.
This cookie dough is my favorite dough for any and all chewy sugar cookies, and this version is quick and so easy – no refrigeration required! Plus the icing is a simple, 4-ingredient mix! Basically, if you want lemon cookies to eat right now, or you don’t have a lot of time to bake, then this recipe is for you! These cookies also save really well, so if you want to make them the day before an event, they’ll still be soft and chewy the next day. In fact, I like them even better after given a day to set/rest.
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 2/3 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla extract)
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest (from ~3 large lemons or ~5 small lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Juice from 1-2 lemons
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, oil, and almond extract; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the liquid ingredients and use a large wooden spoon to work the ingredients together - the dough may seem dry at first but keep mixing. Finally, mix in the lemon zest.
- Roll dough balls 1 1/2 Tbsp in size and bake six at a time on your prepared baking sheet at 350°F for 5-6 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack. Continue until all cookies are baked.
- Once your cookies are totally cool, you can make the icing. In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, almond extract, and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice. Mix until combined. Then add more lemon juice, 1 tsp at a time, until you've got a thick glaze - when you drizzle the glaze on itself, it should take 2 or 3 seconds for the ribbons to disappear. Mix in the lemon zest.
- Spoon the glaze/icing onto each cookie, using the back of your spoon to spread the icing over the cookie surfaces.
- Allow icing to set before storing. Once set, store the cookies in a single layer in an airtight container.
- Feel free to use any kind of plain granulated cane sugar for the cookie dough: white granulated sugar, unrefined granulated sugar, raw sugar, etc. I used an unrefined cane sugar.
- You can add however much (or little) lemon zest you like to both the cookie dough and icing. 1 Tbsp of fresh zest will give a mild lemon taste to the cookies. The lemon juice in the icing is where the tangy lemon flavor comes from, so if you choose to forgo the icing, you may want to add more zest to your cookie dough.
- I don't include nutrition information for recipes where you may not use all of the icing.