based on: Dorie's Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

  • 300 g (1 ½ cups) sugar

  • zest of 1 lemon and and ¼ cup juice (1 - 2 lemons)

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, and cut into chunks, at room temperature

  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • ~ ¼ teaspoon lemon oil or extract (optional, for more pronounced lemony flavor)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 374 g (2 ¾ cups) all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • Sugar, for dredging

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together.

  3. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and squeeze the juice. If you don’t have ¼ cup, squeeze the juice from the second lemon.

  4. 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.

  5. Add the butter and salt to the bowl and beat on medium speed with paddle attachment until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.

  6. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla and lemon juice (and optional extract).

  7. 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.

  8. 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 (30 g for medium cookies, 40 g for medium-large). 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  • 12 minute cookies seem about perfect.

  • Flavor is mildly lemony, but pleasant. Dorie says they’re not overpowering, and she’s right. Might consider adding the lemon oil/extract and/or adding the zest of the second lemon.

  • These tend towards the sugary spectrum of cookies (appropriately, since they’re sugar cookies, and much more than Jocelyn Delk Adams’s lemon tea cakes). They’re good even without dredging in sugar, and are a bit too much when rolled in coarse Whole Foods cane sugar (or presumably turbinado or other coarse sugars). Normal fine granulated sugar seems best if rolling in sugar before baking.

  • Needed 2 medium lemons to get ¼ cup of juice.