My dad loves lemons. My mom first caught his attention by baking a lemon meringue pie. When he was blue, I would make batches of lemon bars to cheer him up. But now I’m in Chicago, and he’s in California, and those classic tart treats don’t ship very well. So I searched for a cookie that could survive the trip, with a good wallop of lemon to tempt his appetite. These little gems did the trick! They are made like snickerdoodles, a basic dough rounded and rolled in sugar before baking.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I’ve used gluten-free substitutions with good success)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon
Juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup sugar (even better with a bit of the zest rubbed into it!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Sift in and mix the dry ingredients.
Scoop into balls using a tablespoon or a #70 disher (one of my favorite gadget purchases EVAR!), roll in the sugar/zest mixture and arrange on cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Bake about 10 minutes; don’t overdo it, though. These cookies are better before they start to brown, a little chewier and less brittle.