2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon (6 grams) freshly grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of lemon) (about 1-2 large lemons)
14 tablespoons (200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks (35 grams), at room temperature
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt or kosher salt)
1/2 cup (55 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing sugar), sifted
1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Lemon Cookies: In a small bowl mix the sugar with the lemon zest.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy smooth (1 - 2 minutes). Beat in the egg yolks. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as needed.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until the mixture starts to form large clumps. Divide the batter in half and shape each half into a log that is about 6 inches (15 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until firm (at least four hours or up to three days). (Can freeze the unbaked logs for up to two months.)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once the logs have become firm, with a sharp knife, slice each log into 1/4 inch (.5 mm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on your baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Lemon Glaze: Place the confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Add enough lemon juice to make a mixture that flows slowly from your spoon. Drizzle the tops of the cookies with the glaze. Let dry for about 1-2 hours before placing in an airtight container.
Makes about 45 cookies.
Some times all you need to satisfy a sweet tooth, is a really great tasting cookie. These Lemon Cookies are just that. Good lemons, good butter, and good eggs are all that you need. They have a sweet and buttery lemon flavor with a light and crispy texture. It's the outer yellow skin (zest) of the lemon that gives these cookies their tangy lemon flavor. And to bump up the lemon flavor even more, we drizzle the tops of the baked cookies with a lemon glaze.
After making the Lemon Cookie batter, instead of chilling the batter and then rolling it out to cut into shapes, I like to just divide the batter in half and then form each half into a 6 inch (15 cm) log. So what you have is a "slice and bake" cookie. After you wrap each log with plastic wrap you can chill them in the refrigerator until firm (at least four hours or up to three days). Or the unbaked logs can be frozen for a couple of months. When you're ready to bake the cookies, all you need to do is to slice each log into 1/4 inch (.5 mm) thick cookies. The cookies are baked until the edges are golden brown. The longer you bake the cookies the more crisp they will become.
Besides using good organic lemons, also try to use a good quality butter. There are excellent foreign and domestic brands to choose from. European-style butters have a higher percentage of butterfat (86%) than American-style butters. American-style butters have about 80 percent butterfat, 18 percent water, and 2 percent milk. They are graded by letter code, and sometimes a numerical number, according to flavor, color, texture, aroma and body. Butter with a AA (93 score) makes a nice tasting cookie and I like to use unsalted rather than salted butter. Unsalted butter does not contains salt so its pure sweet buttery flavor shines through. Salted butter contains salt which can overpower the sweet flavor of the butter and can also mask odors. Also, the amount of salt added to salted butter can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So if you use salted butter in this recipe, omit the salt in the recipe.