Iced Lemon Cookies


I don’t know how many of you reading this are from San Francisco or have been to San Francisco.   That’s where I live, by the way.   And as I write this it’s HOT.  Well, it’s San Francisco hot which, granted, can’t compare to Houston hot or Miami hot or New York hot.   BUT, the key difference that most people don’t understand is that most folks who live in Houston or Miami or New York have air conditioners.   People from San Francisco don’t.  Seriously, none of us has AC.   And when it gets to the mid 80’s and above, which it doesn’t do all that often, it can be hugely oppressive.

Why the tangent?   Well, it’s kind of too hot to have the oven on, so I haven’t baked anything lately.   But I thought it would be a good time to whip out one of the more refreshing recipes that I have, for Iced Lemon cookies.   As soon as there’s a break in the heat I’m making them, especially since I think the heat will be coming back before we finally hit winter.

Like most people, I think, I find the taste of lemon to be super refreshing.   And to top it off, we have a small lemon tree on our roof (it’s a roof deck, it’s not just, you know, hanging out up there on the roof).   So, no need to buy lemons, but pull a couple off the tree and go to town.   I like these because they’re pretty simple to make and while they’re not super-sweet they are extremely tasty.

Unless you don’t like lemon, in which case I don’t know you.

By the way, some of you may remember that, a few months ago, I had a recipe called Lemon Meltaways.   These are definitely similar, but the cookie part is definitely less crumbly.  Not better or worse, just a slightly stronger consistency and I know some people will prefer that.



·        14 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

·        ½ cup powdered sugar

·        1/2 t vanilla

·        1 T lemon zest (which, depending on the size of the lemon, is 1 or 2 lemons)

·        2 T lemon juice (same as above)

·        1 ½ cups flour

·        ¼ cup corn starch

·        ½ t salt


·        1 cup powdered sugar

·        2 T lemon juice

·        1 t milk **

**Maybe.   Have it available just in case.  


Beat the butter with a hand mixer until it’s smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.   Then, add the powdered sugar and beat that another couple minutes.   Add in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix that on low until everything is well blended.   Put this aside for a minute.

I’m not sure why I’m giving my lemon zest the eye…

In a different (small) bowl, pour the flour, corn starch and salt and whisk those together.   Next, add flour the mixture to the butter mixture and blend that on low until everything is well-blended.   Hint – so flour doesn’t go flying everywhere you might want to pour half the flour into the butter mixture, mix that, then pour the other half and mix that well.


Take the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.  While you’re waiting, clean up the mess you made on the counter (I know you did).

After an hour or so, scoop the dough in teaspoon-sized bites and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Bake at 350 for about 13-15 minutes, until the cookies start to brown on the edges.  Move them to a wire rack to cool.

You probably want to make the glaze after the cookies have completely cooled – you don’t want to put icing on them while they’re warm or the icing will just slide off, and what’s the point in that?

To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together – that’s it.   You might want to add more sugar to get the consistency you want.   I wouldn’t recommend adding more lemon  juice though – it gets a little too tart if you do.  If you feel like you need more liquid, add a teaspoon of milk instead.  Don’t add too much or else you’ll have to add a lot more sugar to compensate and you’ll end up with way more icing than you need.   Now that’s not always a bad thing, but I’m just saying.

Take some wax paper or some newspaper and put it underneath the cookies on the wire rack (saves on cleanup later).  Drizzle the icing on top of the cookies, making sure to taste a little for yourself, you know, just to make sure it’s good and all.    Let the icing harden before storing the cookies.



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