The winters in Chicago can be pretty brutal. But, this year we have had an unseasonally warm winter and for that, I am very thankful. I really do not like cold weather and snow. This past week, we have had temperatures in the 80s!! So, I decided it was time to change the kids winter clothes from their drawers for their summer clothes. I knew I should have waited because March weather can change in a instant. And, of course, it did. Now, the temperature has fallen to the 50s and 60s. Luckily, I just put the clothes in boxes under the kids’ beds, so I can easily pull them back out. But, I am sorry fellow Chicagoans…this cool weather is probably my fault. Next time I promise to wait to do my seasonal clothes exchange until June.
Before it got cold, I made these delicious lemonade sugar cookies because it was feeling like summer. These are super soft and chewy sugar cookies, with a crisp bottom and a sugary crust. The lemon tang comes from the combination of lemon juice and lemon zest. I don’t think there is a drink much more refreshing than an ice cold glass of lemonade and this cookie captures the flavor perfectly. So, if you are experiencing cold weather, this cookie will bring you a taste of summer. If you already have warm weather (I’m jealous ) then I suggest sitting outside and enjoying it with a plate of lemonade sugar cookies and of course, a tall glass of lemonade to wash them down.
Lemonade Sugar Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
grated zest of 2 lemons I used a microplane
8 Tbsp (4oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil or other vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
additional granulated sugar to roll the dough in
optional yellow coarse sanding sugar
Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the grated lemon zest with the soft butter. Blend until smooth and add the vegetable oil. Add the sugar and mix to blend. Add the eggs, scraping the sides occasionally, and mix to blend. Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Add the reserved dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The dough will be fairly loose.
Chill the dough for several hours (or overnight) before forming and baking the cookies.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Roll tablespoon sized scoops of dough into round balls, roll in sugar (or sugar mixed with yellow sprinkles if desired- I like how it looks like lemon zest on the outside of the cookies), and place on parchment lined sheets. The cookies will spread, so leave several inches between them.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the cookies feel “just firm” when gently pressed. Somehow, mine only took about 10 minutes, so I would start checking at about 8 or 9 minutes. The bottoms turn a light golden brown, but the tops should stay pale in color.
- The author suggests substituting lime or orange flavorings if you prefer. These sound delicious as well.