Hello everyone! I’m hoping your days have been happy ones, and that you are finding joy in the beauty of summer. Dick and I are busy with our garden, and it’s been a nice break from the daily influx of disquieting information that seems to be coming from everywhere. We share my mom’s (otherwise known as Neeners) large garden with her. This means the garden is at her house, we do all the work and she does all the bossing around. Neeners is nearly 90, has severely limited eyesight as well as recovering from a stroke she suffered last winter, but she is making the best of a challenging situation. Today Neeners announced that she was going to try and find the last remaining sugar snap peas on the vines. The next thing I heard was “Where are my clippers? There are some dead vines here that need to be addressed”. And so it began. If Neeners has a pair of clippers in her hands, it’s best just to stand back. “I love destruction!!!” What?? I look up from my watering a few rows over, only to discover that she has cut down an entire 20-foot row of peas in less than 15 minutes, including the plastic mesh that was supporting the vines. “This was so much fun! Now I’ll go see if I can find some weeds to pull!” Neeners never seems to have trouble finding joy, and she’s an inspiration to all she knows. And if you happen to be searching for some lemon refrigerator cookie inspiration….
Here we have a summer cookie – with subtle lemon flavor and a crackly lemon sugar topping. Mix it up one day, toss it in the refrigerator or freezer, and bake them when the mood strikes. This lemon refrigerator cookie is not a crispy or dainty version but is chewy enough to let you know you’ve got a real cookie on your hands. And here’s a thought – fill two cookies with your favorite ice cream for an ice cream sandwich treat. A nice reward for a summer day well spent.
I loved the thought of a lemon refrigerator cookie for summer. You can make these guys up days or weeks in advance, and have a fresh cookie at your disposal in a moments’ time. The only last minute bit of preparation is to make the turbinado lemon sugar topping. This has got to be done pretty much right before you bake due to the fact that this involves rubbing lemon zest into the sugar for maximum lemon flavor. Lemon zest gives off lots of liquid, so if you don’t jump on this right away and let your sugar stand for an hour or so, it will become more like cement and less like sugar, which is not optimal. All that needs doing from then on is to dip the cookie into the sugar and get that lemon refrigerator cookie into the oven. You’ll want to give them plenty of space because they do tend to expand when baking.
These refrigerator sugar cookies are done when they look set on top and are a very light brown around the edges, like so….
When they come out of the oven, let them set up on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes then they go on to a cooling rack. All that’s left to do is enjoy. The turbinado sugar topping makes these refrigerator sugar cookie look like they have sparkles on top, as well as rewarding you with a nice crackly crunch when you take a bite.
Happy Lemon Refrigerator Cookie Day!!
As always, thanks so much for reading today. It means a lot to me that you take time out of your busy lives to share a few moments with me. xoxoxo
I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to send any comments, questions, or suggestions my way. I promise to reply to each and every one, and can be reached at:
- FOR THE COOKIES
- 1 cup room temperature butter
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- Zest of 2 lemons
- FOR THE TOPPING
- ½ cup turbinado sugar (granulated sugar works too)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- FOR THE COOKIES
- Start by zesting 2 lemons, then put the zest into a small bowl. Add the 1 ½ cups granulated sugar and start rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingers. Keep going until the sugar feels moist and you can really get a strong scent of lemon. This will now be known as ‘lemon sugar’. Here’s what’s going on: Rubbing the zest into the sugar releases the lemon’s essential oils, and it really increases the lemon flavor of your cookies.
- Then… Cream the butter and lemon sugar together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. This is best accomplished using an electric mixer, but it can also be accomplished by hand. It just takes more commitment on your part.
- Add the eggs, one at a time (wait about one minute before adding the second egg so the first one has a chance to get in there and beat until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until blended.
- Add the baking powder and salt. Mix again until blended.
- Slow the mixer down to a low speed and add the flour. I usually add half of it first and get it all mixed in, then add the second half.
- Mix until everything is well blended together.
- You’ve got a couple of choices now. You can either divide the dough in half and scoop it onto a large pieces of plastic wrap. Then smoosh it around the best you can to form a log shape that is about 2 inches in diameter. Be forewarned: this is doable but is pretty much a sticky mess. What I ended up doing was to pop the dough into the refrigerator until it firms up a little, about one hour or so. It behaves a lot better and is a lot less sticky than trying to wrestle with it right out of the mixer. After it’s a little chilled, divide the dough in half and place each half on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Smoosh each half around to form a log shape that is 2 inches in diameter. Roll the dough up in the plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator. You can also freeze the dough at this point if you aren’t going to bake for a few days.
- RIGHT BEFORE YOU BAKE
- Preheat your oven go 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl that’s about 5 inches or so in diameter, combine the turbinado sugar and zest of one lemon. Time to make lemon sugar again! You know the drill – just smoosh it between your fingers until the sugar is moist and you can really smell that lemon.
- Remove your dough from the refrigerator and slice into ½ inch slices. If your dough starts looking lopsided and you find that you are starting to slice down crookedly, don’t panic. Just take the chilled dough in your hand and whack it down on your cutting board until it’s level again. You can also keep rolling it as you go so it stays round. Place on side of each cookie into the lemon sugar and swirl it around to try and cover the top of the cookie as well as you can. Place on a baking sheet that has been well greased or covered in parchment paper. These guys will spread a little bit, so I usually only put 8 cookies on each baking sheet. Note: You will most likely have extra lemon sugar, so just sprinkle the left-over sugar on the cookies and press down lightly.
- Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cookie start turning a light brown.
- Remove from oven and let set up on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.