There are so many silly “when life gives you lemons…” sayings, all spin-offs of the original saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” which is attributed to Dale Carnegie, among others. I like the sentiment; when difficult things happen in life, try to turn them into something good. But I differ with Mr. Carnegie on the lemonade part; I’d have said “When life gives you lemons, make chewy lemon sugar cookies.” 🙂
I have searched for years for the perfect chewy sugar cookie recipe. I never found the right one; they were too crisp, usually, or too heavy, and tasting of baking soda. I even tried Martha’s recipe, and wasn’t satisfied! However, now I’ve found my favorite one, shared on a blog I really enjoy: My Baking Addiction. It makes a nice chewy cookie with a top that crackles. For some reason, I really like a cookie with crackles on top. (note: I fond that if you chill the dough, it doesn’t crackle the way it does at room temperature.)
This cookie has fresh lemon juice in it, and I think that if you wanted it without lemon, you could replace the lemon juice with milk, and omit the lemon zest. Also, I’d use a whole teaspoon of vanilla extract if I were doing that. However, I think you should try it with lemon, first! It’s not sour; it just has a nice hint of lemony flavor, and a nice bit of chewiness is lent through the lemon zest. I haven’t tried using reconstituted lemon juice in place of fresh lemons, but I know it wouldn’t be as good, as there won’t be any zest, and the zest lends a great deal of flavor and texture to this cookie. It’s delicious; give it a try!
Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon, finely minced
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
4. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
5. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
6. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
8. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
Makes approximately 24-30 cookies depending on size.