Wednesday, September 2

Lemonade Cookies + Monsoon = Monocookie

lemonade cookies

Want your dish to steal the show at your Labor Day cookout? Bake a batch or two of sweet-tart lemonade cookies.

If you're thinking, "Hmmm... where have I heard of lemonade cookies before?" I'll tell you: Cat Cora, the talent and adorable chef who cooks from the hip. I made Cat's lemonade cookies; unfortunately, they didn't come out as perfectly as hers. The first batch spread.

For the second batch, I employed all of my cookie baking tricks: I didn't over beat the batter; I reduced the butter, and I chilled both the baking sheets and the cookie dough before placing them in the oven. The result? The cookies S-P-R-E-A-D.

lemonade cookies spread

As I stood at the kitchen counter nibbling the crisp edges of the mono-cookie on my baking sheet, sweat beading up on my brow, it hit me, "I know what it is! It's that damn Baja hurricane pushing thick, tropical, humid air into San Diego!"

No matter the cause, I was determined. Stubborn. I would bake a successful batch of lemonade cookies. This time, I decided to go all-out. I combined Cat Cora's lemonade with Anita's delightful cookie batter and my mom's no-fail lemon icing for her lemon biscuits. I thought, "This time it's gonna work. Dammit."

When my oven timer went off, I peered in the oven with one eye. Ah, individual cookies! Victory! I don't know if it was my recipe, the increase in barometric pressure, or dumb luck, but the result was 12 distinct cookies.

Lemonade Cookies
Makes approximately 30 cookies
Print recipe only here.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup lemonade concentrate, thawed

Lemonade icing, optional:
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemonade concentrate
a few drops of whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, and mix until combined. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the 1/2 cup lemonade concentrate, mixing until just combined.

3. Drop tablespoons of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool on wire racks for at least 30 minutes if frosting.

4. For the icing: Whisk the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and lemon concentrate in a small bowl. Add a few drops of milk and continue whisking until the icing is smooth and opaque and clings to the back of a spoon. Taste it, and adjust flavors as desired. When it's ready, pour icing through a fine mesh sieve to remove any tiny clumps of confectioners' sugar. For easy clean up, place a sheet of parchment paper under the cookie rack before frosting. Dip the top of the cookie in the icing and place on rack. Allow to dry completely before storing in an air-tight tin or plastic container. Place wax paper between layers to protect the icing.

Note: The cookies are delicious plain; however, the icing adds an extra layer of tang that'll make you pucker. My only caveat is that icing on cookies prefers chilly winter weather to hot summer weather. So if you ice them, be sure to let them dry thoroughly in an air-conditioned room.

You might also like these desserts for your Labor Day cookout:

Grilled Watermelon Slices with a Honey-Lime Syrup

Nectarine and Raspberry Crumble

"Nude" Berry Tartlets


Unknown said...

Lemon cookies are so tasty and almost refreshing to eat. I love the use of lemonade in these!

Sean said...

Victory tastes oh so good - especially when it's a baked good.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious looking cookies! interesting use of lemonade...



Unknown said...

Very interesting recipe indeed, must try these, thanks for sharing.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Grit and determination at the stove pays off in the end! And, I'm sure there was some decent sampling - to get to the heart of the issue - along the way!

Anonymous said... different! They look yummy, I love a simple cookie!

Unknown said...

These look so lovely! It is very humid in Washington, DC and one banana cake i made a few weeks ago just completely succumbed to it (it i did not help it was full of agave instead of sugar).

Hillary said...

Lemonade adds a great flavor to anything, especially cookies :) Thanks for sharing!

nora@ffr said...

love the idea!! just Fantastic! These delightful little cookies look wonderful!

elly said...

These sound delicious! Great idea to combine the recipes. I used to really dislike lemon sweets when I was younger but I can't get enough of them now.

kellypea said...

Spreading cookies...arg! Glad it finally worked for you -- especially in this incredible heat. You deserve a badge for persistence ; )

lisaiscooking said...

I have a thing for lemon cookies, and these sound fantastic. I've just been trying a few cookie recipes this week, and now here's another to add to the list!

The Mommy Chef said...

These look delicious. I bet they would make a yummy ice cream sandwich with vanilla bean ice cream.

PalmettoGirl said...

Can't wait to try them (and so glad you worked out the kinks for us)!

Vijitha said...

Thanks for the comments in my blog dear! the cookies are so tempting and have a gr8 long weekend!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

lynda-It's deliciously peppy!

sean-Victory does indeed taste sweet.

rosa-Thank you!

orce-Thanks. Wait till you taste them!

tw-Where you spying on me? ;)

ronell-Hey, Ronell! It's so great to hear from you. Wish we could nibble on a few cookies and chat.

citygirl-Glad to hear I'm not alone. The hot weather really isn't kind to baking.

hilary-Well said!

nora-Wow! Thanks a bunch!

elly-I'm glad you like them now!

kellypea-Wanna make me one? ;)

lisa-Make sure you keep the AC cranked!

mommychef-Mmm... now that's a delicious idea. Thanks!

cheri-Me too!

vs-You're so welcome! Have a great wkend too. Hope it's filled with cookies!

Nic said...

Yay, well done for trying so many times to get the perfect cookie. Got any left for me?

Sal said...

I've never heard of lemonade cookies before, but I love lemonade, and I love cookies, so it seems like a no-brainer. :)

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Those cookies definitely look worth it, yum!

Sweetie Pie said...

So yummy looking and so summery! I'm glad you tinkered until you got the result you were seeking. I'm happy to benefit from your experiment. :-)

ChichaJo said...

These sound so refreshing! Good for you for sticking with it! :)

sunita said...

Susan, you're one persistant girl. Amd Lemonade in cookies is something new for me :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

nic-Sorry. All gone. ;)

sal-It is!

alisa-Yum, indeed!

sweetiepie-I'm happy about it too. :)

joey-Thanks a bunch!

sunita-New and exciting!

Juliana said...

Oh! I am sure that I'll like these cookies...lemony, sound and look so yummie, refreshing!

Chef Jeena said...

Wonderful cookies using the lemonade, the cookies look so light and I love the pale colour - so appetizing.

Palidor said...

What perfect looking cookies! I love lemon in baked goods.

Mia said...

I made Cat's recipe today and I think you might have just made the cookies too big. I think she really means a rounded teaspoonful instead of a normal spoon (that I normally use for cookies). They do spread quite a bit since the dough is so fluffy. I used room temperature dough b/c I think sometimes it is harder to judge when the cookie is done when you use cold. Your recipe looks good too and I will definitely try both!