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Lemon Coolers – hot from the oven, these melt-in-your mouth cookies are tossed in a mixture of crystallized lemon and powdered sugar for the most incredible intense lemon flavor ever!
I’ll just apologize right now. If you’re trying to diet (as I am) these bites of lemon perfection may cause you to want to binge a little. It’s so hard to eat just one, or two, or even three for that matter. These pop-in-your-mouth bite sized cookies have a perfect texture and plenty of sour-sweet lemon tang. They come out of the oven lightly browned on the bottom with a slightly soft texture. They’re immediately tossed in the powdered sugar / crystallized lemon mixture and put on a rack to cool. After about an hour, they’re tossed in the sugar again and you’re done! Once cooled the cookie texture is firm, almost like a nice shortbread without being crumbly.
So … right now you might be wondering about crystallized lemon and how you can get some too.
I used a product with real lemon flavor made from real fruit named True Lemon. It comes in little packets and is often used for flavoring water, tea or recipes, as I have done here. This is not a sponsored post, and the nice folks over at True Lemon have no idea who I am. We just really love this stuff. Each packet of True Lemon equals the taste of 1 lemon wedge, has 0 calories, 0g sugar, it’s unsweetened and has no artificial colors or preservatives. You should go check them out … after you finish reading my post, of course 🙂
We’ve used True Lime in the past and loved it in these Lime & Coconut Fruit & Nut Bars. But then I forgot all about it! These cookies would be great as Lime Coolers – just substituting lime for the lemon, or even key lime. You may see that version show up here sometime soon. This company also makes a good lemonade mix but I didn’t use that in this recipe. We used the plain crystallized lemon. I’ve included an affiliate link to Amazon at the end of this post so you can check it out. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if True Lemon is available outside the United States. If you can find something comparable, or even an unsweetened lemonade mix, that may work here. I have not tested these cookies using lemonade mix but if it tastes like you took a big bite out of a lemon, then I say use it!
Do you remember the Lemon Cooler cookies from years ago? They came in a box and were totally addictive.
Sunshine Biscuits distributed the original Lemon Coolers, but in the 1990’s they merged with Keebler and the iconic lemon cookies disappeared from the grocery store shelves. My husband admits to eating more than his share of the original Lemon Cooler cookies, and now he can boast that about these too! I think these cookies are fantastic, but he thinks they’re better than that – even better than the original. They are a blast of citrus sunshine on these cold winter days for sure!
To ensure plenty of lemon flavor, the cookie dough is loaded with lemon juice, lemon zest and a little lemon extract. Lemon extract is made with an oil derived from lemon peel, then mixed with alcohol and water. It can be pretty intense so we only added 1/2 teaspoon. But no worries, there’s plenty of luscious lemon flavor through and through. If you’ve searched high and low for a great lemon cookie recipe with intense lemon tang, you need to try these cookies ASAP! Afternoon tea will never be the same 🙂
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- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon fine zest)
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For coating warm cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 5 or 6 (0.8g) packages True Lemon crystals (see note below)
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on medium-high until fluffy and light, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk and lemon extract. Beat until combined.
- Add 1/3 of the reserved flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and blend on low until incorporated. Repeat in two more additions, blending just until the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend for just a few seconds as needed. Scrape down the sides again and gather the dough into a ball in the bottom of the mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place two-inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Lightly flatten each dough ball using the bottom of a small flat drinking glass covered with a piece of wax paper. I use a rubber band to keep the wax paper on the glass.
- In a small pie plate or low rimmed bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and the lemon crystals. Mix well and set aside.
- Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and immediately toss a few hot cookies in the powdered sugar mixture, face down, to coat. After a few seconds turn the sugar coated cookies over using a fork. Once completely covered with lemon sugar on both sides, remove with a fork onto a cooling rack and repeat until all hot cookies are well covered. Work quickly to ensure the cookies don’t cool before covering in sugar. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Don’t let the dough sit on a hot pan for long before baking.
- Allow all the cookies to cool for about an hour, then toss again in the powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.
- Use organic lemons for the zest whenever possible
- True Lemon Crystals is made from crystalized lemon, with no added sugar, or preservatives. It can be found near the artificial sweeteners in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Don't confuse this with the True Lemon Lemonade mix.
Here’s a link to the True Lemon used in this recipe and a few of our favorite essential baking tools: Click on the photos for more information:
If you decide to purchase something at Amazon after following my affiliate link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, which I use to pay for web hosting and services for this blog.
We’re nuts about lemon here at SRFD. One of our all-time favorite cookies are these delightful Lemon Meltaways. Another fantastic lemon dessert is this Easy Lemon Posset. It’s a cross between a lush pudding and a silky lemon curd, and is made with three simple ingredients. Tangy Lemon Bars are another super easy favorite with loads of lemon flavor. Our Homemade Lemon Curd can’t be beat – just read the rave reviews here and on Pinterest!
I can’t stop thinking about these Fresh Lemon Truffles from The View from Great Island. They sound dreamy! I know you’re going to drool over these lovely Lemon Pistachio Shortbread Cookies from Seasons and Suppers – I know I am! And finally, be sure to hang onto this recipe for Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Curd Filling from That Skinny Chick Can Bake. It looks divine!
Thanks so much for stopping by!