I made Iced Lemon Sugar Cookies as an excuse to try a new brand of organic butter. Normally I would have used regular unsalted butter, but the cash register spit out a free coupon for the organic kind, and since butter is more expensive than ever these days, I was pretty happy to redeem it. Unfortunately, I might be hooked on organic butter. Update: I'm not.
Organic butter or any fancy butter is not necessary for these cookies, but I had fun trying it. The brand I tried, H.E.B.'s store brand, was a bit smoother, yellower and had a bit more flavor. Butter aside, you can make these chewy lemon sugar cookies with whatever butter you have around.
Ground Oats in Lemon Cookies
The interesting addition to these lemon cookies is ground oats. You don't usually see those in lemon sugar cookie recipes, but they are actually a great addition. They add a hint of flavor and a bit of chewiness. If you do'nt have a grinder or if you keep oat flour on hand, that would probably work too. Since oat flour is usually finer, I'd recommend starting with ¼ to ⅓ cup.
Lemon Sugar Cookies Flavor and Texture
Along with the oat flavor, the cookies are also very lemony. The icing adds even more lemon flavor and looks pretty, but they are good without it as well.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
- ½ cup oats
- 1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (180 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (114 grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus more if needed
- Optional: Sugar for garnishing yellow sanding, crystal or granulated
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 or more tablespoons fresh lemon juice or use water and a little vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Grind the oats in a coffee grinder or food processor and place them in a bowl. To the oats, add flour, baking powder and salt and stir well. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the sugar and lemon zest and continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and the egg.
- Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until blended, then stir in the lemon juice to make a soft dough. It should not be too sticky.
- Spoon the dough up by tablespoons and roll into balls. Dip the balls in yellow sanding sugar, crystal sugar or granulated sugar. If you're planning on icing the cookies, you can skip this step (or use sugar AND icing like I did).
- Arrange about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets and press down lightly with bottom of a glass.
- Bake the cookies one sheet at a time on center rack for about 10 minutes or until edges are browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the lemon icing, melt the butter in a 2 cup microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Add the sugar to the cup and stir it around with the butter, then add lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until the icing is a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.