Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I guess the theme of the moment on this blog is lemon–lemon bars, lemon cookies, and an upcoming lemon pasta. There’s just something about the fresh zestiness of lemons that feels so optimistic and spring-like to me. These cookies (click here for the original recipe) have a very delicate lemon flavor–there’s no punch, just a lingering hint of sunshine. So if you’re looking for a knockout wollop of lemon on your tongue you can always increase the quantity of lemon zest. But seriously, they’re lovely exactly as they are.

I love the texture, which is somehow soft and chewy and crisp all at the same time. So when life gives you lemons, please ignore the old saying and make these cookies instead.


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 tsp lemon zest (triple for more punch)

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease two light-colored baking trays with butter or cooking spray.

Now dump the butter and granulated sugar into a mixing bowl.

Cream the butter and granulated sugar together until they’re fluffy.

Zest that lemon!

How I love my microplane. It makes zesting a lemon so much less . . . dangerous.

Add the vanilla, the egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and whip.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl . . .

. . . and whip again until evenly mixed.

Measure in all the dry ingredients (except for the powdered sugar) . . .

. . . and stir gently until just combined.

It’s much easier to use a spoon or spatula to finish off this part.

Spread the powdered sugar out on a plate.

Roll the dough into little balls the size of a heaping teaspoon, then roll them in the powdered sugar.

I knew I was going to have problems getting all the little spheres to be uniform, so I rolled them all first before sugaring them up. You should end up with about 24 of them.

Place them on the greased baking sheets . . .

. . . and bake for 9-11 minutes until the bottom of the cookies is barely getting golden and the tops have a matte finish (not shiny or glossy). Take the baking sheets out of the oven, and let the cookies sit on the baking sheets for 3 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. When they first come out, they look kind of poofy and rounded on top.

 As they sit, they will collapse ane get . . .

. . . crinkly!

And that’s why they’re called Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

If you’re totally getting whacked out of shape by the changes in lighting in these pictures, please know that I was happily using my external flash in my almost-always-dark-kitchen, but around 5:30 pm, light briefly floods through our little alley-facing window. It goes away a few minutes later, but I seized the moment and snapped away sans flash.

I should also mention that if you’re using a darker colored baking sheet, the cookies will need about 2 minutes less in the oven.

Here they are innocently sitting on the cooling rack.

Little do they know that I’m about to . . .


It’s not cruel–I’m helping them fulfill their destiny.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Lemon Crinkle Cookies

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9 Responses to Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  1. Wendi says:

    Jenna, those cookies look innocent enough but I have a feeling they would demand my complete attention until I ate every last one of them.

  2. Sarah says:

    oooh someone was just asking me if i had a lemon cookie recipe recently. these might be the winning recipe to give them. fabulous!

  3. Veronica says:

    These are seriously calling my name. Which is weird, because usually cookies can’t pronounce my name. Guess I better obey the siren call and make me some!

  4. Kimby says:

    Hey, Jenna! Sorry I’ve been AWOL — busy week. Thanks for not not baking — :) — especially lemony treats! Also, the baby pics were wonderful … what a cute little guy!

  5. chefshellina says:

    Wowser- these look incredible. I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Erica says:

    hey Kiddo! We’re having an army wife gathering and making these right now! Soooo excited. Mmmm. Mouth watering.

  7. Pingback: Lemon Crinkle Cookies « The Pajama Chef

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