I’ve been waiting to make these cookies for a long time, but as they take a little longer, it wasn’t something that I could necessarily put together in an evening after work. I had plans to meet up with a good friend for tea, and I thought that these would be perfect! They came from a listing of Christmas cookies, but I figured that lemon sandwich cookies really work any time of year.
I had purchased some clear sanding sugar with the intent to make these a long time ago, and that’s the only unusual item that’s required for these cookies. I’m sure that you could just roll the dough in granulated sugar, but they wouldn’t have the nice sparkle that the sanding sugar provides.
The dough was very easy to make. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to get all of the flour mixed in, but I only had one little bit that didn’t mix completely. The dough is very soft so you can’t handle it too much. You don’t want to make the dough balls very big, or the sandwiches will be way too big when you are done. The cookies don’t look very different after they were baked, they don’t really brown at all, they do flatten a little but that’s all. I baked them the minimum time and they seemed ok.
The filling was a bit tricky. I made it exactly as the recipe specified and the filling was way too soft. If I would have tried to sandwich the cookie together they wouldn’t have stuck! I ended up adding about ½ cup more powdered sugar to stiffen the filling, which seemed to help some. The filling was still really soft and they didn’t fully set until I put them in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
These are the perfect little tea cookie. They have a wonderful lemon flavor, they are soft and crumbly but still have a bit of a crunch from the sanding sugar. The filling does soften if you take them out of the refrigerator for too long, so they are best stored cold.
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar (or more, as required)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.
Beat together butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in zest and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a soft dough forms.
Roll one teaspoonful of dough into a ball and drop into the sanding sugar, turning to coat. Reshape if necessary and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3/4 inch apart, until baking sheet is filled.
Bake until tops are slightly cracked but still pale (bottoms will be pale golden), 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
To make the filling and assemble the cookies, beat together all filling ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Transfer to a piping bag or sealable bag and snip off a corner. Turn over half of cookies and pipe about 1/2 tsp filling on flat side of each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently.
Recipe from Sass and Veracity, who got the recipe from Gourmet