Recipe: Dorie Greenspan’s Lemon Butter Cookies

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Every Thursday on the Good Food Blog we share a recipe from our archives.

Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan first shared this recipe for Lemon Butter Cookies with us on May 24, 2003.

Keep reading for the full recipe…

Lemon Butter Cookies (Sables au Citron)
from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan; recipe from Patisserie Lerch in Paris

(makes about 50 cookies)

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 large egg yolks, room temperature

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 – 1/2 lemons (to taste)

2 cups all purpose flour

Approximately 1/2 cup sugar for coating

Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, vanilla, and zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point. If the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s OK, just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather into a ball, and divided in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. Get the thickness right and the length you end up with will be fine. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until smooth and liquid. Spread the sugar out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from refrigerator, unwrap them and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch thick. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch space between them.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Packed airtight the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Makes about 50 cookies