Perhaps if you saw this Christmas Cookie gift box on Monday’s post about the amazing Cranberry Pecan Bars, you were wondering about the other cookies in the box.
Those lovely little frosted numbers on the left are Iced Lemon Coconut Cookies. Sweet and Tart.
I’ve made 4 new recipes (so far) for cookies this year and all of them are keepers.
As I was looking for cookie recipes in books and on Pinterest, I received a very timely package in the mail from my friend Wes in Minneapolis: The Annual Minneapolis Start Tribune Cookie Contest Issue.
Apparently this is the 10th anniversary of the cookie contest so they picked winners for this year as well as grand prize cookies from all of the previous years’ winners.
These Lemon Coconut Cookies were in the honorable mention category which means, if these cookies are any indication, the winning cookies must have magical powers.
Lemon and Coconut might not scream HOLIDAY cookie to you, but I really like to change things up and offer an assortment of flavors. It’s nice to have something a little tangy with all of the sugar cookies, gingerbread, and pumpkin offerings. As a bonus, these can be year round cookies. AND, they’re quick and easy to put together.
Here’s what you need:
Butter, Flour, Sugar, Egg, Vanilla, Coconut, Lemons, Lemon Extract, Salt, and Confectioner’s (Powdered) Sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Be sure you plan ahead and have 2 sticks of butter softened at room temperature.
Place 1½ sticks of butter (3/4 cup) in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar and mix together on medium high for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl and add 1 egg yolk. (You can save the egg white and scramble it up with a couple extra eggs for breakfast.)
To separate the egg, you can either use the back and forth method of shifting the yolk between the two halves of the shell OR you can simply break the egg into your (clean) hand and let the egg white slip through your fingers leaving the yolk on top. Sorry there is no picture, I need an assistant who is not a cat.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract. Please buy REAL or PURE extracts and not imitation. Your cookies and I thank you.
Mix in the egg and flavorings until they are well blended. Then turn the mixer down to the lowest speed and slowly add 1½ cups flour.
Mix only until the flour is incorporated then add 1½ cups flake coconut. Stir the coconut into the dough. Do not over mix.
This dough will be quite soft. Form the dough into small balls (slightly smaller than a ping pong ball…about 1 Tablespoon) and place them 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. The parchment is essential to keep the cookies from sticking and also to protect the bottoms from becoming too brown.
Press a fork into a little bit of granulated sugar and use it to slightly flatten the tops of the cookie balls.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until puffed and the bottoms are just barely starting to turn golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes to hold their shape, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, add the remaining 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) of butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar – also called powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the freshly grated zest from 1 lemon.
Add 3-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
If the icing is too thick, add more lemon juice a little at a time. I ended up using about 4 Tablespoons of juice total.
The icing should a little on the thin side, more like a glaze than a stand up cake icing. Carefully dip the top of each cookie in the icing
and place them on racks to set up. You can use the parchment sheet from the baking pans under the racks to catch any icing drips.
I’m a big fan of lemon cookies. These remind me a bit of those big, soft Archway lemon cookies we used to get from the store when I was a kid. I’m not THAT old, but I remember when store bought cookies (and yes, twinkies) didn’t have a shelf-life in years.
These are light, fresh, and tangy. Perfect little iced lemony bites of goodness.
Here’s the recipe: from The Minneapolis Star Tribune thanks to Wes!