Soft and crumbly butter cookies with a delicate lemon flavor.
Today’s recipe comes from the beautiful bakery Miette in San Francisco. I’ve been in love with this place ever since the first time I set eyes on it. Their mini treats and cakes are flawless and look almost too pretty to eat.
Flavor and texture
I was pleasantly surprised by how perfectly tender these buttery cookies were as opposed to the tough butter cookies I’m used to. If your cookies turn out tough or too hard, you either over-mixed the dough or baked them a little too long.
The cookies have a great flavor and texture, so I wouldn’t change a thing in the recipe except for maybe trying to add a bit more lemon zest next time to slightly enhance the lemon flavor. There’s plenty of it already, but I just love lemon! They would be perfect to serve with tea or to give out as gifts.
Rolling the dough
The original recipe says to roll the dough out into a ½-inch thick 6×4-inch rectangle, and then cut the dough into 1-inch squares. I use a different method that I find to be simpler and which doesn’t require rolling out the dough; that is, shaping the dough into a log, freezing it, then cutting it into rounds.
Freezing the dough can help you cut it into neat rounds, and also keeps the cookies from spreading during baking, so I highly recommend it. After shaping, you can freeze the dough for up to several weeks if you don’t want to bake it right away.
- 2/3 cup (130 g/4.5 oz) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 2 cups (280 g/10 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks/227 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, toss together sugar and lemon zest until well combined (you can use a mortar and pestle or rub using a fork).
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, butter, salt, and baking soda and beat on low speed until it resembles cornmeal, 3-4 minutes. Add lemon sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until just clumped together.
- If the dough is soft, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Otherwise, on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, work the dough until it comes together, then divide in half. Shape each half of dough into a log that is 1-1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze (my preference) for at least 30 minutes or until set. Dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
- Once the dough is cold enough, use a very sharp knife to slice the log into ½-inch thick rounds. They will look a bit thick, but they’ll spread during baking. If the dough is too crumbly and breaks, leave it for a few minutes to soften or just squeeze any broken bits back into each cookie.
- Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets, placing them 1-2 inches apart. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. When done, the cookies should still appear quite soft, not firm. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar one more time if you like. Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.
- Serve cookies warm or at room temperature.
- Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, bringing to room temperature before serving. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Recipe is slightly adapted from Miette’s Book