May just screams lemon to me. Some people feel like citrus is a good Holiday/Christmas time flavor. I just don’t get that. I am more of a Spring/Summer citrus gal. Last month I made some Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and last week I shared a recipe for some incredible Lemon Bars. This week I wanted to do a Lemon Cookie. And wow, did this create quite the kitchen episode.
Originally I had chosen a Lemon Cookie recipe by Cooks Illustrated. It was more of a shortbread, prepared with cold butter pulsed together with the dry ingredients and egg in the food processer. Then dough is then rolled into a cylinder and chilled in the refrigerator. From there it is a slice and bake situation. SO I went through the motions and fully baked these cookies and set them out to cool. As they were cooling on the counter I ran out to the store to do a quick errand. When I returned, there was nothing left but crumbs. My sister-in-law who I have recently begun living with has a dog. This dog ate ALL of my cookies. Obviously, I am not used to having dogs around and didn’t even think my leaving without wrapping up the cookies through… but WOW, was I upset. I didn’t even get to taste one!
Since I was so determined to share a Lemon Cookies recipe with you, I decided to turn to a quicker, simpler recipe that had caught my eye in the past- Lemon Burst Cookies. A verrrrry easy recipe that can be assembled and in the oven within 5 minutes. It was exactly what I needed to solve my dilemma because I wasn’t about to go through the steps of making shortbread again.
These Lemon Cookies are made from a boxed cake mix using the basic “box cake mix made cookie formula”- 1 box cake mix + 2 eggs + 1/3 cup vegetable oil = cookies. You can do this with ANY boxed cake mix. The only difference with the recipe is that is packs 4 levels of lemon flavor- the cake mix, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. That’s why they are called Lemon Burst Cookies! They are just exploding with lemon flavor. However, using the extra 2 Tb of juice produces a slightly cakier cookie. If you want a chewy cookie, just omit the juice. And you have a few options for adorning these. You can roll the dough balls in confectionary sugar and bake them like that, creating a crackled appearance when finished. OR you can bake them straight from the batter and then glaze them. I chose this option since I found the dough to be incredibly sticky. But honestly, you can skip either option, leaving them plain and they would still be delicious.
- 1 (18.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 Tb lemon juice
- ½ tsp lemon extract
- ⅓ cup confectioner’s sugar
- Glaze (optional):
- 1½ cups confectionary sugar
- 1 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tb lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract until well blended.
- Place confectioner’s sugar in a bowl.
- Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in confectioner’s sugar until lightly coated and place on baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For Optional Glaze: Mix all ingredients together in small bowl until well combined. Frost cookies.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker