Like a Snickerdoodle in New Clothes: Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

My good friend Kristina writes the "In the Kitchen With" column on Design*Sponge, where each week she shares a new recipe from a designer or blogger.  A recipe she featured for "Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies" from Cara and Phoebe at Big Girls, Small Kitchen recently caught my eye.  I think the simplicity of the cookie is what appealed to me -- the batter calls for only a few ingredients (butter, sugar, lemon zest, an egg, flour, salt, and baking soda) and the cookies can be baked immediately without the need for any chilling or waiting.

I followed the instructions for the cookie batter exactly as written, although I wanted to make smaller cookies than the "giant" ones specified in the recipe, so I used a #50 scoop to portion out the dough.  I also rolled each cookie in a mixture of sanding sugar and lemon zest before baking.  The recipe doesn't call for zest in the sugar used to coat the cookies, but I love lemon flavor and I generally think that more lemon is better.

Although the cookies in the photos accompanying Kristina's post are completely uncolored and the recipe says that the tops of the cookies should remain pale, I found that the cookies were a little underbaked unless I left them in the oven until the tops were just slightly golden.  I didn't flatten my cookies before baking, but they spread beautifully.  I also spread on a little more lemon sugar while the cookies were cooling (since sugar mixed with zest is slightly damp, it actually sticks to the cookie even if you apply it after baking). 

My finished cookies were 2.75 inches in diameter, and I got 36 cookies from one batch of dough.  If you made only the 20 cookies per batch as specified, they would in fact be giant.  These cookies have a moist chewy texture and they are just delicious -- buttery and lemony, with a nice sweet crunch from the sanding sugar.  I'm glad I added the extra zest into the sanding sugar; the bright lemon flavor in the cookies comes through beautifully.  My first reaction when I took a bite is that these cookies taste like snickerdoodles that are flavored with lemon instead of cinnamon; the dough (minus the lemon zest) is basically the same as a snickerdoodle.  I also think that these cookies would probably be excellent if made with lime instead of lemon.

This cookie is just lovely, and it provides a great return on very little effort.

Recipe: "Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies" from Big Girls, Small Kitchen, as featured in In the Kitchen With on Design*Sponge.


Can I come over and get one of these right now. They sound so good!