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Several lemon crinkle cookies stacked on a white napkin with colored dots.

Easy Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Since Lemon Crinkle Cookies are a crowd-pleaser, let me tell you this is the only recipe you'll ever need. They’re simply sensational! Perfectly tender, easy to make and with a fresh lemon flavor. I'm hooked.

  • Total Time: 52 minutes
  • Yield: 30 medium cookies

Ingredients

Units
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, to roll cookies

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper, or grease the bottoms.
  3. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix butter and sugar well.
  4. Add vanilla, egg, lemon juice and zest and mix well until creamy.
  5. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and soda, and add it to the butter mixture. (I suggest you sift the baking soda since it can sometimes have lumps that will not disintegrate during baking).
  6. Mix until it forms a ball and is well blended with no dry spots.
  7. The dough at this point might be too soft and sticky to form into balls. Refrigerate it for a few hours until soft but easy to roll between your palms.
  8. Put powdered sugar in a shallow dish or bowl. Make walnut size balls with the lemon mixture, and roll them in the powdered sugar, coating well.
  9. Place them in the baking sheets spacing them a bit.
  10. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes, until they barely start to color, are crinkled and rather dry on top.
  11. Let cool on wire rack and keep in tins or airtight jars or containers.
  12. I find that they taste more lemony 1 or 2 days after they are baked.

Notes

  • Organization: read the recipe first and make sure you have ingredients at the right temperatures, equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. Use a thermometer inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that the temperature is right. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Lemon: use fresh lemon juice and don't skip it, it makes all the difference. You can use less though, maybe 1 tablespoon instead of two. The amount of lemon zest can vary according to your taste. I don't recommend increasing the amount of juice because it adds liquid to an already somewhat soft cookie.
  • Extra lemon flavor: use up to a teaspoon more lemon zest or add pure lemon extract or lemon paste. Unless you regularly use them, start small and see how you like them. I use pure ones like Nielsen Massey pure lemon extract or Mc Cormick culinary pure lemon extract. There are artificially flavored ones that you can use if you know are good, like Frontier lemon flavor.
  • Dough: you can keep it in the refrigerator for several days, just make sure it is covered. Or freeze it for up to a month, well wrapped in plastic. As I said before, the dough can be more or less sticky depending on the weather, the size of the egg, and the amount of juice you use. You might need to refrigerate it before making the balls.
  • Baking: I like them rather soft, but you can keep them a few minutes longer. They will color more and be crunchier. The effect of the sugar will be somewhat lost, but the flavor will be fantastic. Keep in mind what I said about the cracks: each batch will deliver different patterns and sometimes the sugar melts almost completely.
  • Storing crinkle cookies: keep them in tins, containers, or jars with tight-fitting lids. You might taste more lemon flavor a few days after you bake them.
  • Variation: skip the rolling in powder sugar and bake fabulous regular lemon cookies. They will be more lemony and less sweet. I love this version. Love it.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/25
  • Calories: 72
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 76.9 mg
  • Fat: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.1 mg

Keywords: lemon crinkles