Ever since I was child, my grandmother has always made the same delectable lemon cookies. They are soft, sweet, a bit lemony and very delicious. Similar to how families tend to pass down “family recipes” throughout the generations, these lemon cookies are a part of my family. Every visit to my grandmother’s house has always been accompanied by a batch of lemon cookies, which I am always delighted to eat.
While my grandmother has been making these cookies for years, I never had the chance to help her bake them, and so the recipe has always been a mystery to me. The thought that I will never know how to make my grandmother’s famous lemon cookies saddened me, and so I asked her if I can help make a new batch of cookies this week and she obliged.
Now I will help spread my grandmother’s recipe throughout the world with this blog post. Please follow along! I’ll be noting down step-by-step instructions on how to make them.
So, for this recipe you will need:
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of sugar
- 6 eggs
- 6 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 6 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of icing sugar
- 1 measuring cup
- 1 citrus juicer (I used a manual one)
- 1 grater
- 1 baking tray
My grandmother used a recipe that she wrote down 50 years ago (as you can see from the picture). As I held the piece of paper between my fingers, I felt like I was holding a piece of history.
Anyway, let’s get started. So, the first step in this recipe is to measure out 6 cups of flour. You will then take the flour and create two concentric circles with two distinct wells. The final result will look like a doughnut of flour within another doughnut of flour (see picture). Make sure you do this step on a flat clean surface like a table. The next step is to add quite a few ingredients to the center of the smaller circle. First ingredient is lemon zest. In order to make lemon zest, you will need to grate the entirety of a lemon peel. Once this is done, you may add it to the center of the smallest circle. Next, measure 1 cup of sugar and add it to the center. Finally, the last ingredient that should be added to the center is 6 eggs. To do this, crack all 6 eggs into a cup and add them all at once.
Now, once this step is complete, we can move on to the outer well. First, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the outer well. Next, measure 1 cup of vegetable oil and also slowly add it as well. Finally, take 6 teaspoons of baking powder and add it to the outermost ring made of flour (not inside the oil).
Once you have made it to this step, congratulations, you are almost there! You have added all of the ingredients required to make these cookies onto the table. Next comes the kneading, which is where you will mix all of the ingredients together so that you can create the cookie dough.
Kneading should start within the smaller circle. First mix around the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, inner flour circle, oil and vanilla together with your hands in a circular motion. Try to bring all of the ingredients to the middle and mix. Next, slowly mix in the outer flour ring to the middle. Squishing the mixture between your fingers is key. Once everything is mixed together, continue to knead the dough until it looks like the final picture shown. The end result should be a slightly sticky and yellow dough ball.
So, now that you’ve got your dough, you can make your cookies!! Slightly flour your cooking surface. Then, scoop out 1 tablespoon of your dough and place it on top of your floured surface. We will be creating braided cookies. To do this, gently roll your piece of dough into a thin tube (kind of like how children roll play doh into little “snakes”). Next, to braid the cookie, take the 2 ends of the tube and cross them. Once you do this, your cookie should look like the lower-case alpha symbol (α). Next, hold the cross you just made with one hand, and take the top loop of your cookie and turn it counter-clockwise two times. Do not be discouraged if you cannot get it on your first attempt, I certainly didn’t.
Then place your cookies on your baking tray and put them in the oven for 20-25min at 300°F. While the cookies are baking, you can commence the final step of this cookie recipe: making the icing. To do this, simply add 1 squeezed lemon, 2 tablespoons of water (add more or less depending on how thick you want your icing), 1 tablespoon of melted unsalted butter, and 1 cup of icing sugar to a bowl. After you mix this all together, the end result is a thick white paste. After 20-25mins, the cookies should be done, and you can take them out of the oven to cool. Once cooled, you can spread the icing over top of each cookie. And hooray, you are done! The final product is some amazing lemon cookies.
Taste review: This is the first time I had lemon cookies freshly out of the oven and they were awesome! They were so soft and warm. They melted in my mouth. The sweet taste of the lemon was so satisfying. I loved them so much!! I tried the cookies with and without icing, and I might actually prefer them without icing (although as a child the icing sugar was my favorite part). Overall, cooking with my grandmother was a wonderful experience. It was nice to finally take part in the making of a cookie that I have eaten since childhood. I hope you all enjoyed my grandmother’s recipe as well!