Lemon Sparkler Cookies

Lemon Sparklers

We’re just days away from Christmas! Are you ready? I’ve not wrapped a single present yet, but I have been making scores of cookies. These Lemon Sparklers have been a crowd favorite with their crunchy exterior and cake-like interior. The dough is rolled in coarse sugar and as they bake, they puff and crackle in the oven. They glitter like jewels and look extra-pretty stacked on a serving plate.

Lemon Sparklers

The dough whips up in a jiffy, but you’ll need to chill it for at least 30 minutes before rolling the dough into balls. It will be easier to handle, and you should be able to roll it between between your palms easily. Portion the dough with heaping tablespoons to create walnut-sized balls, or use a cookie scoop to make the cookies uniform.

Lemon Sparklers

Coarse sugar is the magic ingredient that makes these cookies sparkle. If you don’t have sanding sugar, you can roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar and end up with Lemon Crinkles.

Lemon Sparklers

See? These are quite pretty too!

Lemon Sparklers

You’ll need to take a little extra care when transferring the  rolled cookies to the oven because they’ll want to slide around on the baking sheet. The sugar coating makes the dough balls un-sticky and they will easily roll around on the pan.

Lemon Sparklers

These are packed with a triple dose of citrus flavor: lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract. You’d think these cookies would be lip-puckering with all that lemon, but they’re not! They are sweet, delicious and highly fragrant.

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Lemon Sparklers

Yields about 2 dozen

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 (250g) cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon extract

1/4 teaspoon lemon yellow food color (optional)

2 1/2 cups (352g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon fine lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (100g) coarse sanding sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix again. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the lemon juice and extract. Add the food color, if using.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix on medium-low speed until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough in the mixing bowl for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the coarse sugar in a bowl.

Portion the cookies by the heaping tablespoon (or cookie scoop) and roll each piece into a walnut-sized ball between your palms. Roll each ball in the coarse sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffed, crackled and light golden around the edges.

Let the cookies stand on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: Swap the coarse sugar for powdered sugar, and bake as directed for lemon crinkle cookies.

Lemon Sparklers

Heather Baird
These cookies are packed with a triple dose of citrus flavor: lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon extract.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
30 minutes chill time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 dozen

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1/2 cup 113g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 250g cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon yellow food color optional
  • 2 1/2 cups 352g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 100g coarse sanding sugar

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix again. Scrape down the bowl and mix in the lemon juice and extract. Add the food color, if using.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix on medium-low speed until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate the cookie dough in the mixing bowl for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the coarse sugar in a bowl.
  • Portion the cookies by the heaping tablespoon (or cookie scoop) and roll each piece into a walnut-sized ball between your palms. Roll each ball in the coarse sugar. Place on the prepared cookie sheets about 2-inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are puffed, crackled and light golden around the edges.
  • Let the cookies stand on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Swap the coarse sugar for powdered sugar, and bake as directed for lemon crinkle cookies.
Keyword lemon zest
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Unknown
Unknown
3 years ago

These are so pretty & look so soft!
Kari
http://sweetteasweetie.com/birds-nest-breakfast-bowl/

Natalie
Natalie
3 years ago

YUM! These cookies look delicious! I love lemon cookies ♥

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Dear Heather: What color is the cookie if I don't use the food coloring? Thank you for your help!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Hi! They will be very pale yellow. ☺️

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you!

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Can you freeze the dough?

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Yes! It freezes well.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Yay!! I can't wait to make these!!! Thanks & have an amazing holiday!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

I made a batch of lemon sparklers today, and they are wonderful! Tasty and beautiful. Thank you for the recipe!

Ria
Ria
2 years ago

These were lovely! I made them pretty much as directed (just reduced the sugar by about 20%), rolling them in powdered sugar instead of sanding sugar, and I thought they were almost perfect. The only things I would change for the next batch would be to add even a little more lemon flavor– maybe a full tablespoon of extract or some extra zest– and reduce the baking time just a hair, because mine were cooked through at around 13 minutes in my fairly accurate oven, and I prefer my cookies a little on the softer side. Thanks so much for… Read more »