For a light and flakey biscuit-meets-cookie experience, these lemony treats are a dream to sink your teeth into. The texture contrast of soft yet slightly crisp cookie with a citrusy tang, drizzled with a delicate sweet icing makes for a delicious spring treat, perfect for keeping on the counter, or as a dessert delight. Inspired by sun and outdoor afternoon iced tea, I bring you Lemon Biscuit Cookies.
Before we get to the cookies, let’s talk about baking powder. I don’t know about you, but for a long time, I had no idea what the difference between baking soda and its powder counterpart was. To break it down simply, both are leavening agents that cause dough and batter to rise, and both use carbon dioxide produced by a trigger in order to do so. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is activated by the addition of acid (think: volcano science project), and used along side brown sugar (slightly acidic!) in most recipes. The magic happens when wet ingredients are incorporated. You baking soda to cookie recipes so that you won’t get flat, cracker-like cookies. Baking powder is like your all-inclusive rising kit, and includes baking soda plus something acidic (a la cream of tartar). Add wet ingredients, and ‘poof’ you’ve got your reaction, and light fluffy flakey baked goods.
Back to the cookies. For the best flavor, use a fresh lemon and it’s peel for the zest. If you don’t have a zester you can use a veggie peeler to lightly peel off the thin yellow outer layer of skin, and then mince with a knife. I’m a big proponent of using a Silpat (silicone baking mat) for a natural nonstick surface that is reusable and really easy to rinse off. The result is evenly browned cookie bottoms that definitely won’t have you scrubbing the pan for burnt on dough. If you’re not convinced to run out to the store and buy one, you can also use parchment paper just as easily.
Lemon Biscuit Cookies
- ½ c. butter (1 stick), cubed & softened
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- ½ c. powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 1/3 c. powdered sugar
- water as needed (about 2 tsp.)
Mix sugar and water together until icing drizzles off the back of a spoon in a slow stream.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars.
3. Add egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix to incorporate all ingredients.
4. Add baking powder & salt & mix to incorporate.
5. Add flour, and mix until a dough is formed.
6. Cover dough with plastic, and let rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
7. Portion dough into 1 inch balls, and gently flatten to form little cakes about ½ inch thick.
8. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat about 1-2 inches apart.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until bottoms are golden.
10 Allow to cool, and then drizzle with icing if desired.