Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lemon ginger cookies

I made these cookies last weekend for my cousin's wedding. The original recipe makes thick cookies that you  slather with a lemon buttercream. Perfect showstoppers for a wedding, but it's hard to justify a buttercream sandwich for everyday eating.

cookies, stacked
{cookies, stacked}

The cookies by themselves on the other hand? They are perfect for an afternoon treat. The addition of almond meal makes the texture delicate and the flavor almost wheat-y. They're more lemon than ginger, though, and I'm a ginger addict. I think in the future I might try finely chopping crystallized ginger and adding it to the mix. You can double this recipe in a stand mixer with no problem at all.


Lemon ginger cookies (makes 18 if you're going for 3" cookies - original recipe from here)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted, ground (I used 4 oz of TJ's ready made almond meal, which is amazing and a huge time saver)

:: Mix the flour, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.

:: Whip the butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on high (I usually get this going and then measure out the rest of the ingredients).

:: Stir in the lemon zest, vanilla and almond meal.

:: Stir in the flour mixture. I found that it worked best if I used the mixer on low speed to incorporate most of the flour, but I had to finish it by working the dough by hand briefly. The dough is fairly dry but it rolls out beautifully once you refrigerate it.

:: Divide the dough in half and shape into discs. Refrigerate about one hour, to make the dough easier to handle.

:: On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc at a time to just under 1/4" thick (this is pretty thick, especially if you're used to rolling out 1/8", which is more standard) and cut your preferred shape. I used 3" scalloped edge circles. Set aside the scraps and then repeat with the second disc. Gently knead the scraps into a ball and roll them out to get a few more cookies. I only did one re-roll, although you might be able to eke out one more without affecting the texture too much. We just opted to eat the scraps instead.

:: Bake the cookies in a 325 degree oven for about 14 minutes, until the tops are firm and the bottoms are golden brown. You don't want to overbake them as they'll start to taste burned quickly. The original recipe suggested 20 minutes, but that was way too much for my oven (the little stack you see in the top picture is overbaked!). I would start checking at 14 minutes and add extra time if necessary.

These don't have any eggs - that's not a typo (trust me, I checked the original recipe about 20 times to convince myself I wasn't messing it up when I made them). They really don't need them. I was worried about the dough being cohesive enough, but it really does come together. Promise.


  1. Going to try theses bad boys, lemon and ginger are some of my favorites. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. these sound divine! I think I could convince myself that lemon buttercream is acceptable any ol day...

    1. If you'd like the lemon buttercream, it's super easy! Just a basic buttercream with powdered sugar + butter but you can use a few tablespoons of lemon juice instead of milk and add a bit of lemon zest.

      Luckily, I'm only a fan of buttercream on cake, so it's easy for me to resist!

  3. Those look so lovely! I love looking at photos of your baking projects- they never look quite so harried as mine do!

    1. It's all about the mise en place! I pre-measure everything. It makes a few more dishes, but it makes the whole experience so much more pleasant. And I wash dishes as I go along (so, while the dough is mixing, I'll rinse out the bowl that I had the sugar in) so I don't end up with a big pile of dishes at the end.

  4. These sound so good. My girls have challenged me to 52 cookies this yr... I will be adding these to my list!

  5. I'm prettttttttttty excited about these. Lemon and ginger is my favorite flavah combination.

  6. such a pretty cookie! and i do love the sound of the lemon buttercream...

  7. I love lemon and ginger together...pair it with some lemon ginger tea!

  8. Sounds/looks yummy, Rachel!


  9. yargh, these look lovely - and i appreciate the slimmed-down version!

    have i told you lately that 99.9% of the best recipes in my arsenal are your fault? the chocolate chip cookies i baked for my family for christmas (and for friends for new year's) and the bread i baked for my best friend this weekend both came to me via heart of light. i don't think i even liked baking until i started reading you. thank you, rachel.

    1. Ha! I guess I'll say you're welcome, but really it's a hard call with baking items. So much fun, but not nearly as useful as cooking. But it's always handy to have a few good recipes up your sleeve. I can only imagine that you are as good at baking as you are at everything else.

  10. They look so delicious! I must give this recipe a go some time!

    xo Kate

  11. Great recipe to hold on to a little bit of Christmas/Winter. We haven't gotten much snow yet it would be nice to stir this up with some milk and a fire:)

  12. Sounds delicious! Reminds me of something I used to stuff my mouth into when I was little.. I should make them sometime!


  13. I love lemon cookies. I have never tried them with ginger but can't wait to try your recipe. Do you have pictures of the cookies at your cousin's wedding?

    I found this cute video of a new cookbook for newlyweds and thought about your blog. I hope it inspires you for a blog post, maybe for Valentine's Day. Enjoy it!

  14. Those look so good!! such a yummy treat!

  15. Mmmm I'll have to try. We always run out of eggs so this is a great recipe to have on hand, thanks!

  16. This sounds delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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