Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Giant Lemon Sugar Cookies



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When I was a little girl, bread not made at home came from a neighborhood bakery. These were, of course family operations, and tradition dictated that children be given a free cookie when they came into the store. Though grateful, I was always disappointed because I had my eyes on bigger things. I desperately wanted one of the giant sugar cookies displayed in the shop window. While they never made it to our market basket, there were times when two or three carefully wrapped eggs or a hunk of butter did. During the war years, bakeries were exempt from the rationing imposed on the general population and bakers, interestingly, were also exempt from the draft. No one talked much about it, but our early birthday cakes were almost always the results of negotiations with the baker, who did very nicely for himself during the war years. I'm convinced my love of giant and monster cookies dates back to that period of my life. I love to buy them, I love to bake them, and I certainly love to eat them. It's true I've gotten fussy over time. Most of the commercial variety taste like frosted cardboard, so I've taken to making my own. This is one of the recipes I've collected for them, and because this week is dedicated to all things lemon, I thought you might enjoy my giant lemon sugar cookies. They're not half bad, and if you like lemon, you'll probably love them. You'll find the flavor and ease with which they can be made, improves the longer the dough is chilled. I prepare the dough a day before I plan to shape and bake the cookies. These are really easy to do and the raw cookie dough also freezes well. I hope you'll enjoy them. Here's the recipe.

Giant Lemon Sugar Cookies ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar, divided use
Zest of 2 large lemons, divided use
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

1) To make lemon sugar: Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon lemon zest in the bowl of a mini-food processor. Pulse until lemon zest is incorporated into sugar. Pour into a small bowl and stir to break up any clumps. Set aside.
2) To make cookie dough: Combine flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with reserved 1-1/2 cups sugar. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon extract, lemon juice and reserved lemon zest. Add flour mixture, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition, until all flour is incorporated.
Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
3) To bake cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into balls using 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Roll in reserved lemon sugar. Bake in batches of six cookies per 18 x 13-inch baking sheets. Place balls of sugar coated dough on cookie sheets. Press down with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup until cookie is about 1/2-inch thick. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes. Remove tray from oven. Let cookie sit on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Yield: 24 saucer-sized cookies.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Monster Cookies - SwEEts
Monster Cookies - The Sweet's Life
Monster Cookies - Sweet and Savory Tooth
Monster Cookies - Brown Eyed Baker
Monster Cookies - The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Flourless Monster Cookies - Picky Cook

100 comments:

Meg Johnston said...

Wow, these actually look like lemon versions of the chocolate snickerdoodles I made today! The recipes are almost exact! Mine weren't quite that big though! I do love giant cookies :)

Fabi said...

Whow, I love these giant lemon cookies, I bet they're incredibly tender and tangy. Have a nice day dear Mary!

muppy said...

YUM, these look delicious. I am going to love lemon week :)

Katerina said...

In Greece we still have bakeries in the neighborhoods and these are the places where we buy bread. Usually our childhood memories follow us for the rest of our lives. The cookies look giant and delicious Mary!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Great photo, I can almost taste thes Lemon sugar cookies. The look just delicious. Diane

crustabakes said...

That was a heartwarming childhood story. I love your big giant cookies. And the fact that they are lemon flavoured makes them that much more wonderful. YUM!

Three-Cookies said...

Interesting to read about rationing during the war. I wonder why bakers got special treatment - maybe because they play a crucial role supplying a staple item? Those giant cookies are also great if we are only allowed a certain number per day:)

Yasmin said...

Oh my Noses! I think I'm in heaven! I'm in Citrus Heaven! I knew I wanted to return here for a reason! Yum, lemon is my absolute favourite flavour and you have so many scruptious recipes with lemon in them!! Please give me more... :D

Ana Rita said...

My son will love these ones, 'cause he loves lemon...
And who wouldn't like a giant cookie???When we are kids all the bigger things are better than the smaller!

Kiss,
Rita

Priya said...

Cookies looks damn pretty..

Sushma Mallya said...

its come out so perfect..

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

This is right up my alley Mary! Can't wait to make them-thanks:@)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

My eyes lit up especially when I got to the YIELD: 24 saucer-sized cookies!! Heaven!! Blessings to you this day, Mary!

Hélia said...

I loved theso cookies, I have lots of lemos hera at home, i'll be doing them probably today.

kisses

Helia

The Blonde Duck said...

Bigger cookies always taste better.

From the Kitchen said...

I can postpone my diet a day or two longer. And I do like cookies that can be made up one day and baked the next.

I hope you have a day as bright as your cookies!

Best,
Bonnie

Lucie said...

I'll definitely be making these in the next week--I love huge cookies as well and have enjoyed them ever since I was allowed to have one a few times a month when we went on trips to the grocery store. One of the few store-bought cookies I could have! I can't wait to make these.

Suman Singh said...

WOW..I Love these giant lemon cookies..lemon is one of my favorite flavor to use in baking and cooking..thanks for sharing the recipe..
Have a nice day!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

It must be full of lemon aroma! Sound so good.

highplainsdrifters said...

You had me at "giant"!!

highplainsdrifters said...

I had never heard that about WWII rationing. Interesting.

My mom sent me a Confederate Army cookbook. Now, THAT was rationing. Coffee made out of roasted okra or acorns. Mock apple pies with lemon rind, tantaric acid (whatever that is) and whatever spices they could get their hands on. Cheers!

Jenn said...

I love lemon sugar cookies! They are right behind my favorite chocolate chip cookies! These look so lovely, Mary. I need to make a batch of these this weekend!! Thanks so much for sharing...and I love the story about your youth!

Tasha said...

My little one loves lemon, and even more so he loves cookies. What a special treat this would be for him!

Priyanka said...

Awesome as usual.....loved it :)

Carol said...

They look fantastic! I'm really enjoying your lemon week, looking forward to more!

Jean said...

they look ultra irresistible! i'll like them as big as my face! hahahh

Jeannie said...

Lovely! I quite fancy the giant size of these cookies:D

aipi said...

What a wonderful treat ..tangy n refreshing!:)


US Masala

Valerie said...

I love lemons! These cookies look spectacular...I can almost smell the warm citrus through the computer. :-)

Mickey said...

Love these cookies Mary. They look delicious and easy to make.
mickey

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I love just about anything lemon! I'm using it more and more, in fact I've started keeping a pitcher of lemon water in the fridge! I'm going to have to make these!

Thank you for the background information about the bakers during the war, I had never heard that. It's always nice to learn something about cooking.

If you have some time, please come by for dessert, it's sinful! Have a lovely day!

Mary

June said...

They look fabulous and will be a perfect solution to all the lemons I still have hanging out in the refrigerator.

paula MARIANA said...

I read the sad story mary, thank god now everything is different..

I Love lemon cookies Mary, DELICIOUS AND GORGEOUS thank you for the recipe.
KISSES.!!

Anna A. said...

Love your bakery childhood story and these lemon cookies look divine!

A Year on the Grill said...

Have you been feeling left out recently... I haven't made anything from your blog for a long time.. this is on my list this week... excellent as always!

Dave

Rita said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Mary and thanks for your kind words! Your blog is amazing! Your pics are so clear and tempting that make my mmouth drool...
And these cookies have such a flattering look! They'd be great to be served with tea. Mmmmm... I wish I could have some now with my cup of tea (I have no cookies to eat in this moment...)

Shelley said...

What an interesting story- maybe bakers were exempt fromt eh draft to improve morale with their delicious treats? Your cookies look divine! I love the addition of lemon. Great idea!

Chele said...

Mmmmmmmm, that picture is so tempting. And HUGE too, lets face it if you are going to have a cookie you may as well do it justice ;0)

Memória said...

Oh wow!! These cookies look amazing. I made lemon sugar cookies a while ago, but your recipe seems to yield cookies with a stronger lemon taste, which I like!! Thanks!

Clint said...

These look wonderful. They wouldn't last long with Cindy and me. Thank you!

That Girl said...

You're certainly on a lemon kick! Got anything for us orange lovers?

Pam said...

Love your lemon cookies. I can only imagine how delicious they taste. Great photo also. Hope you're having a wonderful day, Mary!

RamblingTart said...

I love this story, Mary. :-) Sugar cookies were the cookies I craved and longed for most as a child. My Mother was of the whole wheat and carob chips variety at the time, so these white beauties glistening with white sugar were pure heaven. :-) I can't wait to try this lemon version. :-)

PeggyR said...

Love the story and the cookies look great!

Joanne said...

those cute little mom and pop bakeries are way too few and far between these days. I love these giant cookies. Especially your lemon infusion!

lisa said...

Beautiful perfect cookies! Delicious + gorgeous.

Linda Nelson (Lemon Drop) said...

I just finished making a big batch of these. They are fantastic ! the dough is very easy to work with, they spread out perfectly during baking. Delish !

Ari said...

this look delicious, now I know what to do with my 4 lemons waiting in my kitchen :)

Harika's Kitchen said...

Lovely recipe awesome cookies.

Mateja ^_^ said...

My son is a lemon lover, even his favotite color is yellow! Love the way you did the lemon sugar which may also have other uses, right? Maybe to sweeten a cup of tea! Bookmarked!!!!! Thank you for sharing your childhood story and this wonderful recipe!!!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Your posts are simply the best Mary! You have so much knowledge to share and these cookies look just perfect!

Cheryl said...

I love lemon in just about anything, I cannot wait to make these!

lemonverbenalady said...

OMG, Mary! I grew up loving lemon flavored anything and sugar is my next favorite food group! Just wish I could reach out and grab one to go!

Rita said...

These are just perfect and I know I would that tart sweet taste with my cup of tea.Love anything with lemon.
Rita

Karen Harris said...

These look beautiful Mary. How nice these would be with a cup of Lady Grey.

ann said...

I love giant cookies and I love lemon. These are beautiful, Mary.

Choclette said...

With food so plentiful now, it's hard to imagine just what a special treat a cake would have been. Your lemon cookies sound amazing and look lovely too.

Carrie said...

I actually justs baked some sugar cookies this week. This sounds like such a fun twist! I'll have to stock up on my lemon items and try this out soon.

teresa said...

i just adore anything with lemon in them, these are so bright and cheery, they remind me of spring!

Linda Nelson (Lemon Drop) said...

Hi Mary - thanks for allowing me to repost your recipe on my blog. I have just uploaded it plus pics. And yes, our family of 6 are in LOVE with them !

http://lemondropsfoodie.blogspot.com/2011/02/giant-lemon-sugar-cookies.html

Eliana said...

I love anything lemon so these cookies look perfect to me.

Sweet And Crumby said...

Love the story. Interesting that bakers weren't subject to rationing. Our family LOVES anything lemon and I will have to put them on the top of my to-do baking list.

Kim said...

I love a giant cookie and I love lemon a lot... I might bake these! Have a nice evening!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Tis the season to have citrus integrated into desserts. These look so bright and sunshine-y and purely delightful!

yummychunklet said...

These cookies look so cute all stacked up!

Simply Life said...

another great lemon idea - i love it!

Claudia said...

I love the lemon in it - most bakery sugar cookies seem to disappoint - yours look like the quintessential, beckoning cookie. Love the size of them! Not that's a cookie lover!

Susi said...

Mary, those are truly giant and certainly fantastic looking lemon cookies. I've proclaimed my love for anything citrus before, so I know these would be a hit with me. :o)

Heather said...

I love these cookies and all the lemon treats you have been baking. I must try my hand at making giant size cookies.

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Love these giant lemon sugar cookies and the memories that come with it too! My grandma used to own the only variety store in our village and she always gives me the biggest cookies. I guess I never forgot that 'cause I somehow tend to bake bigger cookies all the time!

Pondside said...

We're in Lemon Heaven here by the ponds this week, with all the lovely lemony recipes!

ARLENE said...

I've never seen or heard of lemon sugar cookies, but what a brilliant idea. I must try these.

Diana's Cocina said...

Loving your lemon fusion ~ What a lovely story.

A Busy Nest said...

These look perfect! I love the idea of a lemon sugar cookie.

JG said...

Yummy, a giant warm Lemon Sugar Cookie and a cup of tea would be so good.

Alessandra said...

I love the cookies, and very much appreciate (and relate to) your story, even if I didn't grow up during war rations.

Ciao
Alessandra

Valérie said...

That's a fascinating story, Mary. I love giant cookies, they're just fun! These look scrumptious!

Angela said...

Yum! These look fantastic. I enjoyed learning a little about war rationing as well.

Sarah said...

My mouth is literally watering looking at those cookies and reading the recipe. I can almost taste the lemony goodness!

Kim said...

Bakeries are a magical place for children, no doubt. I loved your story.

These giant lemon cookies would be very dangerous for me to have around. I can see them being a real favorite.

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Your photo is so stunning, I can see the sugar crystals glistening. Wow.

I did not know about bakers being exempt from the draft. A practical decision.

Fondly,
Glenda

Ryan said...

Hi Mary, thanks so much for your nice comment on my blog! That was so sweet! By the way, these cookies look wonderful. I just printed them out to try because I love anything lemon. I'm really enjoying your blog as well. So many delicious recipes! Take care, Ryan

Catherine said...

Mary, These cookies sound wonderful..I must try them. Lemon is a staple in my house. I just cannot be without it. I use in in everything. I will try these cookies very soon. Blessings, Catherine

Rhonda said...

Mary, I'm going to have to take a sabbatical from your blog....lemon is my weakness! You are posting too many lemony treats!

Reeni said...

Your giant lemon cookies are like sunshine! I just love the tartness lemon gives to baked goods along with the sweetness. These are wonderful treats!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Oh, I wonder if I can persuade the bakeries downunder that giving a free treat is a necessary part of their business?!?!?!

These look magnificent!

Monet said...

What great memories...and what beautiful cookies. Don't you just love the brightness that lemon adds to simple baked goods? Thanks for sharing, sweet woman. Many blessing to you as the week unfolds.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Gorgeous! I love lemon with sugar cookies.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Oh these cookies are just perfect--so big and lemony--what a treat on a gloomy day! ;-)

Elaine said...

These look perfect, Mary. I just love a good citrus sugar cookie.

Mary said...

Those look so great!!!! Bookmarked!

Mary xx
Delightful Bitefuls

KitchenArtistry said...

These cookies look great. We'd love to feature your photos on kitchenartistry.com

sweet road said...

What a great story, I'm glad I stopped by your blog and got to read it. Not to mention how delectable those cookies look!

Sue said...

Basically I love anything lemon, and I just hit the mother lode on your blog this week! I love how you press down on the sugared dough with a glass, and the fact that they are "giant" is even better! Bookmarked:)

Hannah said...

Have you tried these with different extracts? Almond might be tasty!

Lynn said...

What an amazing blog you have here! I'm so glad I found you. We have a Meyer lemon tree, so all your lemon recipes will keep me mighty busy. Thank you!

Tracey S said...

I made these a few days ago. Absolutely wonderful!!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

I baked another of your sugar cookie recipes ... and can't wait to try this one, too.

Fondly,
Glenda

Anonymous said...

Can you roll out the dough and cut out shapes with ghis cookie dough?

Mary Bergfeld said...

You could try to roll well-chilled dough but I think you'll quickly become frustrated. This is a soft dough and not designed to roll and cut.

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