Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

A few weeks ago I bought some buttermilk for a recipe that I never found the time to make.  Sound familiar?  So I froze the buttermilk.  In my fridge were some lemons that also had been there awhile.  I was glad to see several blogs this week that featured a cookie recipe that was originally published in Gourmet magazine.  It got good reviews and as I had all the ingredients and needed a desert for a family egg hunt today, I made a batch.

They are good!  We'll be making these again soon.  They remind me of a cookie I used to make from the Betty Crocker cookbook that had sour cream as an ingredient.  I did make quite a few changes, however.  I love lemon and I felt that they could definitely be more vibrant and have more of a lemon presence.  I substituted lemon juice for the buttermilk in the glaze.   I also felt that the cookie needed more body so I added a bit more flour to the batter and I doubled the lemon zest as well. 

Here is my version.  Happy Easter!

Lemon Buttermilk Cookies  
For the Cookies:
3 C. + 2 Tab. unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp. lemon zest (4 lemons)
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
6 oz. unsalted butter (12 Tab.), at room temperature
1 ½ C. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. well-shaken buttermilk

For the glaze:
1 ½ C. confectioner sugar, sifted
3 Tab. fresh lemon juice

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter briefly, until creamy. Add the sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat well to mix. Add the vanilla, and beat briefly again. Mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in batches at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Drop the dough by level tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 ½ inches between each cookie. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, for about 11 minutes per batch. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 1minutes; then transfer them to a wire rack.

For the glaze, whisk together the confectioner sugar, and lemon juice. Brush the glaze onto the cookies and let set.

Makes 5-6 dozen cookies.


  1. I was just looking for a good lemon cookie recipe. LIke the one at Cutler's Cookies...I'm trying this one. And adding cornstarch. I'm almost positive they add it to theirs...this one looks yummy. thanks!

  2. Si, I haven't had the one at Cutler's. I guess I might have to try them.

  3. I didn't know you could freeze buttermilk! Thanks for the tip. I have a huge love for anything lemon. Your cookies look so inviting with the glaze and zest on top. I'll let you know when I've tried them.

  4. I never knew that you could freeze buttermilk! Good to know since I have a carton in my fridge that I didn't end up making the recipe for either. These cookies look awesome! Maybe I'll make them :P

  5. It freezes well. I don't know if you would want to drink it, but I don't drink it anyway. The texture is somewhat thinner after freezing but there is no difference when you bake with it. I never use a whole carton so I freeze it in portions for later use.

    Joanne, These cookies are really good. You should try a batch.

  6. I make a similar cookie but with ricotta instead of the buttermilk. These sound fantastic.

  7. This cookie sounds delish! I always have extra buttermilk so this is a great recipe for me!

  8. I saw this recipe a week or so ago and thought about making them. Love lemon and love to buttermilk in any baked good!

  9. This sounds really delish and like something my picky husband would even love.