Recipe Review

Martha Stewart’s Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies Are a Zesty Twist on a Classic Treat

published Dec 16, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

If you’re stuck on what to make for your Christmas cookie swap, Martha Stewart is here to save the day. She’s back at it again with another simple cookie recipe, but this time, it’s a sugar cookie infused with lemon zest and lemon juice — which offers a nice contrast to the sweetness of a typical sugar cookie. Plus, it has Martha’s stamp of approval, so you know it’s going to be good.

Martha’s Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies have a fairly straightforward recipe that doesn’t require chilling the dough, so if you’re in a hurry, they can be made in less than an hour. And, what’s even better is you probably already have the ingredients on hand (except maybe a lemon), as they’re all baking pantry staples.

To start, sift your flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Martha whisks the dry ingredients together to lighten the flour and get rid of any lumps. Once you’re done mixing, you’ll set aside the dry ingredients and move on to combining the wet ingredients. The OG of entertaining uses a stand mixer to combine everything, but a hand mixer and a large bowl will also work.

Next, cream together softened sticks of butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Martha notes that the brown sugar gives the cookies a nice color and a bit of added flavor. After the butter and sugar are combined, add the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Martha uses a lemon press to squeeze the juice right into the stand-mixer bowl. Lastly, you’ll combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.

“The beautiful thing about this dough is that once made, [you’re] ready to bake,” Martha said in the video tutorial. She uses an ice cream scooper to place the dough on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and recommends only baking three cookies per sheet as they spread in the oven. You’ll probably want to bake in batches or save preportioned dough scoops in the freezer so that you can have warm cookies whenever you want. Next, Martha flattens the dough a bit with her palm, then tops each cookie with a sprinkle of sanding sugar, water (applied with a pastry brush to help the sugar adhere), then another sprinkling of sugar for good measure. The double dusting of sanding sugar gives the cookies a glistening, crackly top that reminds me of the crunch of fresh snow under boots.

The cookies bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, until they’re a lovely golden color. She notes that these cookies are delicious — whether you enjoy them the next day, the day after that, and so on — and that they are an excellent cookie to add to your baking repertoire.

So as the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons — or if you’re just craving something sweet — make Martha’s Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies.

Watch the full video below and check out the recipe here.