When life hands you lemons…

On the phone with a friend recently, I noticed he seemed a little melancholy. I decided it would be a nice gesture to bake him some cookies for his upcoming birthday and possibly brighten his week.

Up until now, these were the only lemon cookies I’d ever tasted.

Knowing he loves anything lemon flavored, I scoured the internet for lemon cookies. Up until now, the only lemon cookies I’d ever seen were the ones that came in a box. You know, the Lemon Coolers with a powdered sugar layer on top that made a mess everywhere.

When I saw Food & Wine’s Lemony Butter Cookies had a 5-star rating, I jumped in.

Lemon Coolers aren’t the only things missing from the store shelves

This recipe calls for three things I don’t regularly keep in my pantry: lemon zest, juice and confectioners sugar.

It turns out, one of these items not regularly kept at my local grocery store either.

After swiftly grabbing two lemons, I went down the baking aisle and searched… and searched. I’m not kidding when I admit, I got down on the floor to look at the bottom shelf. It wasn’t there.

So, I swapped out the sugar for a juicer, (why I didn’t already have one of these, I’ll never know) and headed for store No. 2.

Once I finally secured the sugar, it was time to tackle this tart treat.

A tbsp of zest

This step actually added to my exercise ring on my Apple Watch.

There are only a few steps to creating this concoction, so I was stoked for an easy evening.

After turning on the oven and mixing the sugar and butter, it was time for the key ingredient: lemons.

Do you know how long it takes to zest a tablespoon of lemon zest? A friggin’ long time. My arms were tired when I was finally done with this cumbersome chore.

Ground turkey?

From ground turkey to cute lemon drops & discs.

With the lemon zest and juice added, I dropped in the flour and salt and mixed. For some reason this blend looked like ground turkey. The elements in my mixing bowl were light off-white curds.

I started pressing the material together, and suddenly I had a full-blown dough ball.

Pulling off pinch after pinch of the ball, I created one-inch orbs that covered my two baking sheets. The ground turkey suddenly looked like cute little lemon drops.

Following the instructions, I then flattened each one into small discs.

Turns out – I pinched my dough a little smaller than the recipe calls for, so I ended up with 60 of these treats.

Glazed over

So. Many. Cookies. This was just the first round.

When I realized how many cookies were coming out of the oven, I was very concerned about the glaze planned to top them.

With the rest of the lemon juice and zest, the blend barely covered the bottom of my mixing bowl.

Somehow – there was enough (I should never question Food & Wine), and I was even able to double up on a few of the confections.

Miscalculation = treat for me!

I’d planned to give my friend a mixture of chocolate chip and lemon cookies, and thanks to my miscalculation, I was able to give him 36 (the same as his age) and I still had enough to treat myself!

Apparently with the holiday approaching, my friend found himself in a sugar storm. A number of his friends gave him cookies for the holidays. When I asked him later what he thought of the batch I’d sent him, he simply said, “Those lemon cookies were my favorite.”

I knew it!

These tart treats were so good, I plan to make them again for Christmas. But, my next batch will have a twist: I’m adding a tie-dye glaze for the holiday!

Groovy Christmas!

36 cookies for my 36-year-old friend.