St. Valentine’s Lemon Butter Cookies

February 10, 2018

in Cook What You Like, Cookies and Confections



pt Valentine Lemon Butter Cookie

Oops!  Is that holiday almost here?   Are you almost out of time but you want to give something that says “I think you’re special”?

Check out this fast and versatile recipe for Lemon Butter Cookies.  Soft in the middle with crisp edges, the cookies’ dough is made with just a few ingredients.

During the 30-minute chill time, you can make a small design, such as a heart, out of paper (fold paper in half and cut half of a heart, unfold and wha-la!).  Then find something colorful to imprint the design – beet, matcha tea, or chili powders, ground cinnamon or turmeric, or cocoa.  The little bit of color won’t impact the flavor of the cookie but it makes a big impact on your sweet ones.

The cookies pictured are flavored with the zest from a Meyer lemon – other citrus zests can also be used  – orange or lime.  Or add 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg or ground cardamom to the dough.

Cut out the cookies with scalloped or plain round cutters.  Imprint them with you fave cookie stamp or the bottom of a glass.   Make these cookies as your heart desires and show them your love.

Recipe: St. Valentine’s Lemon Butter Cookies

The heart in the middle of the cookies pictured above is made from beet powder:  position stencil on cookie holding down stencil if necessary.  Lightly dust powder over design.  Alternatively, dip finger into powder and smear over stencil.  Spray lightly with a fine water mist to set design.


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • color design powder options:  beet, matcha tea,  chili powders; ground cinnamon, turmeric, cocoa


  1. Make dough and chill:  with a hand-held mixer, cream butter, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Still using the mixer, beat in egg yolk, lemon zest, extract and salt.  With a wooden spoon, mix in flour in 2 parts to make a crumbly dough.  Dump the dough on to a large piece of plastic wrap and if necessary, press dough together by pulling the plastic wrap over the sides of the dough.  Flatten into a disk, wrap completely, and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Line 2 to 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  3. Cut cookies:  after chilling the dough, work with a quarter of the dough at a time (keep the remaining pieces wrapped in the chiller), lightly flour work surface, and roll dough will a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thick –  a little thicker if using a cookie stamp.  Imprint with cookie stamp or cut with cutters, engage a metal bench to help loosen the dough from the surface if necessary.
  4. Stencil design onto cookies (see technique in head note).
  5. Bake at 350° F:  place cookies on baking sheet 1 1/2-inches apart and bake until edges start to brown, about 12 minutes depending on thickness and size of cookies.
  6. Cool and store:  cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.  Store cooled cookies in an airtight tin.  Cookies keep for about a week.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies depending on size.

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