These Glazed Italian Lemon Cookies are a lemon cookie lovers dream! Lemon, cake-like cookies, bathed in a tart lemon glaze.
If you are a lemon lover and looking for a worthy addition to your holiday baking, look no further than these Glazed Italian Lemon Cookies.
The cookies themselves have a soft, cake-like texture, lightly flavoured with lemon zest. Once baked, they are bathed in a tart lemon glaze, then topped with a sprinkling of pistachios.
These are a lemon lovers cookie and while they would be nice for the Christmas cookie plate, they would also be perfect for Easter or just about any other time of year. They are so easy and delicious, you won’t want to just have them once a year!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Lemon – as you will need both lemon zest and lemon juice, you will need to start with fresh lemon. One large or two small lemons should be enough.
Pistachios – pistachios look especially pretty on these lemon cookies. Look for raw shelled pistachios.
- I love to glaze the entire top of the cookie, rather than just a spoonful. I think it helps the cookies stay fresh longer, but I also just really love the tart glaze :) You will use more glaze (and much will drip off while you are doing it), but it’s just a bit of icing sugar and lemon juice, so don’t hesitate to make a big batch and go for it!
- If you’d like to add some bling to your cookies, replace the pistachios with coloured sprinkles, small sugar pearls or festive coloured sugar crystals. I little lemon zest would also be nice.
- The size of your cookies is not nearly as important as ensuring that the cookies are mostly all the same size, so they cook evenly, at the same rate. They do puff up and spread a bit though, so make them smaller than the size you’d like your finished cookie to be.
Don’t attempt to roll your dough on your counter or work surface. It will stick and frustrate you. Simply roll into the log shape between the palms of your hands and don’t fret about it being perfect looking or perfectly even thickness. It will be covered up with glaze when you are done, anyway :)
Making Ahead, Storing and Freezing
These cookies keep very well when stored at room temperature in an cookie tin. They are also pretty sturdy once the glaze sets, in case you need to travel with them.
You can freeze these cookies before glazing, but if glazed, the glaze doesn’t hold up especially well after freezing and thawing.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and levelled
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 eggs, *see notes
- Zest of 1 lemon, about 1 Tbsp
- 3 cups icing/confectioners' sugar
- 5-6 Tablespoons lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cooled, melted butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat together. Add the lemon zest and mix in. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove dough from fridge and working quickly (so dough stays cool), spoon out a heaping tablespoon and dough. Roll it into a ball between your palms, the press and roll gently to make a log about 3-ish inches long. Take the dough log and working on your baking sheet, coil it up, setting the outside end to rest slightly on top of the coil (sticking up a bit, rather than laying flat on the pan). Repeat with remaining dough, placing on baking sheet at least 2-inches apart. *If your dough gets warm and sticky to work with at any point (or between batches), simply cover and place back in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Once your baking sheet is full of formed cookies, place the cookie sheet with the cookies into the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350F. (regular bake setting/not fan assisted)
- When cookies have chilled, place into preheated oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until set and lightly golden on the bottom and outside edges.
- Let stand on the baking sheet for 1 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Place a big piece of parchment paper under your cooling rack to catch drips and for easy clean-up.
- Prepare glaze by combining icing/confectioner's sugar with lemon juice until you have a glaze that will fall off a spoon, but not too thin that it looks like it would immediately run off the cookies. Using a spoon, drizzle generous spoonfuls of glaze over cooled cookies, coaxing it towards bare areas as needed, until the entire top of the cookie is covered. Once you have done 3 or 4 cookies, stop and sprinkle on the pistachios or other topping you are using, so they will stick to the glaze before it hardens.
- The glaze will set up by itself if left undisturbed on the countertop, but I like to pop them into the fridge to set up more quickly.
- Once the glaze has set, transfer to a cookie tin and store at room temperature.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!