Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookies

Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookies on table, with plate of cookies in background

Double lemon satisfies your inner citrus freak

Love lemon? Then these soft, scrumptious cookies have your number. They pack a double dose of lemon (zest in the almondy cookie base, plus juice in the glorious glaze).

These cookies are great any time of year, but they’re particularly nice around the winter holidays, when many of us are looking for new recipes.

But be warned: These cookies are addictive. So stash some in a safe place if you want to have any left for Santa.


Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookies on table, with plate of cookies in background

Recipe:  Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookies

Mrs. Kitchen Riffs is the cookie baker in our household. She adapted this recipe from one my mother used for years to make almond crescents, with some additional tips she found in a recipe on Serious Eats.

Prep time for the cookie dough is about 20 minutes, with baking time of 12 to 15 minutes (though you may have to bake multiple sheets of cookies, so allow for that). After baking, the cookies need to cool for about 20 minutes before you can glaze them. So allow at least an hour and a half from start to finish.

Yield: About 6 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.

These cookies will keep for several days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Ingredients

For the cookies:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (see Notes)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1¼ cups superfine sugar (see Notes)
  • ~3 tablespoons grated lemon zest (see Notes)
  • 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ~1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Procedure

For the cookies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (see Notes).
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt).
  3. In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract, and mix well. Add the dry ingredients, then beat until well mixed (the dough will be soft). 
  4. Scoop out dollops of dough (see Notes) and place on baking sheets, leaving about an inch between cookies.
  5. Bake until the tops of the cookies are starting to set and the bottoms are just beginning to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Do not overbake.
  6. When done, remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to rest on their baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Then use a wide spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. While the cookies are cooling, you can make the glaze.
For the glaze:
  • In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together. Stir until smooth. 
For the final assembly:
  1. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze, or spoon the glaze onto each cookie. Add sprinkles or other decorations, if desired.
  2. Let the glaze dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then serve and enjoy. 

Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookie, overhead view on black

Notes
  • You can often find almond flour in the “gluten free” section of the supermarket. Or you can order it online (check Amazon.com or other sites that carry baking products).
  • We like Honeyville almond flour, but other brands work too. In most parts of the US, the most readily available brand is usually Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Almond flour tends to be naturally sweeter than wheat flour, so less sugar is better than more in this recipe. Almond flour also tends to make a chewier cookie.
  • If you don't have Kosher salt on hand, you can use plain table salt. In that case, though, I’d reduce the amount by about half since table salt is finer and more “condensed” than Kosher.
  • If you don't have superfine (caster) sugar on hand, you can make it easily. Just place some granulated white sugar in the food processor, and grind for a minute or so.
  • This recipe requires about 3 large or 4 medium lemons. The easiest way to zest them (i.e., grate their outer skins) is with a Microplane grater.
  • We’ve said it many times before, but we’ll repeat: Be sure to use high quality (pure) vanilla extract. Its flavor is so much better than the imitation kind.
  • Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and alcohol for several months. BTW, the FDA requires that pure vanilla extract contain at least 35% alcohol. If the label doesn’t say “pure,” that means it’s made from synthetic vanilla. The artificial kind is usually derived from the sapwood of several species of conifers—or from coal extracts! How appetizing (not).
  • The flavor of some imitation vanillas can be nasty. You don’t have to spend a fortune on pure vanilla extract, but getting decent quality does mean spending a bit more for something that’s not loaded with sugar or imitation flavoring. Do yourself a favor and get the real stuff.
  • Oven temperature is important for these cookies, so use an oven thermometer (most home ovens tend to be off by 20 degrees or more).
  • We’ve used all sorts of baking sheets for making cookies over the years, including expensive insulated sheets. Nowadays, we just use 11 x 17-inch (jelly roll) pans with 1-inch sides, and line them with parchment paper. They provide ample surface space and the sides keep the cookies from slipping off. Although some of the fancier sheets theoretically make for better results, none of them are likely to perform as advertised in the typical home oven, where baking conditions are sub-optimum at best. So we just go with what’s easiest to use—and quickest to clean up.
  • We find that a #60 disher (scoop) digs out just the right amount of dough for each cookie. (It’s called a #60 disher because the bowl is sized so that each scoop is about 9/16th of an ounce, or a little over 1 tablespoon. Thus, you’ll get 60 scoops per quart of dough when you use this size disher.)
  • These cookies will puff up as they bake, then sink down when you take them out of the oven.
  • Underdone is better than overdone with these cookies. So you really don’t want to overbake them—they dry out quickly, losing flavor and texture in the process.
  • If you’re not in the mood for glaze, these cookies are quite tasty all by themselves. Or coat them with powdered sugar for a finishing touch.
  • Looking for a cookie with a more noticeable almond flavor? Try our Wedding Cookies (aka Mexican Wedding cookies, aka Russian Tea Cakes).
Lemon-Almond Glazed Cookies on table, with milk and plate of cookies in background

Lemon Loves Cookies

“The glaze on these is wonderful,” I said. “But you know me—anything with lemon has my number.”

“I thought you’d like them,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I started out making your mom’s almond crescent cookies, but kinda took a detour.”

“More like a shortcut to terrific flavor,” I said. “Those almond crescent cookies are good, and a childhood favorite of mine. But these are better.”

“Maybe we’ll do the almond crescents next year,” said Mrs K R.

“Well, you have one more post opportunity in our Cookies and Cocktails series this year,” I said.

“Yes, but I’ve already got a recipe in mind,” she said.

“Any cookie I know?”

“Sort of,” she said. “But these went a little nutty and got mixed up with demon rum.”

Sounds like my kind of cookie!

You may also enjoy reading about:
Wedding Cookies
PB&J Thumbprint Coookies
Double Orange Dark Chocolate Cookies
Almond Sugar Cookies
Anise Drop Cookies
Cherry Winks
Chocolate Drop Cookie
Chocolate Pepper Cookies
Coconut Kisses (Macaroons)
Pfeffernüsse Cookies
Or check out the index for more recipes

100 comments:

  1. Hi John , you betcha , I was looking for a new Lemon cookie recipe and up popped your post , these are great and thanks to Mrs. K R , have a lot of cookie recipes but this is a must have . Love your post and I will be watching for the next cookie installment , thanks so much for sharing John . :)

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    1. Hi Nee, this is really a good one! Although I'm apt to say that about anything with lemon. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. One of the best things about the holiday season is cookies. This is really the only time of year you will actually find me in the mood to bake a batch or two. In fact I'm firing up the cookie factory later on this afternoon. These lemon cookies look and sound just wonderful. Give Mrs. KR my thanks for such a great recipe.

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    1. Hi Karen, we bake throughout the year, but much, much more in December. Have fun at the cookie factory! And thanks for the comment.

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  3. I love lemon cookies! They have to be my favourite cookies and shortbread too. Of course these are perfect because they are a combo! Love them, thanks Mrs KR!

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    1. Hi Nazneen, lemon is so nice in baked goods, isn't it? Or in anything! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. wow, finfer licking good cookies....
    my niece would dying lovin it for sure!

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    1. Hi Dedy, these really are great cookies! Lovely flavor. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. I adore lemon cookies! Double lemon? Yes, please!

    And they look perfect for the holidays as well!

    Great recipe!

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    1. Hi Kimberly, aren't lemon cookies da bomb? Lemon anything, really. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Tell Mrs KR that these look Delish! I'm with you - anything lemon I love especially when it's sweet. Nice recipe!

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    1. Hi Vicki, doesn't lemon have such wonderful flavor? I totally love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Yummy... I love lemon anything, John! May I have a cookie now?

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    1. Hi Lizzy, you certainly may have a cookie now! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I love lemon cookies too but cookies with demon rum? I'm all eyes! (I'd be all ears but well... it IS the interwebs)

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    1. Hi Maureen, those cookies will demon rum are worth waiting for. ;-) They have pecans, too. But you'll have to wait until next Sunday. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. These cookies are right up my alley! Love working with almond flour!

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    1. Hi Laura, aren't these nice? And almond flour is such good stuff! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Lemon anything gets my attention and I think I have almond flour. These look Christmasy to me.

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    1. Hi Madonna, aren't these nice? I so agree with you on lemon! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I'm a huge fan of lemon, too, and I can't wait to try these. The sprinkles make them look so festive!

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    1. Hi Beth, we're suckers for sprinkles. ;-) These really are a nice cookie - worth trying. Thanks for the comment.

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  12. It's the icing that makes me keep going back for more.
    if I had my way I would eat icing for breakfast, I know, bad, but I have the worst sweet tooth.

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    1. Hi Dawn, that topping really is so good - I love its flavors. We have another icing coming up next week. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I love anything citrusy. Love the sprinkes.

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    1. Hi Debra, citrus is so good, isn't it? And sprinkles are so much fun! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I love the idea of adding a lemon cookie to my holiday baking! These look marvelous!!!

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    1. Hi Liz, these really are festive little beauties! Totally delish. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I can't get enough of any baked good made with almond flour. The texture is just so wonderful, not to mention that great nutty flavor.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, isn't almond flour amazing stuff? I agree with you on its texture and flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  16. I don';t know what it is about chilly weather and lemons, John. For some reason I crave lemons and most citrus during the cold months.

    Naturally I would totally enjoy these double lemon Almond Cookies. I think the festive sprinkles are just the right touch. I've seem some Almond Cookie recipes doused in confectionery's sugar. Although I love the stuff, for these cookies I think the sprinkles do the trick.

    Please tell Mrs. KR thank you for sharing and for whetting our taste buds for those nutty goodies:) I can feel that lemon urge coming on. It must be December! Thanks for sharing, John...

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    1. Hi Louise, I like lemon any time, but I agree there's something about cold weather that makes citrus so inviting! Thanks for the comment.

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  17. What is not to love about these cookies....everything the fact that they burst with the aroma of lemon...are soft and those glittering red and green tops everything makes us fall for them...we loved the use of Kosher salt to heighten the taste of these delectable cookies,thanks so much for sharing these glorious recipes :-)

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    1. Hi Kumar, these cookies really have superb flavor. Plus with the sprinkles they're fun to look at! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. These look really festive. I love the coloured sugar crystals. I also love how these have lemon in them as it really helps with the sweetness - no wonder they're addictive! xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, good point about the lemon helping with the sweetness - it does add nice balance. Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Great cookies! They must have a divine flavor.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Hi Rosa, they're really good! Totally love them.;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Very nice simple, colourful and festive cookies

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    1. Hi Raymund, aren't they nice? And fun to eat! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. My hat's off to Mrs. Riffs - these cookies sound fantastic! I love lemon and lemon in winter is just the bees knees! :)

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    1. Hi Shashi, my hat's off to her, too! Lemon is so good, isn't it?

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  22. This year I follow Catalan tradition, so cookies will br made for a piece of wood :) And I looove lemon cookies.

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    1. Hi Marta, how fun that you get to experience Christmas in Barcelona this year! Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I do have an inner citrus freak, especially this time of year. I adore lemon baked goods and these cookies look great!

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    1. Hi Amy, that inner citrus freak thing really comes out at this time of the year, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Those cookies are a treat! Really pretty!

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    1. Hi Sprinkles and Sauce, aren't these nice? And both pretty and delish. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Replies
    1. Hi Caroline, they really are festive! And tasty. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. These cookies look fantastic. My son has a friend who is the biggest of citrus, especially lemon and I know she could eat the whole batch. I can't wait to whip some for her.
    It is so colorful and festive.

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    1. Hi Asha, citrus is so great, isn't it? Love all varieties of citrus, although I have a real weakness for lemon. Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I love lemon, that glaze looks amazing! Love that you did a little decorating and put some sanding sugar on top - that's my way of decorating cookies too :) : colorful sprinkles or sanding sugar!

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    1. Hi Julia, isn't it fun to decorate cookies? This is about the only time of year we do! Thanks for the comment.

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  28. I love anything lemon!! (just made lemon scones) :) Love this idea!

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    1. Hi Ashley, lemon is so good, isn't it? One of my faves. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. , I''m a confessed citrus freak so this recipe is culinary heaven to me.
    And it's so pretty with these beautiful bright Christmas colors.
    Classic cookies never looked so cool:)

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    1. Hi Daniela, it's fun being a citrus freak, isn't it? ;-) It's a great club to be in! Thanks for the comment.

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  30. They look gorgeous John! Like little bites of Christmas

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    1. Hi Amanda, they are indeed little bites of Christmas. Can't get enough! Thanks for the comment.

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  31. I love these festive cookies! I love them especially because of the unexpected lemon glaze, perfection!

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    1. Hi Pamela, that lemon glaze is really worth having - totally delish. Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I bet the almond flour adds such a great flavor to these!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, almond flour really has such a nice consistency. Not to mention flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. OK. These cookies would not last 2 seconds in my house! They look great! Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. Hi Adri, I know all too well about those 2 seconds. ;-) Merry Christmas to you, and thanks for the comment.

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  34. These look like 'just the ticket' for Christmas and your mention of using a jelly roll pan makes me realize that there is one more gadget I need to get to complete my kitchen!

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    1. Hi Fran, there's so much kitchen stuff to buy, isn't there? A jelly roll pan is virtually the same thing as a half sheet pan, but whatever you call it, it's so handy to have! Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Hi John,

    We love love love lemons in our food... I love to eat these double lemony cookies in a triple-lemon way... Can we please have some ice cold lemonade? :D

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, having lemonade so you can have triple-lemon cookies is a fun idea! I love it. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. I was curious about the almond flour until I finished reading, now it makes sense. I adore lemon anything. These cookies are truly drool worthy!

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    1. Hi Kristi, these are indeed drool worthy! ;-) Such a good cookie. Thanks for the comment.

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  37. I love lemon cookies. We have quite the assortment planned for our cookie party but I forgot about a lemon variety. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Hi Monet, still plenty of time to make a lemon cookie! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Lemon cookies are always good to snack on. I love the colorful and festive theme of these delicious cookies. Perfect post for the holidays. Thanks. :)

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    1. Hi Ray, I'm pretty happy to snack on any cookie, but lemon ones really appeal to me. Thanks for the comment.

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  39. These cookies represent the best of two worlds for me, John. I love almond flavoring in baked goods. Show me a pastry with almond paste and I'll show you an empty dish within minutes. Citrus follow almond close behind. It lends a brightness to the cookie or cake that other ingredients can't. With these in mind, I do have a problem with this recipe. There is no place in this house where I could safely store these coolies. Once baked and I saw the glaze and smelled the almonds, those cookies would be endangered species. Do thank Mrs. KR for the recipe. :)

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    1. Hi John, that there's no safe place in the house to store these cookies is a feature, not a bug. ;-) These really are so worth making - you'd enjoy. Thanks for the comment.

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  40. Almond Citrus combo sounds divine and it will be sure a good treat for the Christmas!!! Thanks for teh recipe!!!

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    1. Hi Shibi, it's really a nice cookie - loads of flavor, and super nice texture. Thanks for the comment.

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  41. I am starting to like lemon after trying some of these recipes! these look great John. I've never tried almond flour but I guess it't time to do so! Now I'm ready for the demon rum!

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    1. Hi Abbe, most people become lemon converts after hanging out at the Kitchen RIff's for awhile! ;-) The demon rum recipe is really good. Thanks for the comment.

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  42. I love lemon flavoured sweets even more than chocolate. I have a secret hiding place for all my special cookies during this holiday where no teenager would ever venture...under the broccoli. I can't wait to try this recipe.

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    1. Hi Bam, one of these days your teenagers will figure out where you're hiding your stash of goodies! But that's a good place! Thanks for the comment.

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  43. I love almond w lemon. These cookies look delicious. I'll have to bake a batch w my li'l one this w/end!

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    1. Hi Colette, almond and lemon do pair well together. You definitely need to bake these! You'll be glad you did. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. I love these cookies. Lemon is a big favorite in our home and the family would love these.

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    1. Hi Dawn, isn't lemon such a wonderful flavor? And these cookies are loaded with it! Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Yum! I love citrus cookies. :) Your decoration on top is so lovely and festive! I can't wait to make a batch to share with my family

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    1. Hi Amy, this disappear in a hurry so you may want to make a double batch. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Oooh these look great!! I love that you guys used almond flour to make them, that sounds incredible!

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    1. Hi Kristi, almond flour add such great flavor and texture, doesn't it? These really are great cookies. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  47. Yes, I love lemons! And these are totally my kind of cookies. I love the red and green sprinkles on top. So festive and pretty! Thanks for sharing John.

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    1. Hi Anne, I love sprinkles and other decorations at this time of the year - so much fun! Thanks for the comment.

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  48. I definitely adore lemon....AND love love cookies:-) I saved your recipe, and look forward to sharing the recipe with my mom. I know we both would love making the sweet treats! Beautiful! Perfect for a holiday gathering, Take Care, Terra

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    1. Hi Terra, hope you and your mom enjoy! IMO this is truly delish, and I hope you agree. Thanks for the comment.

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  49. I'm eating lemon & dark chocolate cookies right now as I type! I LOVE citrus flavor with sweets. Make me feel like I can eat one extra as they taste refreshing... :) With and without sprinkles I can eat these cookies all year around!

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    1. Hi Nami, we mainly put sprinkles or other decorations on cookies around Christmas time - normally we eat them without. ;-) Citrus goes well with so many things, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  50. Replies
    1. Hi Christine, they are, they are! Thanks for the comment.

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