Lemon Vanilla Sprinkle Cookies

How is everyone doing this fabulous Monday afternoon? Is it raining? Snowing? Otherwise miserable outside? Hopefully I will make your day a little better with these lemon vanilla cookies!

lemon featured

Winter makes me gloomy, so naturally I wanted something bright, summery, and fresh to elevate my mood. These really did the trick. It’s funny because I got the idea from a vegan vlog. They took the animal products out and I threw them back in. How often does that happen? lol. I totally would have left them vegan (yes, seriously) but it’s not like I had ground flax seeds on hand. I’ve actually been trying to incorporate more vegan meals in my diet (hence why I was watching the vlog in the first place)  so perhaps next time I really will try it that way.

lemon marble

But let me just say, these came out amazing. What I love about them (besides the sweet and lemony but not too overpowering citrus flavor) is that the texture is reminiscent of scones. They have a good bite to them without being dry or chalky. You can taste all the elements, including the butter, vanilla, and lemon. And since I used lemon zest and vanilla paste, you can actually see them too. 🙂

lemon insides

Hopefully one of my neighbors will chime in so that you don’t have to take my word for it. I served them in lieu of cake at my most recent barbecue and it was relatively easy for me to convince everyone that they should all eat five. 😛 This recipe makes 60 cookies. I found that were good on the first day, great on the second day, then slightly stale on the third day. But keep in mind I left them on my counter uncovered the whole time. You can probably squeeze (lemon pun?) a few more days out of them if you place them in an airtight container. 

Let’s get to it!


To begin you’ll want to whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set it aside. Then in a larger bowl you can cream together your butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy, like so:

lemon cream butter sugar

Now add your eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before moving on to the next one.

lemon add eggs

Then add the zest of one lemon and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. I used 1 tsp of extract and 1 tsp of paste since I wanted to see the little vanilla bean seeds.

lemon zest vanilla

Once that’s all incorporated you can go ahead and add the flour mixture. I like to work in half of the flour with a whisk, then switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the rest. This will ensure that you don’t develop too much gluten and the cookies stay nice and delicate.

lemon add dry

The dough will be pretty sticky though, so I recommend wrapping it up in some plastic wrap and popping it into the freezer for 25 minutes or so.  You can preheat your oven to 350 in the meantime.

lemon dough chilled

Afterwards you should be able to easily roll the dough into one inch balls. Place them on a parchment or wax paper lined baking sheet. They will spread, so be sure to give them enough room.

lemon dough balls

After about 10 minutes in the oven you’ll find that you have these perfect little domed cookies, just begging to be dipped in a sweet, lemony glaze. But not so fast! They need to cool completely before you do that. Luckily that only takes 10-15 minutes or so on a wire rack.

lemon domes

The glaze seriously could not be easier. Add some vanilla and fresh squeezed lemon juice to 2 cups of powdered sugar and stir until it’s the right consistency. You may need to add a tad more liquid. If so, I recommend more lemon juice, water, or milk. Make sure you add no more than a teaspoon at time because a little bit of liquid goes a long way when you’re making glazes. 

lemon glaze 1

This is the consistency you’re looking for.

glaze consistency

Dunk in your cookie and allow the excess glaze to dribble back into the bowl.

lemon dip

Now add the slightest pinch of sprinkles for some crunch and visual interest. You can add more of course, but since I used vanilla paste in the glaze I wanted to make sure that all those vanilla bean flecks made an appearance.

lemon sprinkles

Allow the glaze to dry and you’re sweet!

lemonbowl

And there you have it!

Hey, look, I remembered the recipe this time! 😛

Lemon Vanilla Italian Cookies
Yields 60
From bowl to belly in no time flat.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
For the cookie dough
  1. 1 c (200 g) granulate sugar
  2. ½ c (one stick) room temperature butter
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 2 tsp. vanilla (extract or paste) or 1 vanilla bean, seeded
  5. zest from 1 lemon
  6. 3½ c (approx 440 g) all-purpose flour
  7. 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp salt
For the glaze
  1. 2 c ( 250 g) powdered sugar
  2. 2 tsp vanilla
  3. lemon juice
  4. sprinkles
For the cookies
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until nice and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, making sure the previous egg is incorporated before adding the next one. Stir in your vanilla and lemon zest.
  3. Use a whisk to stir in half of the flour mixture, then switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the rest. The dough will be very sticky.
  4. Wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer for approximately 20 minutes so that it will firm up.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. Using lightly floured hands, grab a bit of dough and roll it into a 1-inch ball. Place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat until you run out of dough.
  7. Bake cookies for approximately 10-12 minutes and then cool them on a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze
  1. Add your powdered sugar to a medium sized bowl. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and stir until all incorporated. The glaze should easily flow from the spoon. If it's too dry, try adding more lemon juice or another liquid such as water or milk. It may not look like it will ever come together, but keep stirring and watch the magic unfold.
  2. Dip each cookie in the glaze and allow the excess to drop back in the bowl. Add a small pinch of sprinkles to the top before it dries.
  3. Stuff your face.
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Recipe Name
Lemon Vanilla Italian Cookies
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