Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies

[Photograph: Romulo Yanes]

Almost every part of The Gourmet Cookie Book puts me in the holidays mood, from the sweet little strawberry tart cookies on the cover to the lovely gingerbread men and snowflake-shaped Scandinavian rosettes inside. But possibly the most festive recipe in the book: these Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies. Dusted in sparkling sanding sugar, the little lemony cookies are filled and sandwiched together. They really do look like they should be hanging from the branches of a Douglas fir.

At first glance, these Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies could easily be mistaken for a sparkly macaron—they have a similarly elegant-sandwich thing going on. But these little guys have a cool, lemony flavors and a melty-crumbly texture from the confectioners' sugar and corn starch in the dough, and the outside is all sugary crunch from the brightly-hued sanding sugar.

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookie Book. Copyright © 2010. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:4 dozen sandwich cookies
  • Active time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Total time:2 1/2 hours


  • For the Cookies:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • White and colored sanding sugars
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened


  1. 1.

    For the Cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking
    sheets with parchment paper.

  2. 2.

    Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.

  3. 3.

    Beat together butter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in zest and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a soft dough forms.

  4. 4.

    Put sanding sugars in different bowls. Roll a scant teaspoon of dough into a ball and drop into sugar, turning to coat. Reshape if necessary and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3/4 inch apart, until baking sheet is filled.

  5. 5.

    Bake until tops are slightly cracked but still pale (bottoms will be pale golden), 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to a rack to cool completely.

  6. 6.

    Form and bake more cookies on second baking sheet.

  7. 7.

    For the Filling: Beat together all filling ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Transfer to sealable bag and snip off a corner.

  8. 8.

    Turn over half of cookies and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon filling on flat side of each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently.