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Christine's Lemon Wreath Cookies

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Of all the cookies that grace Christine Albano's table at Christmas, the lemon ring-shaped ones -- ciambelle, in Italian -- are the most popular. Balance is key: Lemon zest is added to the buttery base, and lemon juice enlivens the nonpareil-flecked glaze. "We serve a big pile, and they're gone by the end of the meal."

  • Yield: Makes 6 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2009

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

For the Glaze

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 7 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white nonpareils, for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cookies: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Pulse sugar and zest in a food processor until combined, about 2 minutes.

  2. Beat sugar-zest mixture and butter in a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until combined.

  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon dough (or use a 1 1/8-inch ice cream scoop), and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 4-inch rope. Bring ends together, overlapping slightly, and press together to form a ring. Repeat with remaining dough. Transfer rings to parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart, as you work. Bake until pale golden on the bottoms and around the edges, about 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.

  4. Make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the top side of each cookie into glaze, letting excess drip off. Return cookies to wire racks, glaze side up, and sprinkle with nonpareils. Let dry completely.

Cook's Notes

Decorated cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Victoria M
    25 OCT, 2013
    A really great combination. I think the cookie is meant to bit bland as is, because it pairs perfectly with the sweet but tart glaze. I will definitely be making these again this Christmas!
    Reply
  • MKHunt
    19 DEC, 2011
    I made these last year and they were incredible. Soft and lemony. Perfect and so pretty in a cellophane bag with white satin ribbon. I am making them again tonight!
    Reply
  • Ducksgrl
    16 DEC, 2011
    I was looking forward to making these. A bit time consuming, and was sooo disappointed when it came out. It was super dry and not very lemony. I even added extra lemon zest and lemon juice. :( horrible. I don't even think the icing would have saved it. I threw it all away. Save your time and find another recipe. Such cute cookies. but yuck.
    Reply
  • samanthalenore
    23 JAN, 2011
    These were great! After reading the comments, I decided to add an extra 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice to the batter, and it really gave a great lemony flavor. With the glaze, this is a very pretty, tasty cookie. Not terribly sweet, so a great grown-up cookie.
    Reply
  • msabelka
    23 JAN, 2011
    These cookies were the hit of my Christmas basket this year. I've received several requests for more. Making another batch this weekend. :)
    Reply
  • kraftyczap
    18 JAN, 2011
    Made these this weekend. They were super cute looking, but the flavor was just ok for me.
    Reply
  • Galey
    26 DEC, 2010
    This looks like a cookie my family would love but I.m lazy and wonder if I can just roll in a ball and flatten somewhat and bake like that, It would be less work. Has anyone tried this, Love to know Thanks
    Reply
  • 1Toffy
    26 DEC, 2010
    2 sticks of butter is a 1/2 lb. or 8 oz. As 16 ounces is a pound. In the USA one stick of butter is 1/4 lb. This recipe calls for 2 sticks equaling one-half pound.
    Reply
  • Leopardess
    22 DEC, 2010
    Lol, sorry! That should've said package NOT. Pig! Not used to using a stylus to type in hunt
    Reply
  • Leopardess
    22 DEC, 2010
    MNice, 2sticks ARE 8oz! All 4 sticks are one pound ( the whole pig of butter) .
    Reply