This easy-to-prepare cookie was inspired by the penny-candy-store lemon drop. The candied lemon peel, available at specialty-food stores, adds a lemony crunch.

Holiday Cookies 2001, Special Issue 2001, Martha Stewart Living, July/August 1998, Desserts 1998, Martha Stewart Living, July 1998


Recipe Summary

Makes about 2 dozen


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl twice. Add egg; mix on high speed until combined. Add lemon zest, and beat to combine.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until combined, about 20 seconds. Add candy, and mix to combine. Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • Pour remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a large bowl. Shape the dough into 1/2-inch balls. Drop each ball into sugar, and roll, coating completely; use sugar to keep dough from sticking to hands.

  • Working in batches, place sugared balls on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Gently press balls, flattening to a 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer remaining dough to refrigerator.

  • Bake cookies just until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Cook's Notes

To make your own candied lemon peel: Blanch lemon peel, then add it to a simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar); simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let steep overnight. Dry peel on a cooling rack, and then toss in sugar to coat. Store in an airtight container.


Recipe uses 2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied lemon peel instead of lemon candies.