Lemon Spice Butter Cookies

Photo: David Meredith
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs

To keep these cookies round (without a flat side), freeze each log of dough inside an empty paper-towel roll.


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white, divided

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt

  • cup colored sanding sugar


  1. Beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in zest, whole egg, and vanilla. Add flour, nutmeg, and salt; beat on low speed until incorporated.

  2. Divide dough in half, and roll each piece into a log. Place each log crosswise in the middle of a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment, and fold top half of parchment over log. Place a ruler on parchment and, pressing it against side of log, pull on bottom half to round log and narrow it to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in parchment; slip into 2 paper-towel rolls (see above note), and freeze 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly beat egg white. Remove rolls and parchment from logs. Brush each log with egg wash, and roll in sanding sugar, covering completely. Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.

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