Make Lemon Cookies Extra Soft With A Sugar Swap

Butter and lemon are two things seemingly designed by nature to complement each other. From the savory lemon butter sauce that covers your seared salmon filet to the sweet-tart perfection of a lemon bar, this combination of citrus and dairy is a universally beloved flavor profile.

One of the simplest ways you can feature this flavor combination is through the lemon butter cookie. Baked to tender perfection with a delicate crumb and filled with lemon zest, their slightly crisp exterior yields to a tender center, while the zesty lemon infuses every bite with citrus freshness. These melt-in-your-mouth cookies make a perfect snack alongside a glass of lemony iced tea. Since the choice of sugar can significantly influence the cookie's texture and flavor, opting for powdered sugar over granulated sugar can do wonders. Not only would powdered sugar make for a more uniform texture, but it will also create a more tender cookie. 

Use powdered sugar for a tender cookie

There are several reasons that make powdered sugar a better choice when making lemon butter cookies. First, the much finer grain of powdered (also known as confectioners') sugar allows it to dissolve rapidly, resulting in a smoother, more uniform cookie dough that bakes to a dense, melt-in-your-mouth consistency. Also, unlike granulated sugar, which can impart a subtle grittiness to cookies, powdered sugar dissolves completely during baking. This ensures a silky-smooth texture that enhances the overall cookie experience. Finally, powdered sugar interferes with gluten formation, which helps the cookies achieve a tender texture.

To make a lemon butter cookie, you will need lemons, butter, flour, and powdered sugar. Grate the zest off the lemons and juice them. Then cream the butter and sugar together with a stand mixer before adding the lemon juice and zest. Finally, add flour to the butter-lemon mix and mix lightly to prevent gluten formation, then create small balls with the dough and arrange them on a cookie sheet before placing them into the oven. The result is a dense but tender cookie that melts in your mouth, packed with flavors of lemon and butter.

Frosting and other uses for powdered sugar

If you want extra lemon flavor for your butter cookies, you can use extra powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a glaze. Mix together powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until the sugar is fully dissolved. Brush the glaze all over the cookies and grate extra lemon zest over them to shower the cookies with lemon oil.

Aside from making cookies, powdered sugar has many other uses. Its quick dissolve ability makes it an excellent sweetener for anything that requires a very smooth texture, such as icing and fondants. It is also a perfect sugar to make candies such as fudge since it will not leave a gritty texture like granulated sugar. Since powdered sugar contains starch to prevent the sugar crystals from sticking together, it is also a thickener and helps light whipped desserts such as meringue to hold their texture.