Last week, I reviewed the new Girl Scout cookies, Cranberry Citrus Crisps. My overall impression was that they were good but not great. I liked the flavors, but I thought they could have been stronger. Made with whole grain, the cookies weren’t sweet enough for me. Their animal-cracker crunchiness was a little strange with the sticky cranberry pieces.
I liked the cookies, but I wished they were a little different. So, this weekend, I set out to make them the way I wanted them: softer, sweeter and with more citrus taste. The end result? Pretty tasty!
I started by browsing citrus cookie recipes, and The Pioneer Woman’s Citrus Butter Cookies looked promising. Then, because I love lemon-glazed Girl Scout Lemonades, I looked for a lemon glaze recipe, and, as always, Sally’s Baking Addiction had just what I wanted.
Warning: These cookies are not easy! At least not for someone like me, with pretty basic baking skills. These guys are going to have you zesting and juicing — both things I had never done before. Nothing you can’t learn from some solid Googling, though 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need:
And, of course, cranberries! How did I forget to put them in the photo? Any 6 oz. bag of dried cranberries is fine.
Because I knew the zesting and juicing would take me forever, I did that first. I was pretty intimidated to try zesting — I’ve skipped many tasty-looking recipes before to avoid it. But it was easy! Just grab a zester — I got mine for $10 at Bed, Bath & Beyond — and run your fruit across it. Don’t use a ton of pressure — you don’t want to scrape off the white part, just the colored part.
You’ll end up with a bunch of colorful zest and weird naked fruit. Mix together about a tablespoon of each zest, lemon, lime and orange, then pop it in the fridge until you need it.
Next, the juicing. I picked up this little plastic thing for about $3 at Hy-Vee. I think it’s meant for use with grapefruit, but it works.
Between that tool and hand-squeezing, I got all the juice I needed from half of each fruit. Save your extra half-lemon for the glaze!
Set aside all your juices, and take a break to enjoy the colors. Congrats! The hard part is over.
So, remember how Girl Scout Cranberry Citrus Crisps are healthy cookies? These are not. Look at what you’re mixing together here. Four sticks of butter. 1 ½ cups sugar. Yum. Mix them until well combined, then mix in 2 egg yolks, one at a time. (Yes, you have to separate the eggs. You can use a separator. I did. It’s fine.)
Next, add your flour, zest and juice. I used 1 tablespoon of each kind of zest and each kind of juice. So much flavor!
Finally, stir in the cranberries.
The dough ended up being a little dry and crumbly for me, but it still shaped up fine. Roll it into balls about the size of ping-pong balls, then pop it all in the oven! Bake until they’re browning a little bit on the bottom — they’ll still be pretty pale on top. I kind of guessed at when each batch was done, but 12-15 minutes was the average.
Ta dah! So, so tasty.
If you want, you can stop here. My friends loved the cookies just like this. Or, if you’re a sugar/lemon monster like me, you can keep going and glaze the cookies after they’ve cooled.
Grab your leftover lemon half and juice it, plus another lemon. Add half-and-half. Then start adding powdered sugar until you get it to the consistency you like — I used about 2 cups.
Let the glaze stand for a little bit to get a little more solid, then start dunking your cookies! I held them by the bottom, submerged the whole rounded top part then let them dry on a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat to your liking — all of mine were triple-dipped! Yum.
All in all, I was very happy with how these cookies turned out. They tasted great, and all of the citrus smells and colors made me think of summer. I can’t wait to make them for a warmer day 🙂
Cranberry Citrus Butter Cookies with Lemon Glaze
- 1 large lime
- 1 orange
- 2 lemons
- 4 sticks salted butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs (you’ll only use the yolk)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- 3 tbsps half-and-half
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat your oven to 350*F.
- Zest the orange, lime and one lemon. Combine 1 tablespoon of each zest (for 3 tablespoons total) and set aside.
- Juice half of each fruit, lemon, lime and orange, and set aside. Save your leftover half-lemon for the glaze!
- Use an electric mixer to mix the butter and sugar until well combined.
- Separate the eggs and mix in the yolks one at a time. You won’t need the whites.
- Add the zest and flour. Mix until just combined.
- Add 1 tablespoon of each juice (for 3 tablespoons total) and mix until combined.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir in the cranberries.
- Shape dough into ping-pong-ball-sized balls. Place evenly spaced on an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet. They won’t spread much.
- Bake until slightly browning on the bottom, about 12-15 minutes.
- Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the sheet and allow them to cool completely before glazing.
- Juice 1 1/2 lemons and pour the juice into a medium-sized bowl. Add 3 tablespoons half-and-half.
- Using a whisk, fork or spoon, gently mix in powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency — about 2 cups. Let stand for a few minutes to solidify a bit.
- Holding cookies by the bottom edges, submerge rounded tops in glaze, then place right-side-up on parchment or wax paper. Allow to dry and set.
- Repeat as desired, depending on the consistency of your glaze. I dipped each cookie 3 times.
- Allow cookies to dry completely, then enjoy! Makes about 4 dozen cookies.