Lemon Wafers

As I pick the remaining lemons, within arms reach through the French doors in the kitchen, I’m careful not to disturb the countless, fragrant new buds and blossoms carrying the promise of the new crop.

I have shared this citrus fruit with many friends as well as used them in a myriad of meals, such as, lemon ricotta pancakes, roasted lemon broccolini, polpette con limone, pasta piccata and lemon ricotta cheesecake to name a mere few. These crisp, intensely-flavored lemon cookies are perfect with a cup of tea, as well as, smeared with a thin layer of lemon curd. Stored in an air-tight tin, these lovely lemon bites will stay fresh for weeks.


  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, plus 2 teaspoons
  • 3 – Parchment sheets 12-inch x 16-inch (I use the pre-cut sheets, 24 per box)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, in a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, beginning on low speed, gradually increasing to high.
  3. Return to medium speed and mix in the lemon zest, egg and lemon juice. Reduce the speed to low (or you’ll have flour flying everywhere) and incorporate the flour mixture.
  4. Set out 3 sheets of parchment paper. Lightly dust your hands and each sheet with flour. Divide the dough (it will be sticky) into 3 equal portions and place each third onto a parchment sheet. Lightly flour the top of the dough and quickly shape one portion into a log 11-inch x 1 1/4-inch. Do the best you can and resist the urge to add more flour as you will alter the texture of the dough. Roll each log up in it’s paper, twist the ends and secure with ties or string (I use bread ties) and place in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. Once the dough has chilled, it will be easier to form into a more compact and better looking log. Repeat with the other 2 portions.
  5. Remove one of the logs, unwrap it but, leave it on the parchment. Wet you hands and gently press and smooth out the log all over. You’ll want to work quickly, as the warmth of your hands will warm up the butter in the dough. Re-wrap in existing paper or on new sheets if necessary. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours to firm.
  6. Prior to baking, place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350*
  7. Remove one package at a time from the refrigerator and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet an inch apart. Bake 12-15 minutes. The edges will be golden brown. Repeat with remaining logs or save for later, as they will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Each log makes approximately 3 dozen wafers. Stored in air-tight tins, they will keep for several weeks.



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