2000s Recipes + Menus

Buttermilk Cookies

Makesabout 5 1/2 dozen cookies
  • Active Time:35 min
  • Start to Finish:1 1/2 hr
January 2008
Miss Lewis mentions buttermilk cookies, which she pairs with ice-cold lemonade, but as far as we know, she never committed a recipe to paper. When we developed one, the big debate was about texture: Soft or crisp? What you see here is the cookie of your dreams, with a tender interior and the slightest bit of crispness around the edge.

For Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle. Butter 2 large baking sheets.
  • Whisk together flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in batches at low speed, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until smooth.
  • Drop level tablespoons of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cookies are puffed and edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes per batch. Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute, then transfer cookies to racks.

Glaze cookies:

  • Whisk together all glaze ingredients and brush onto tops of warm cookies.
  • Let stand until cookies are completely cooled and glaze is set.
Cooks' note: Cookies are best the day they're made but can be frozen, wrapped well, up to 1 month.
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