When I was a little kid living in Queens, NY, we were members of a beach club. I remember our sandy cabana, a game room with a pool table, and the swimming pool for when you didn’t feel like jumping over tiny waves at the ocean’s edge. I’d like to say that when we needed a drink, we drank raspberry lemonade made with fresh raspberries and lemons which we squeezed at home before heading out. In reality, we popped open sweaty cans of Coke. In retrospect, raspberry lemonade would have been perfection.
Like the drink itself, Megan Porta’s raspberry lemonade cookies belong in my fabricated beach club memory. The cookies would be wrapped up and thrown in a rainbow tote bag waiting in the cabana to be enjoyed after showering off sand from bodies sticky with sunscreen.
Let Megan tell you about them…
Having just endured one of the harshest Minnesota winters I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing, anything that screams HOT SUMMER DAYS is beyond exciting. My boys took the season’s inaugural dip in the pool this week, which was followed by popsicles, time on the trampoline, and running around the backyard barefoot. Then we spotted an ice cream truck roaming around the neighborhood and my heart skipped a beat. Spring is here and summer is near!
My boys start asking me to make summery drinks the moment spring arrives and one of their favorites is raspberry lemonade. There is something so satisfying and yummy about the combination of raspberries and lemons. The mixture of tart and sweet, with the lovely reds and yellows, is an appealing marriage.
In January of this year my first cookbook, Cookie Remix, was published (Page Street Publishing). This yummy cookbook contains a collection of 75 recipes, all of them cookies that have been inspired by drinks, cakes, pies, and other various sweet treats. One of my favorite drink-turned-cookie creations is the Raspberry Lemonade Cookies because, well, they are a fantastic representation of the drink, and also because they scream SUMMER. My boys and I go nuts for the drink and its cookie counterpart.
Now, peeking at the recipe you might be tempted to skip the candied lemon slices that sit atop the cookies, but I am begging you not to do this. Transforming lemons into candy is far easier than you might think and it truly sends these cookies into a realm of cookie heaven that you do not want to miss out on.
The freeze-dried raspberries that are incorporated into the cookie itself infuse tons of raspberry flavor without making the batter runny (freeze-dried fruit can be easily found at Wal-Mart, Trader Joe’s and Amazon). Before you add them to the cookie dough, you’ll want to turn them into a fine powder and you can do this with a food processor, coffee grinder or simply by putting them into a resealable bag and pounding it with a wooden spoon. [Note from Stef: You can also use a dehydrator to make homemade fruit powder.]
The combination of raspberries and lemons is insanely satisfying and refreshing. This cookie is even more gratifying than its drink counterpart. Every part of it is incredible, starting with the intense raspberry flavoring in the cookie to the lemony glaze and ending with the candied lemon slice. It is also the prettiest cookie you’ll ever eat and just the sight of it will make people swoon!
Raspberry Lemonade Cookies
Candied Lemon Slice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 lemons sliced to 1/8-inch thickness
- 3/4 cup salted butter 1 1/2 sticks, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Zest from 1 lemon about 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped fresh raspberries
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons milk
Candied Lemon Slices
- In a heavy duty saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and add the lemon slices in a single layer. Gently flip the lemon slices once or twice during the cooking process. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the lemon slices to a wire cooling rack or large piece of wax paper and allow them to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, sugar, egg and lemon extract and beat on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps.
- Place the freeze dried raspberries in a coffee grinder or small food processor and grind into a powder.
- In a separate bowl, combine the raspberry powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Gradually add to the butter-sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until just combined. Fold in the fresh raspberries.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, drop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. Let cool.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the confectioner’s sugar, lemon extract, lemon juice, and milk. Beat on medium speed until free of lumps.
- Generously drizzle the glaze over the cookies. Top each cookie with a half of a cooled candied lemon slice.
Megan Porta is the writer, recipe developer and photographer behind the food blog pipandebby.com, where you can find healthy salads, easy dinners, layer cakes, and everything in between. Her debut cookbook, Cookie Remix, was released earlier this year and includes 75 cookie recipes inspired by your favorite treats such as donuts, cakes, drinks and more!
All images in this post courtesy Page Street Publishing and Megan Porta.