Lemon–Olive Oil Sugar Cookies

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min (plus cooling)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: about 30 lemon-olive oil cookies
These light and cakey sugar cookies are definitely for lemon lovers. Instead of using just butter in the batter, we use a combination of olive oil and butter, which gives these cookies a slightly crisp and chewy texture, and a subtle peppery flavor, which balances well with the lemon. To finish them, we coat the cookies with white and yellow sugars for some festive glitter.



  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat the granulated sugar and lemon zest with a mixer on medium-high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil and butter and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in about half of the flour mixture until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture, increase the speed to medium and beat until combined. Refrigerate the dough until slightly firm but scoopable, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350˚ F. One at a time, scoop 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls of dough (a medium ice cream scoop works well for this) and roll into balls, then generously coat in sanding sugar. Arrange about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are set and the edges are a pale golden brown, 11 to 13 minutes. (Be careful not to overbake.) Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then remove to a rack to cool completely.