I have been making this recipe for at least 25 years, a simple, cake-like cookie. You can roll the warm cookies in confectioners sugar or you can dip cooled cookies in a lemon glaze. I sometimes bake them for Christmas but they are also good for Easter celebrations with a colorful yellow glaze as in the photo below. You can also dip them in sprinkles. The cookies can be made dairy free by using almond milk in place of regular milk in both the cookie and the lemon glaze.
Italian Lemon Cookies
3-1/2 c. flour, sifted
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. milk
2 large eggs
zest of half a large lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract or emulsion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar and mix. Cut shortening into the dry mixture until you get pea-size crumbs. In a separate bowl combine milk, eggs, zest, and flavorings. Whisk until well mixed. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry until you have a soft dough. Rub some flour on your hands, because the dough is quite sticky, and roll the dough into balls the size of a large marble. Place on baking sheets. Bake for 9 minutes until cookies are puffed and set. They should be pale on top and golden on the bottom. Do not overbake. Remove cookies to a rack. They should still be warm if you dip them in confectioners sugar, or let cookies cool, then dip them in lemon glaze.
1 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. lemon extract or emulsion
2 drops vanilla extract
1-2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
In a bowl combine the glaze ingredients and whisk until smooth. Dip cookies in glaze, allowing the excess to drip off. Allow glaze to dry completely before storing in an airtight container. Makes 55 cookies.