limoncino cookies {seriously good}

10 | February 2, 2010

As promised here they are. The most beautiful, tasty, sing in your mouth cookies. Yes, they sing. Belting out I’m Going To The Place by Lyle Lovett. I’m totally serious. As clear as day there was Lyle Lovett with his awesome hair, a belt buckle bigger than a plate and a choir in my kitchen. It was a good day.

How did this start? Well, my in-laws spent sometime in northern Italy  recently and this is what they came back with for me. Glorious Limoncino. Ideas have been spinning around in my head about what to do with it other than drink it all. A couple of failed attempts later this is what resulted. Limoncino cookies. I’m sure this is nothing new to the world but they are new to me and this is my version. Enjoy and say hello to Lyle for me when you see him.

limoncino cookies

  • 1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
  • generous 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (fine)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • zest of two lemmons, you will use 1/2 Tbs for the cookie recipe and the rest for decoration
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbs Limoncino, if you can’t find Limoncino, Limoncello is a good replacement just not as tart
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice

Zest two large lemons and set aside.

Start with beating the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.

Beat in egg.

A little at a time, add the flour and 1/2 Tbs of lemon zest.

Mix until blended and dough is sticky enough to be formed.

Place dough on plastic wrap. With your hands form into a 10″ to 12″ log.

Wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. I like to use unbleached.

Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into thick 1/2 inch slices.

Place in oven and bake for 13 – 15 minutes or until edges just start to golden.

Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool. Completely.

For the icing: In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, limoncino, and lemon juice. Stir until smooth and creamy. Can you hear it yet?

Once cookies are completely cooled, submerge cookie in icing top side down. Lift up and drain for a few seconds. Flip cookie over and set on wire rack (place additional parchment paper under wire rack for easy clean up)

Top each cookie with a pinch of lemon zest after submerging it into the icing. Try your hardest to restrain yourself from tasting one and wait 30 or so minutes to allow the icing to set. Makes around 24 cookies.

Can I get an Amen.



  • Cat Rogers

    Amen! Omg I’m making these. Thanks.

  • Deborah Moody

    Where in Ohio can you get the limoncino cause these look seriously good. I love lemon and want to try these.

    • in sock monkey slippers

      I’m craving them now and if it weren’t for the massive chicken roasting in the oven I would make a batch! Limoncino is a northern Italian lemon liquor. If you can’t find it in your local liquor store a common substitute is Limoncello and I see that everywhere including wine shops. Hope this helps.

  • Pam Gray

    These look absolutely wonderful! I am definitely making some!

  • Laurie W.

    Ok … my mouth is watering. Of course I would discover this on a day that I have no oven to bake in. I can hardly wait to make them.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Kim in MD

    Hi Meredith! I just stumbled upon your blog (through your salmon recipe at PW’s blog and Tasty Kitchen), and it amazing! Your photos are gorgeous (as is your beautiful family), and your recipes look incredible!

    I am planning to make these cookies (and the salmon recip) this weekend. I was wondering if you could tell me how many cookies this recipe makes? Also, do you think you could freeze them without the lemon zest garnish? Thanks so much…I can’t wait to explore your blog and come back to see what else you are cooking up!

  • Kim in MD

    Me again! I just re-read the recipe and DUH! Your recipe says it makes about 24 cookies. I would still love to hear your opinion about freezing the cookies, though! Thanks!

  • Karen

    Love your site! Can’t wait to make these cookies.

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