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Lemon wafers

Can’t believe I started baking Christmas cookies in July; I should have a freezer full by December, but only if I don’t eat them.

These were originally called Mother’s Cookies, handed down from my great-grandmother Edith Pearse, and a favorite during holidays. I remember baking these with my mom and then with my own children. Part of the fun was finding different shapes to cut the dough and finishing with more icing sugar on me than the cookies.

I’ve added some personal touches to the recipe to make it my own. Usually decorated with candied cherries and festive sprinkles, I decided to finish them with a spicy twist.

lemon wafers

Lemon Wafer Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup packed lemon zest
Pressed herbs
Crisp bacon pieces
Red Chili peppers
Icing sugar
Blend together shortening and sugar; blend in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Add dry ingredients and mix together. Divide dough into four to five sections and form into balls for rolling. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. Roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes (I used a 2 inch round cutter). Decorate uncooked cookies with pressed herbs, crisp bacon pieces, or Chilli peppers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cookies should double in thickness.  Use a sieve and lightly sprinkle with icing sugar.
Makes 75 to 80 cookies
Keep dough in refrigerator
Cookies will brown quickly if left in oven longer then 10 minutes

herbsThyme, oregano, and mint from my garden

Press herbs between two pieces of waxed paper, pile on some heavy books, and leave overnight.

lemon zest


Gently press herbs on uncooked cookies


Sprinkle with icing sugar while still warm

lemon wafers

lemon wafers

I enjoy these cookies with my coffee and tea. They’re light, not too sweet, and they finish with a savory bite.

Recipe for Lemon Wafer Cookies entered in the Christmas in July Cookie Contest as a member of Food Bloggers of Canada