Girl Scout cookies come and go, and not every cookie recipe makes it to the cookie booths every spring. Lemon coolers are a retired Girl Scout cookie that many lemon-lovers have fond memories of. Unfortunately, memories are all that they have because these cookies aren’t offered in this year’s line-up. I liked the bright, lemony flavor of these cookies too and also appreciated the fact that they were a little different than the rest of the Girl Scout’s offerings. I wanted to try and give them the same treatment as some of my other favorite Girl Scout cookies and come up with a homemade version.
There was one big problem with this plan: my memory of the cookies – along with a photo of a Lemon Coolers box – were all I had to go on when creating the recipe. My memory was of a crisp, tender cookie that was lemony and coated with confectioners’ sugar. I remember it having a much lighter texture than, say, a shortbread cookie and I also recall that it was fairly sturdy, not crumbly. So, my interpretation is based on this template. I will admit that if you pulled out a 12 year old box of Girl Scout cookies to compare these to, they might not be twins, but they’re definitely going to satisfy a craving for a crisp lemon cookie and match the look of the originals.
I used cake flour with a very little bit of cornstarch mixed in to give these their light texture. They’re softer than shortbread, but still have a nice crispness to them when you take a bite. I used real butter, which the original cookies probably did not, but I opted to use lemon extract (lemon oil is also a very good choice) instead of fresh lemon zest because that is closer to the flavor I remember in the originals. To give them that lemon-slice shape, I formed the dough into a log, chilled it, then sliced it in half before cutting the individual cookies. This made it very easy to shape them all and ensured that they all came out to the same size.
These cookies turned out to be very close to what I was looking for in a faux Girl Scout Cookie. They are slightly sweet and have a nice lemony flavor to them. I baked them just until the edges turned golden, which make for a crisp-tender cookie, and generously dusted them with confectioners sugar while they were still slightly warm. They kept well for several days without loosing their taste or texture, but they were so light that they were easy to eat two at a time.