Lemon Herb Lofthouse Cookies


Author: Katherine Zhang (The Plexitarian)

Lofthouse cookies—thick, pasty, sweet supermarket cookies frosted with slabs of colorful frosting—can be somewhat polarizing. Some hate them, some love ‘em. If you ask me? MM. They’re such a treat. I have an undying love for store-bought lofthouse cookies, but these homemade lemon herb ones (a slight variation of Copycat Lofthouse Cookies by The Browned Eyed Baker) are a serious upgrade. 

First of all, they’re flavored with real vanilla (none of the fake stuff), lovely lemon, and beautiful herbs. I’ve used basil, mint, and Victoria’s Lavender Cooking Lavender Buds – my favorite flavor by far – for mine, but you can experiment with whatever herbs you have on hand. These cookies are also free of artificial dyes and preservatives. And I’m giving full credit to The Brown Eyed Baker for developing a wonderful cookie dough that uses sour cream. The sour cream helps the cookie stay soft and pillowy, and adds a wonderful yet subtle tang that cuts through the sweetness that can sometimes overwhelm these cookies. 

You can also adjust the strength of the herbs’ flavor by adding more or less of the lemon herb sugar topping at the end. If you’re new to lavender, start with a little bit for a delicate, enticing touch. If you’re a superfan, pile on more.  

Give these elegant and show-stopping lemon herb lofthouses a try with your Victoria’s Lavender Cooking Lavender Buds

*makes 18 cookies

What you need:

For the lemon lofthouse cookie dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 (~75 grams) eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 lemon

note: amounts are taken from The Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe for Copycat Lofthouse Cookies, and halved to produce a smaller batch. I substituted half of the all-purpose flour for cake flour to create a more tender crumb. I also added in lemon zest for a bright yet subtle citrusy flavor!

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream

note: amounts are taken from The Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe, and halved to produce a smaller batch. There is a little more vanilla in my version.

For the lemon herb sugar topping:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 large basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 8-10 medium mint leaves, chiffonade
  • 3/4 tsp Victoria’s Lavender Cooking Lavender Buds, crushed gently

optional: small basil leaves, small mint leaves, and whole lavender buds to decorate

How to make it:

To make the cookie dough and buttercream frosting:

  1. Follow directions for The Browned Eyed Baker’s Copycat Lofthouse Cookies. Combine all-purpose and cake flours, and add lemon zest in with the sour cream and vanilla. Everything else, do as directed. 

To make the lemon herb sugar topping:

  1. In a bowl, combine sugar + lemon zest. Mix well.
  2. Divide sugar + lemon zest mixture equally into three separate small bowls.
  3. Add chiffonade basil to one bowl, chiffonade mint to another, and crushed lavender buds to the last. Mix the contents of each bowl thoroughly to combine. 
  4. If not topping the cookies immediately, cover and refrigerate to make sure the herbs stay fresh and fragrant!

To decorate and serve:

  1. Pipe frosting on top of cooled cookies. 
  2. Sprinkle mint, basil, and lavender lemon sugars onto individual cookies liberally. 
  3. Use small mint and basil leaves and lavender buds to denote the flavors of each cookie.
  4. Serve with unsweetened tea and enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, discover more from me at www.theplexitarian.com or on Instagram @theplexitarian.LEMON HERB LOFTHOUSE COOKIES - Mint


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