I make these cookies once a month for “Tea Party Day” with Cakey, provided she goes a week without making animal noises when we’re getting ready for ballet.  I usually add a bit of pink or purple food coloring to the glaze and let her dust them with sprinkles as they dry.  We wear fancy hats and dip our cookies into pink lemonade…pinkies out of course. 🙂

Tea Party Cookies!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F.  Grease 2 large cookie sheets.

In an electric stand mixer (<3 my mom’s Kitchen Aid) beat butter and sugar together until fluffy and pale. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk salt, baking soda, lemon zest, and flour.  Add eggs individually, beating well and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Beat in vanilla with final egg.  Slow mixer speed to low and add dry ingredient mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, until dough is smooth.  Make tablespoon size balls of dough (or use a cookie scoop!), flatten slightly on cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart from each other. Bake each sheet individually for 12-15 minutes.  Cookies should have golden edges and puffed centers when done.  Allow to cool on sheet for one minute before transfer to a wire cooling rack.

To make the glaze, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and brush on tops of warm cookies and allow to stand until glaze is thoroughly set.

From epicurious.com, originally from Edna Lewis printed in Gourmet Magazine, January 2008