My grandma, Opal June Carlson (Gram C), made these cookies whenever my dad and I came to her cottage on Lake Okoboji for a visit. Although at the time I picked off the pecan halves that my 7-year-old self didn't yet appreciate, these simply delicious cookies were amazing and will live forever in my heart along with my Gram C!

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
5 mins
total:
20 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
2 dozen cookies
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Icing:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets.

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  • Sift flour, baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon salt together in a bowl.

  • Beat 1 cup butter, white sugar, and egg in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour mixture, vanilla extract, and lemon extract to butter mixture; stir until dough is well blended. Roll cookie dough into walnut-size balls and place 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Press each ball down with the bottom of a glass to flatten slightly.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until baked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Cool.

  • Stir confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, hot water, and vanilla together in a bowl until sugar is completely dissolved and icing is smooth. Spread icing on cooled cookies and top each cookie with a pecan.

Nutrition Facts

216 calories; protein 1.8g 4% DV; carbohydrates 28.3g 9% DV; fat 11g 17% DV; cholesterol 33.2mg 11% DV; sodium 136mg 5% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/24/2017
Made these for hubby, and he loved them! Ate 5 cookies before he stopped to breathe. Changes I made: Instead of 1/2 t of lemon extract in the cookies, I added 1 t. I decided not to use the glass to flatten and just baked them in the ball shape; this took 10-11 minutes of baking. Icing was a tad too sweet for us so added 1/4 c whipped cream cheese to tone down the sweetness. I added 1 full t of vanilla AND lemon extract to icing; water was 1 T + 1t. (It was not too lemony.) We did not use the nuts as we don't care for them. Hubs wanted to make sure I kept the recipe. This will be our go-to recipe for sugar cookies from here on out! Thanks, Gram Opal's relatives for sharing (I also love her Apple Pie recipe!) Yours truly, Gram's fan Read More
(5)
16 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 15
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/24/2017
Made these for hubby, and he loved them! Ate 5 cookies before he stopped to breathe. Changes I made: Instead of 1/2 t of lemon extract in the cookies, I added 1 t. I decided not to use the glass to flatten and just baked them in the ball shape; this took 10-11 minutes of baking. Icing was a tad too sweet for us so added 1/4 c whipped cream cheese to tone down the sweetness. I added 1 full t of vanilla AND lemon extract to icing; water was 1 T + 1t. (It was not too lemony.) We did not use the nuts as we don't care for them. Hubs wanted to make sure I kept the recipe. This will be our go-to recipe for sugar cookies from here on out! Thanks, Gram Opal's relatives for sharing (I also love her Apple Pie recipe!) Yours truly, Gram's fan Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2013
We loved these! The cookie is sweet with a delicate touch of lemon. Then it gets even better with a tasty icing that is the perfect consistency. Finally the pecan on top is just the right touch to compliment the sweetness and add some crunch. This is quite possibly my favorite sugar cookie I have made. When I made these I realized too late that I did not have lemon extract so I used lemon zest instead. For easier cleanup I used parchment paper instead of greasing my cookie sheet. The only problem I had was the dough getting stuck to the bottom of my glass when I was flattening the cookies. This was easily solved however by dipping the glass in sugar before flattening each cookie. If you like sugar cookies I suggest trying these out! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2016
These are delightful - it made 50 little cookies - I didn't make the frosting because I'm lazy...I sprinkled with colored sugars - I'm surprised only 6 people besides me have discovered this tasty little gem - thank you for posting! Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/13/2016
OH MY WOW! You know when it's a grandma's recipe it's gonna be GOOD. And this one did not disappoint. Everyone in the family LOVED these cookies--with and without icing. We didn't have lemon extract. Instead we added lemon zest and 1/8 tsp vanilla extract. Make no mistake these are not lemon cookies but the addition of the lemon really gave it a delicious boost. Also the icing is one of the best cookie icing recipes we ever tasted. We did need to add a little extra water than called for to make the icing spreadable. Lastly the addition of a toasted pecan on top really put this cookie over the edge! These are BY FAR the best sugar cookies we have ever made! These are going on our annual holiday cookie tray for sure! Try them today! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
08/12/2014
My brother and I made these cookies together and didn't think they would turn out great but we were wrong! They turned out amazing! It is really easy and fun which is just what we were looking for. The frosting was delicious and so were the cookies! We loved the little but noticeable lemony flavor along with the cookies! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/15/2014
My kids gobble these up even without the icing. The dough freezes well also. Definitely a keeper! Thanks! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/23/2014
I am by no means a baker but this recipe was quick fun and simple. My fiancé and I made cookies together for the first time and these easy steps were perfect for two novices. I did not have a hand mixer but a spatula worked just fine in creating a smooth tasty dough. The addition of lemon to the icing made for a unique and interesting take on the traditional sugar cookie. I look forward to making these every year! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2016
Made it to the recipe for the cookies. I didn't have the lemon extract so I added a tiny more vanilla. Can't wait to try it again with the lemon and the icing. These cookies were delicious. Perfect balance. Not too sweet. I also use an apple pie recipe from a grandma Opal that my family raves about. If this is the same Opal she has excellent recipes! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2016
These cookies are simply to-die-for. Not literally. I used lemon zest instead of extract following the cookie part exactly and they were perfect. I had to increase the quantity on the icing just a little bit. On the bigger cookies I put two pecans. I will be making these every Christmas from now on. Thank you Gram Opal and family member who provided your recipe to all of us. Be careful about the baking time too. They really are done in about 7 minutes. Read More
(1)