The Washington Post

Lemon Bon Bons

Lemon Bon Bons 36.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2009 Dec 9, 2009

Pecans may be substituted for the pistachios. We found these tasted better with scant icing; the nutritional numbers reflect half of the icing amount.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. The unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Servings: 36 cookies
  • For the cookies
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup shelled roasted and unsalted pistachios, finely chopped (may substitute pecans)
  • For the icing
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • Food coloring, preferably paste food coloring (see NOTE; optional)


For the cookies: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest and flour; beat to form a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Place the finely chopped pistachios in a bowl. Roll the chilled cookie dough into 1-inch balls, then roll them in the pistachios; place the balls on the baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten them slightly. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the nuts are browned and the cookies are golden yellow. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat to use all of the dough.

Meanwhile, make the icing, if using: Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, lemon juice and food coloring until smooth. If using food coloring, divide the icing among separate disposable cups; use the food coloring to tint each portion of icing a different color. Drizzle the icing onto the cookies in decorative patterns. Let set for at least 1 hour before serving or storing.

NOTE: Paste food coloring is thick and creates intense colors. Dip a toothpick in the desired color and stir into a separate small portion of the icing. Add color to achieve the desired hue.

Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Everything Cookies & Brownies Cookbook," by Marye Audet (Adams Media, 2009).

Tested by Micki Douglas.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per cookie: 96

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 14mg 5%

Sodium: 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 10g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 1g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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