Glazed Grapefruit Cookies


Alex loves when people ask him how well he eats, being married to me. He smiles and tells them dinner is always awesome, forgetting to mention that we’ve eaten lentils for the last three nights running.

Because of his enthusiasm for dinners both special and mundane, I love cooking for Alex. While he helps me with ideas when I have what’s-for-dinner fatigue and dishes when I’ve filled the sink with dirty plates, he’s usually pretty happy to cede the kitchen to me.

But occasionally, he has important suggestions. After Christmas, when we had gorged ourselves on cookies for days and even brought back a few of our favorites in a baggie, he asked if I’d make his mom’s lemon cookies. She sent me the recipe for the sweets, which are plain-ish little cakes until you spread a sugary, lemony glaze thickly on top of each that adds satisfying crunch and a delightful tang.  I took the recipe and tweaked it for Valentine’s Day, cutting the cookies into hearts. And then I took the recipe and subbed grapefruits in for the lemons, making them less tangy, almost candy-like, citrusy, dreamy, and surprising.

Grapefruits are so photogenic, and the light was nice when I made these yesterday, so I took about a million shots of making these cookies. I’ll leave you to them, and also have you know that once you’ve made these with grapefruit, you should sub back in lemon zest and juice and make the original version, too.


Glazed Grapefruit Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 to 4 dozen
Zest the grapefruit before you cut it open and squeeze out the juice...otherwise you'll have a tough time zesting. It definitely helps to have a Microplane zester or a grater with a fine option. This recipe adapts beautifully to dairy free-ness. I used non-sweetened vanilla almond milk and Earth Balance's vegan buttery spread.
For the cookies
  • ½ cup milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • ¾ cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grapefruit zest (you'll be able to get plenty from 1 grapefruit)
  • 1 egg
For the glaze
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a cup or bowl, mix together the milk and the 2 teaspoons grapefruit juice. Stir and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer or a very strong arm. Add the grapefruit zest and the egg and beat again. Sift in one-third of the flour mixture and mix it in. Add half of the milk, stir in, then add another third of the flour mixture. End with the milk and the rest of the flour.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets with 2 inches in between each cookie. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until firm and golden around the edges.
  6. While the cookies bake, stir together the glaze ingredients. Some of the sugar will dissolve, but not all of it. (The crunch of the sugar is part of the charm.)
  7. As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, brush them generously with the glaze. Transfer the sheets of parchment to a rack to cool.
  8. These are great room temp. I store them in the fridge, and I have to say I really love them cold.


Posted in: Baking For Others
  • christin schindewolf

    you had me at glazed.

  • Jo

    A little help with zesting, please. I have never seen zest as beautiful as that in your photo. Do you have a special tool?

    • BGSK

      I use a Microplane, which makes the nicest-looking zest and mostly protects me from zesting my knuckles as well as the fruit.

  • Jamie

    These cookies are like little pillows! I made them and couldn’t stop myself from eating 6 of them immediately after glazing.

    • BGSK

      That is just what happens to me when I make them! There’s sometime irresistible about the freshly glazed cookies.

Need more desserts? A Baker's Dairy-Free Dozen.

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