Sourdough sugar cookies

Here’s another way to use up some excess sourdough starter. The cookies don’t taste sour like sourdough bread does, but it makes a beautifully supple dough for rolling and cutting. Granted it doesn’t look like that when you take it from its overnight rest in the refrigerator but when you start working it you’ll soon see how easy it is to roll out. The first batch of cookies didn’t last long enough for me to get a good idea of whether or not the sourdough starter would help them retain moisture over the course of 2-3 days. My guess is that it might.

Using shortening instead of butter gives these cookies a lighter, crispier texture than butter would. Solid coconut oil worked perfectly. 1/2 cup of 100% hydration (that’s equal amounts of flour and water) sourdough starter is all you need, but allow enough time to let the dough rest overnight in your refrigerator before rolling out. Using some lemon extract and some vanilla extract mellows the lemon flavor, then an icing with freshly squeezed lemon juice gives just enough punch. Watch carefully while they bake so you can remove them when the edges just begin to turn brown. In my oven, with cookies ¼” thick and about 2¾” in diameter, that’s 12 minutes.

– Joan, 4 October 2019


Sourdough sugar cookies

  • Servings: About 55 cookies
  • Print

Cookie dough:

  • 1 cup (224 grams) solid coconut oilIMG_1075
  • 2 cups (392 grams) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 grams) strong sourdough starter
  • 4½ cups (585 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup (113 grams) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) milk

Cream coconut oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each until fully blended. Beat in extracts. Stir in sourdough starter. Stir baking soda and salt into flour and mix in about 1 cupful at a time. This is a fairly stiff dough. Put dough into a container, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Divide dough into 4-6 pieces for easier handling. Roll out ¼” thick and cut out shapes, placing cookies an inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 8-12 minutes, just until edges begin to turn brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before icing. Let icing dry on the cookies before storing or freezing.



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