The Challenge & Lemon Cookies

lemon cookie

lemon cookies

If you are following this blog you are either grieving or mourning or both or know someone who is. What? Grieving and mourning aren’t they the same thing? In a nutshell, no they are not. Today’s challenge is to understand that grieving and mourning are different. They are two separate experiences. If you understand the distinction you can be a catalyst to healing. That’s a good thing.


Let’s start with grief. Grief is an internal experience. It is one’s feelings about the loss. It is about natural reactions to pain and one’s private protest to the assault. It’s one’s wish to undo it and have it not be true. Grief is often accompanied by keeping a stiff upper lip. It’s not looking weak. It’s carrying on, but in a kind of isolation. The griever may look OK on the outside, but on the inside is a lonely turmoil.

Mourning, on the other hand, is grief gone public. It’s wading through the territory of loss and pain surrounded by supportive people. It is active work of recognizing the loss and how to change and adapt to it. Different people mourn in different ways, but essentially it is expressing your feelings or doing something outside yourself.

The truth is that many people grieve, but they don’t mourn. Take the challenge. Be active in your grief. Step outside yourself. Share your feelings and celebrate yourself and your loved one. And if you know someone who has suffered a loss encourage them to mourn and be the catalyst to healing. Take the challenge.


Recently, my neighbor asked if I was up for a challenge. Apparently, the local bakery refused to share their recipe for her favorite lemon cookie and she was having trouble trying to duplicate it. Always up for a challenge I got busy in the kitchen. Luckily, I already had my winning lemon cookie recipe from a Mrs. Field’s Cookie contest to use as a base. With a tweak here and there I came up with a pretty good replica—at least that is how my neighbor called it.


mine on the left and bakery on the right

mine on the left and bakery on the right

Mine are more crispy and more lemony than the bakery version. Both are good.

Lemon Drop Cookies

 2-½ cups all-purpose flour

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1-cup sugar

2 egg yolks

Grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon lemon extract

Heat oven 350F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, juice and extract. Add dry ingredients; blend well. Drop cookie dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 15 to 16 minutes or until edges are lightly brown. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

14 thoughts on “The Challenge & Lemon Cookies

  1. I’m going to have to try yours, but I’ll use some Boyajian lemon oil instead of extract. Have you ever tried it?

  2. ….recently I have been using butter from grass fed cows(Andrew and Everet)…it seems to make a difference in the baking of cookies.(
    I also think it has a higher burning temp.) Let me know if you can feel and taste the difference in the texture of the cookie. I am gluten free(as you know gluten free baking is not as good as with wheat) so it might be a difference with that process.
    Love lemon cookies!

  3. I have not tried butter from grass fed cows but will be looking for it–another challenge! Have you tried my other lemon cookies? Made with almond flour so gluten free and quite delicious

    • You, my friend, are so kind and one of the best cooks out there. I am so excited to see your Saucy Mama sandwich in the WFC winner’s circle.

  4. Omg yummy!!!! I want one; I’ve decided I must move closer to you so I can cook with you and enjoy all your yummy food (yup-just invited myself:)). We’re going to try these as I have a ton of lemons in the fridge…

  5. I think you will like PA–all the comforts of home and the city–there is a house for sale just up the street!! Come on down.

  6. Lisa, what a wonderful explanation of grief and mourning, I have to agree with you. I guess grief is more of a private action and mourning public, like when Jews sit Shiva and friends and family support them in their grief.
    Your cookies look heavenly, I LOVE lemon cookies and I will be trying them.
    (this is Lynne Laino btw)

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