Crisp Lemon-Ginger Wafers

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Crisp Lemon-Ginger Wafers

star rating (10) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

These snapping-crisp cookies are an elegant accompaniment to tea or coffee.

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon lemon oil or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (6 1/2 ounces) chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup (5 1/2 ounces) light corn syrup

Beat together the soft butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon oil or extract, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and sugar for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the flour, crystallized ginger, and corn syrup, mixing until well blended. If the mixture seems dry, add 1 tablespoon water.

Divide the dough in half. Form each portion into a 10-inch log, wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap, and freeze for several hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (for easiest clean up), or use ungreased baking sheets.

Slice the log into 1/4-inch disks. Place on the prepared pans, and flatten into thin cookies with a glass dipped in flour. (If the glass sticks to the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap.)

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they're light golden brown. The cookies will puff slightly and then collapse while baking. Cool cookies on the pans for 1 minute, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Cookies keep in airtight containers at room temperature 1 week. Freeze for longer storage. Yield: about 10 dozen thin 2-inch cookies.


  • star rating 03/01/2015
  • from KAF Community
  • These are terrific with a cup of tea. I did make a few changes. I peeled thin strips of lemon zest with a vegetable peeler, then ground the peel with granulated sugar in my food processor. As much as I love my microplane, I think this captures more of the lemon oil (in the sugar). After I had ground up the zest, I tossed in the candied ginger and ground it up too. This puts more of the ginger throughout the cookie but still leaves some larger bits. The second time I made these, I also added ~1/4 teas. of freshly ground white pepper.
  • star rating 03/01/2015
  • from
  • These taste very good, although they are not strongly lemony. Nearly impossible for me to get round cookies, especially with the pressure needed to cut thru ginger pieces. I did press them thin, but they are close to the line between crisp and hard. I used a glass with plastic wrap on it, and dipped in confectioners sugar, which disappears in the oven.
  • star rating 05/10/2014
  • Snickerannie from KAF Community
  • I find myself making these over and over. They are so buttery and sophisticated. only change i make is to grate fresh ginger in instead of powdered..... makes them a little spicier! And, they are so easy. I find the slicing a pain....they never come out round, so just roll soft dough into 1 inch balls and smoosh with a glass and parchment so they dont stick. works like a charm!
  • star rating 12/11/2013
  • meganwallis from KAF Community
  • I just baked 18 1/2 dozen of these for a cookie exchange I do each Christmas. I always choose a new (to me) recipe for the exchange, so a test batch is essential! These cookies came out so yummy, I had a hard time letting my husband and kids help with the testing! I made this as per the recipe, except that I was generous with the ginger. One of the women in the exchange asked whether these had cardamom; they don't of course, but I plan to add some to the next batch. These are going on the regular rotation!
  • star rating 03/28/2013
  • Totalcolour from KAF Community
  • Not only does this make a wonderful cookie to have with tea (or just because), I use it for crumbs. I put some in my mini prep and chopped them up for a base for chocolate cheesecake; I used these instead of graham crumbs, which I don't like. My husband said it was the best, most exotic cheesecake he's ever had. The lemon and ginger was the perfect foil for the dark chocolate, and the crystallized ginger chunks gave a nice chew to the cake.
  • star rating 03/06/2013
  • Tom George from KAF Community
  • I liked these cookies. Found it took a little work to get the cookies to flatten out (both plastic wrap, re-floured for each cookie) to get them to stay on the parchment paper. A question: I understand creaming the butter, sugar and lemon flavor ingredients. Why aren't the baking soda, baking powder mixed in with the flour? I noticed they reacted immediately with the lemon juice, so the CO2 generated was gone before they could be incorporated in the batter.
    Some of the crisp comes from the earlier release of the CO2. Baking soda begins to react right away when in contact with liquid and so does baking powder but there is enough staying power with baking powder that the second leavening occurs once the product hits the oven. The CO2 bubbles expand even more at that point! Thank you for trying this recipe! Elisabeth
  • star rating 12/12/2011
  • cekoles from KAF Community
  • These are really tasty with a strong ginger flavor balanced with buttery richness. I do think the flavor improves the by the next day. They are crisp but also have a bit of chew to them that I really like. The preparation is pretty easy. They are a little homely; it is hard to press them evenly. On the other hand, ginger does have a bit of a stained glass appearance that is nice and rolling the logs in sparkle sugar or raw sugar might dress them up a bit. The recipe actually only makes about 6.5 dozen not 10 as indicated: 2 10" logs, sliced into 1/4" rounds only makes 80 pcs. (10x4)2 =80
  • star rating 01/27/2010
  • Sherry P from Gainesville, Florida
  • I've been making these for a while now, and everybody loves them. I've started adding candied lemon peel (boil peel in simple syrup until translucent), which adds even more flavor and texture. (This is my favorite cookie recipe ever, I'd appreciate it if you could delete the rating where I somehow managed to mistakenly give it only 1 star!)
  • star rating 08/24/2009
  • Sherry Pringle from Gainesville, Florida
  • I've been making these for a while now, and everybody loves them. I've started adding candied lemon peel (boil peel in simple syrup until translucent), which adds even more flavor and texture.
    Sherry - Thank you for trying this recipe. You seem pretty pleased with it so I am wondering why such a low rating? Just curious! Elisabeth @ KAF
  • star rating 06/25/2009
  • Jeanne from Northern California
  • I remembered seeing this recipe awhile back and it has haunted me, just imagining what they would smell and taste like. Couldn't stand it anymore, looked it up, made a double batch (with the willing hands of nieces & nephews) and we ate them with Earl Grey tea on the patio, they ate themselves sick so all the rest were mine! Delicious!