Lemon Coolers

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Have you ever been to Aldi before? (For those of you who do not know, Aldi is a discount grocery store.)

Some of you might make fun of the store or look down on it, but I don't. Now.
I used to. It never appealed to me to shop there until recently.

One day mom and I hopped into her Hyundai Santa Fe and decided to cruise on up to Aldi and see what they had to offer.

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First we browsed the aisles of packaged cookies, chips, snacks, canned goods, etc. and I didn't really see anything I had to buy. Then we made our way through the dairy section and I started to warm up to Aldi a bit.

$1.99 for butter? That's a good price.
$2.20 for organic soy milk? Nice.
Feta and blue cheeses for $1.99? I like that.

Then we rounded the corner and came into the fresh produce section and I started snatching up vegetables and fruit as quickly as I could. The produce was ridiculously cheap.

I had all of this produce and dairy in my hands, but no cart, so it was hard to juggle and carry all of it up to the cash register.

Here's the thing about Aldi: you have to pay a quarter to rent a cart and when you're finished with the cart you get your quarter back. Isn't that strange? Did they really have that big of a problem with people stealing carts?

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Here's another thing about Aldi: they don't bag your groceries. You have to carry a box up there, I think. I'm not sure where you get the boxes though.

So picture Mom and me carrying out two heads of cauliflower, butter, a frozen chicken, zucchini, a pineapple, a bunch of bananas, a bag of oranges, a bag of limes and a bag lemons out to the car. It's not easily done my friends.

I am now a fan of Aldi for life.

I also like that a lot of elderly people shop there because the elderly are wise and know Aldi is where it's at, and it just LOADED with bargains. And they don't rush me when I'm picking out the perfect bunch of bananas. They understand.
And we can have conversations with one another about how cheap the pineapple is.
And I noticed that they buy tapioca pudding just like I do.

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The large amount of citrus I purchased was crying out to be used in some new baking recipes. So I made lemon cookies. Lemon Coolers, actually.

When I smell anything lemon (like a lemon crisp candle), I start craving Lemon Cooler cookies. Did you have these when you were growing up? They're crisp lemon cookies with a powdered sugar coating. Mmm.

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I haven't seen Lemon Coolers in a very long time. I wonder if they still make them? It doesn't matter anyway, because you can bake them yourself and they're much better! No hydrogenated oils!

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This is a simple lemon cookie with lemon zest and juice in the batter. Small teaspoons of the dough are dropped on to cookie sheets and baked until just crisp, then coated in confectioners' sugar.

My Lemon Cooler craving is satisfied now.

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Lemon Coolers

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until creamy - about 1-2 minutes. Beat in lemon juice, vanilla and eggs until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in dry ingredients until just combined - about 1-2 minutes. Chill dough in refrigerator or freezer until firm - about 30 minutes.

Roll teaspoons of dough into balls, place on cookie sheets, and bake 10 minutes or until light golden on the bottoms. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. When cool, dip cookies into confectioners' sugar.

Makes 4 dozen tiny cookies

56 comments:

  1. Mmmmmm, lemon coolers!! And Aldi sounds just like Polish stores (it's actually a German chain). Bring your own bags, insert quarter to get cart (awesome way to keep people from leaving their carts all over the parking lot!) and cheap produce and dairy! Glad you discovered it. And next time take cotton grocery bags. :)

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  2. I like going to Aldi too because they have different products! Your biscuits look so good!!! I love a lemon flavoured biccy ;)

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  3. Aldi actually is the biggest chain of grocery stores here in Germany, and their know for having the cheapest groceries but still selling quality foods, and they've started selling organic foods recently. There's one in every little village or town over here. When I first saw Aldi in America a couple of years ago while visiting my aunt in Georgia, I was quite surprised:-P. My aunt told me that the concept of having to rent a cart is strange to a lot of people, so they don't shop at Aldi, but in Germany it's like that everywhere (I don't know who would want to steal a shopping cart though). They don't bag your stuff over here either (to reduce waste I think), so you have to bring your own bags.
    Actually, I think I'll head over to my nearest Aldi (about 5 minutes away) to buy some lemons, because those Lemon Coolers look delicious. They remind me of summer, which is very nice now that it's so damn cold here already :) Have a nice day!

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  4. I love these lemony cookies! Sounds delicious! I'm a lemon lover!!!

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  5. We have Aldi here, too. I think it's a Midwest thing. I go there frequently for the bargains. I didn't realize that about the cart, too funny. They also charge to take a debit card. I guess that's how they keep it cheap!

    Love, love, love lemon coolers!

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  6. These look yummy!

    I share the same love for Aldi, except for a different reason: around Christmas, in France, they bring in the most delicious lebkuchen gingerbread cookies from Germany. They're fresh and super delicious!

    The coin thing for the carts is actually super common in Europe--alway carry 1 euro with you when you're planning on getting a cart from the supermarket!

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  7. Haha that IS strange... but those cookies are not - so refreshing and delicious!

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  8. aldi's is pretty awesome :) next time you could always try reusable tote bags to carry all the goods!! or maybe bribe them with some cookies...

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  9. Never heard of Aldi's. Those lemon coolers were some of my favorite cookies as a kid. Forget the chocolate, I wanted lemon ;-)

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  10. I think the quarter back for the cart is so they don't have to pay someone to go out and wrangle carts all day long -- hence you get cheaper prices on your food.

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  11. Also, at my Aldi there will be empty boxes near the checkout or behind it along the wall, if that fails find a box that is almost empty on the shelves and empty it and use it.

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  12. Aldi sounds great, but did you check the date on the butter? (I'm just being churlish, but did you?)

    Those cookies would be great with a great cup of tea. I love the first picture and the dramatic blurry background. That could be Eric's thumb and we'd never know.

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  13. The trolley deposit is fairly standard in the UK (and I suspect most of western Europe) - not only does it limit trolleys being stolen but it also ensures you take it back to the trolley port - so they don't have to employ people collecting trollies, and you always have to bag your own groceries. The supermarket I use gives you bonus loyalty points for bringing your own bags.

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  14. mmmm love lemon cookies!!! They do the quarter thing so they don't have to go collect all the carts from the parking lot, ppl bring them back to get their quarter back and aldi saves money not having to pay a person to be on cart patrol :)

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  15. I've never heard of lemon coolers.. they look good though.

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  16. You used to have to put a quarter in the shopping carts at my local grocery store (bigg's in the Cincinnati area), too. Supposedly, it was to keep people from leaving the carts all over the parking lot and causing damage to cars. If you wanted to get your quarter back, you had to bring the cart back up to the store. It always seemed to work, but for some reason they stopped doing it. I first went to an Aldi last year, and I go there about once a month to buy mostly baking supplies. They do have some bargains!

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  17. I love ALDI and go all the time. Take your own reusable bags - it makes things easier. Also when it is closer to the holidays they will have all kinds of baking things at great prices - chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, etc.

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  18. LOVE LOVE Aldi--and great cookie too! I love lemon cookies!

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  19. Hi...you mention meringue powder in the directions but its not on the ingredient list....how much should go in the mix??

    Thanks =)

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  20. That place sounds like a keeper - I love feta and it costs a small fortune here. :S

    Those cookies... YUM, sweetie! So beautiful! You know I love anything lemon - and homemade is always better than store-bought. :D

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  21. Never heard of this store, I will have to look for it - the cookies looks like clouds of lemon

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  22. I too love Aldi for dry goods like sugar and flour. Can't beat the price. As for the carts, it's another money saving technique, it's not because people stole carts, but because if you have to return the cart to get your quarter, they don't have to hire a guy to run around the parking lot and bring the carts back.

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  23. This is the first time I heard of Lemon Coolers but, I love lemon flavor in all desserts! Your cookies looks very yummy!

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  24. I love Aldi. Ours here in NW Arkansas has bags that they sell to you if you want them. They are HUGE!! But it's great when I go buy a bunch of canned goods. I dont have to worry about the silly plastic bags breaking and I can fit most of them in one bag. Speaking of ... I need to do another Aldi's trip really soon. :)

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  25. I don't think there has been a grocery store I have been to for years that doesn't charge you a quarter or sometimes a "loonie" for your cart. That way you will return the cart to get back your money and they don't need to hire staff to round up all the stray carts. I'd say Super WalMart is the cheapest place around here to shop for groceries.One store even requires you to bring your own bags to stop using plastic.

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  26. Coolers? cool! I had never heard of those, they look a little like mexican wedding cookies though...do they have the same texture?
    Maybe I can try Lime Coolers? I don't think I have lemon home (:
    Beautiful pictures btw!

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  27. I have shopped there a couple times. The produce is very inexpensive as is the dairy. I even purchased a grill pan there that has worked great. I have never had a lemon cooler....

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  28. Yum, I love lemon coolers! I've been buying them every week from a bakery at the farmers market, but maybe I'll try to make my own. Thank you!

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  29. Emily!!! What you were an Aldi virgin??? Good post! I visit there often, I love their frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast. Always nice to have on hand...and I swear there's doesn't have a weird taste like other store's frozen chicken. I know fresh is best, but frozen is convenient;) Oh yeah, I have my own blog now!!!!! Yay;)

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  30. I love shopping at Aldi! Usually they have pretty cheap avocados and they're pretty tasty ones, too! Plus their all purpose flour is mega cheap, too! Lemon anything sounds like it would really hit the spot right now...

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  31. You have to pay a loonie (one dollar) for most of the grocery store carts in my city!! You get it back after, but it is a pain in the butt, because I never have a loonie on me.

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  32. only been to aldis once. but that was a long time ago when we 1st got married&barely knew how to boil water hahaha! will check it out again soon.

    yes they still make lemon coolers! ive eaten many a box of those in my time! they seem to be kinda hard to find in this area&always stuck on shelf waaayyy away from other cookies. funny, was just thinkin about those the other day...maybe will try your recipe this wkend...

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  33. oh yeah, these were a big fave from my childhood!! thanks for the recipe!

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  34. I absolutely love Aldi's! We have 2 here in Woodbridge, Virgnia. I buy all my baking products there and their vanilla is great and soooo much more reasonable than any other grocery store I've been to. The bagels are great too. Such good buys. Your lemon cookies look delicious.

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  35. Thanks everyone! Especially for clearing up the cart-thing. You guys like Aldi too!

    Lisa, wow, I had no idea. It makes sense now why you have to rent a cart! :)

    Helena, haha that is too funny!

    Lucie, I'm definitely going to look for cookies around Christmas. :)

    Ali, thanks!

    Sue, come to think of it, I didn't check the date on the butter...

    Fcarrie2, great tips! Wow! Can't wait for the holidays to stock up.

    Mari, sorry about that! I tested this recipe twice. The first time I used meringue powder, the second time I didn't. There's no meringue powder in this recipe. I took it out of the directions.

    Maranda, yes you do! Come up to the one in Springfield.

    Buttersweetmelody, yes, very similar texture. They look a lot alike.

    Christy, yaaay you do!

    Carol, you should!

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  36. Aldi's in Germany...WEIRD!!! I'm totally cracking up because I've went to Aldi's for years and years & have never, ever thought of the annoying quarter in the cart issue, as "renting the cart." Too funny.

    For fun, I try to "give" my cart to some lucky person, and it is nearly impossible to do here in ILLINOIS;) People are almost offended??!! They are like "No, no YOU need this quarter much more than ME!!!" OK? All I'm trying to do is be nice!

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  37. i've never had lemon coolers but they look really refreshing. i have an aldi about 5 min away so i should check it out soon!

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  38. I too love Aldi---and don't care what people say about it! We can't buy EVERYTHING there, but we buy most of our stuff there and supplement at Schnucks. Seriously can't get over how cheap some of the stuff is!

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  39. Okay, so I have to tell you that they charge a quarter for the cart because doing that encourages everyone to put their carts back- have you ever seen a stray cart at Aldi? Doesn't happen! This way, they don't have people suing them for stray carts running into their cars AND they don't have to pay someone to go to the parking lots and collect the carts. That's another way they keep their cost down.

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  40. I've never seen or even heard of lemon coolers, but I'll have to take your word for it about how good they are, though, I'm sure your version is a hundred times better. They certainly look delicious, and sound so refreshing! This is a recipe I look forward to trying!

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  41. Sounds like a great place! I live in Canada and in most suburbs, the large grocery chains do the same thing with carts. Except here, it's not a quarter, it's a loonie (one dollar coin):) Definitely a great way to get people to return their carts! Also, here most grocery stores have started charging people for bags, so I always bring my own re-usable bags and a backpack. This is much kinder to the environment!

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  42. When I lived in Chicago and was on a VERY tight budget, I used to shop there sometimes. That store saved me tons of money.

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  43. Your cookies look so much prettier than my lime ones. Therefore, I bet they taste out of this world.

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  44. Here's a fun fact about Aldi - it's a real big German company that also happen to own Trader Joe's.

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  45. I am glad you have discovered the joys of shopping at Aldi. (Here we add an "s" to the end and call it "Aldis".) When you go to Aldis you can either 1) take empty boxes from throughout the store, 2) purchase bags at the check-out, or 3) just bring your own bags with you. Also, FYI, did you know that Trader Joe's and Aldis are owned by the same people? Some of my favorite things to buy at Aldi are mini wheat bagels, dried fruit, and almonds!

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  46. Oh, and one last thought: I am sure that the date on the butter is fine. The majority of Aldi food (with the exception of some weekly deals) is store brand. The prices aren't lowered because the food is approaching its sell-by-date.

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  47. I had to tell you that I made these cookies for a party this past weekend and they were a major hit! Everyone absolutely loved them. One thing I did change was to swap out the vanilla with almond extract. Very delicious. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

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  48. Mmmm. Lemon + Cookies = Deliciousness :) I just found your blog and am really loving it! I love how you create your own recipes, that's something I love doing too! You're also the first blogger I've found that is local to me. (I live in Nixa). I'm getting ready to make your best ever chocolate chip cookies, which I'm sure will be wonderful :)

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  49. I don't think I've ever had lemon coolers before and now I'm totally feeling like I'm missing out - yours look so yummy!

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  50. Aldi love! Actually, I've hit up their dumpsters on more than one occasion - always full of slightly less than perfect produce that I can put to use...or feed to my chickens!

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  51. Love Lemon Coolers!!!! I haven't seen them in YEARS! We tried to make them but I couldn't get it to taste right...until I used a little bit of lemonade Kool-Aid in the confectioner's sugar. So good!

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  52. I love lemon coolers, they are dangerously poppable.
    I went to Aldi twice in the five years we lived in Kansas. Check out their chocolate--lots of fun, foreign stuff!
    Take your own bags! ;)

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  53. I so want to learn how to make these, Lemon is my favorite.

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  54. I saw your beloved Lemon Coolers at Cracker Barrel over the weekend!

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  55. These look so refreshing and delicious! I am a real citrus fan, it has to be said. We have Lidl here - apparently the founders of Lidl and Aldi are brothers from Germany - but my sister lives in Ireland and she told me that there they have both Lidl and Aldi and Aldi is better! Here we have to 'rent' shopping carts too, and pay for plastic and paper bags, so a lot of people take sturdy, reusable bags with them every time they go grocery shopping. It's more environmentally friendly anyway, I guess ;) I'm definitely going to try baking these lemon biscuits soon - yum!

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  56. Those cookies look wonderful!!! You've already had a million people tell you, so I'm not going to say anything much except that I noticed it's a trend all over Europe!

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