The 13 Days of Christmas #6: KJ's Lemon Dream Cookies

The 13 Days of Christmas #6: KJ's Lemon Dream Cookies

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Welcome to Day 6 of our 13 Days of Christmas Cookies. Today’s recipe for Lemon Dream Cookies comes from admitted recovering restaurateur Kelli J. Zumwalt, the driving force behind legendary Eureka Springs, Arkansas, eatery KJ’s Caribe Restaurant and Cantina. For decades she was a pioneer in authentic Mexican and South American cuisine, long before the rest of the world caught on. In fact, Authentic Ethnic is just this year showing up on our 2019 Top Food Trends list, as truly authentic flavors take center stage.

I met KJ thanks to her good friend Crescent Dragonwagon at The Fayetteville Roots Festival. The two were leading a workshop on Life, Love & Resilience, which basically sums up the lives of these two dynamic women. They were both visionary restaurateurs in Eureka Springs and continue to shape the lives of those they come in contact with today. When I think of KJ what comes to mind is love, laughter, fidelity, strength, endurance, vision and friendship.

These Lemon Dream Cookies are a celebration of flavor, zest, comfort, craft and sharing with friends, much like KJ herself.



  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch salt


  • 1 Using mixer, beat butter until creamy.
  • 2 Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar until batter turns light.
  • 3 Add zest and juice.
  • 4 In a bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
  • 5 Cover and chill for 1 hour or more.
  • 6 Bake at 350 degrees F, on baking parchment paper, for 13 minutes.
  • 7 Cool 5-7 minutes. Dredge in powdered sugar and serve.


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