Swedish Lemon Angels

Original recipe in: Penn and Teller’s How to Play with Your Food

This cookie was eaten on the podcast in episode 057 – Link


  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup Buttermilk (or ¼ c. milk and ¼ cup vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1¼ cup Sugar
  • ⅞ cup All purpose flour
  • 8 tablespoons Butter or margarine, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In a small bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, beat the egg until foamy.
  3. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and blend well.
  4. Add the baking soda, one teaspoonful at a time, sprinkling it in and beating until the mixture is smooth and the consistency of light cream.
  5. Add the lemon juice all at once and blend into the mixture. Stir, but do not beat (you want it creamy, but without a lot of air)
  6. The mixture will congeal into a pasty lump. Scoop it out of the bowl with a spatula and spread it on a floured surface.
  7. Sift the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar together and use the fingertips to work it into the egg- lemon mixture.
  8. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out 1/32′ thick and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut out ‘angel’ shapes and twist the edges up to form a shell-like curve about 3/8″ high. Sprinkle on the remainder of the sugar.
  9. Brush each ‘angel’ with melted butter.
  10. Place the angels one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

NOTE: Remember making ‘volcanos’ in elementary school? This is the same classic chemical reaction disguised as a cookie recipe. Anyone trying this will wind up with a kitchen counter full of egg-lemon foam about 10 seconds after completing step 4.