DIY Recipe Critique: Lemon Cooler by James McDougald

YouTube player

The Recipe



This is where the recipe really shines. The description that James provided me was "an attempt to recreate the powdered sugar coated shortbread cookie with inclusions of candied lemon zest that I enjoyed as a child." These delicious "lemon coolers" are cookies that focus on the shortbread and powdered sugar coating, and the lemon zest adding a bright accent to the entire flavor. And that's exactly what I get with this recipe. The focus is on the shortbread cookie, using INW Biscuit and CAP Sugar Cookie to bring that home. The butteriness of the biscuit is really what makes this cookie base so alluring, and the texture & weight of the sugar cookie to add to the flavor. The Torrone and Meringue adds the perfectly balanced "powerdered sugar" coating. And the Lemon Sicily adding lemon zest. You'd think 3% of lemon sicily would be overpowering, but it's not, and actually sits on the outside of the vape, where it's meant to be. Extremely accurate and extremely authentic. Excellent work, James. 


While I can't say this recipe is completely groundbreaking, it does have some innovation within it. Being able to add that powdered sugar coating to the recipe, and balance it as beautifully as it's balanced in this recipe, it's quite impressive. Everything else is pretty much par for the course, but that doesn't take away from the recipe at all. As long as there is some type of intrigue to pull the audience in a bit closer, goes a very long way. And while I'd love to see more of a rick being taken on the recipe, I'd rather the flavor come out the way it is than take too much of a risk and fail. Great restraint is hard to come by. 


And lastly, the overall flavor of this recipe is excellent. It's bright, fun, and exciting, while also being traditional and tasty. The shortbread cookie is balanced pretty well although I do wish it held more weight. It does seem a bit light, especially against the lemon and powdered sugar. Also, I wish it had just a touch more texture to contrast the lemon and sugar. I feel if a small tweak or addition could add in that weight and texture, without changing the balance and composition of the recipe, it would go a long way. Other than that, I'm very impressed with the entire recipe and I know for many who enjoy any type of lemon tart, lemon pie, or lemon cookie flavor, this would be an instant ADV for them.