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Mrs. Ronzo's Lemon Balls

My daughter Danielle makes them for us at Christmas. And, it has been brought to my attention that these cookies are one of my brother-in-law’s favorite. Well, as it so happens, John’s birthday is on April 15. So I decided to share this recipe with you.

I asked Danielle for the recipe, but it turns out my wife had it. It took her a while to find. Yes my wife and I have our own separate recipes. One reason is that she’s always looking for something different or something new, even though it might be for the same kind of cookie. I’m not sure why? She never gets rid of the ones she doesn’t like; she just keeps accumulating more of them. It must be a control thing. She’s like that with pretty much everything!

I on the other hand, take a more democratic approach to things. I like to stick with the latest recipe that everyone really liked. The others get trashed. If I come across another recipe made using different ingredients or mixing method and I think it might be better, I’ll give it a try, and see how others react to them to decide which one stays and which one goes.

In any case, when I was ready to make the cookies I asked Jane for the recipe to which she replied, without hesitation, “Mrs. Ronzo’s Lemon Balls.”

I said, “WHAT?”

She reiterated, ”Mrs. Ronzo’s Lemon Ball cookies. Is that what you want?”

“Who in God's name is Mrs. Ronzo? I just want the recipe for the cookies Danielle made for John this past Christmas.”

She realized what she’d been saying and burst out laughing, “That’s the name of the recipe. Mrs. Ronzo’s Lemon Balls, those are John’s favorite cookies. Here look at the recipe”

I started to say, where the hell did you get that… and stopped myself short. I suddenly remember who initiated this all, my daughter Danielle. If you know Danielle that would explain it all.

Danielle is extremely eclectic when it comes to recipes and other things that interest her. She has a strange fondness that are incongruous.Similar to that of Diane Arbus accentuated with a comedic twist. She is amused by a distorted perception of humor and beauty. One reason she would even consider to make a Lemon Cookie called Mrs. Ronzo’s Lemon Balls.

The recipe is from, It was submitted by Patti, received a 4 out of 5 rating by 17 members (more people with Danielle’s affinity), and is Patti's favorite lemon flavored cookie. The recipe was given to Patti’s mother when Patti was just 6 years old. As it turns out, sad to say, Mrs. Ronzo has since passed, The good news is that Patti and her mother continue to make these cookies every Christmas.

I’m sure Patti and Mrs. Ronzo would be pleased to know that Danielle too shares in the tradition of making Mrs. Ronzo’s Lemon Balls every Christmas now, and perhaps so shall I.

Method: Creaming

Mixing Time and Speed: 6 to 8 minutes at speed 3

Quantity: 4-dozen cookies

Oven Temperature: 350ºF

Cooking Time: 8 to 10 minutes


Measuring cups and spoons



Mixing bowl with a paddle attachment

2 parchment lined sheet pans


Sugar 1 1/2 cups

Shortening 1/2 cup

Eggs 3

Milk 1/2 cup

Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp.

Lemon Extract 1 tsp.

Zest of 1/2 lemon

AP Flour 3 cups

Baking Powder 3 tsp.

Salt pinch

10x Sugar 2 cups


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Blend the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.

  3. Beat in the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. of lemon extract.

  4. Mix until well blended.Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.

  5. Add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture and mix until incorporated.

  6. Drop spoonfuls onto parchment lined sheet pans and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

  7. While the cookies are cooling, make the icing by combining the confectioner’s sugar, water, and lemon extract to taste. Beat until smooth but thick enough to spread on cookies.

  8. When the cookies have cooled frost with icing.

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