Lemon Coolers Are Back! Well, Sorta

When I was a little kid, my mom could always get me to go grocery shopping with her by promising we’d open up a box of Lemon Coolers. The crumbly cookies, coated with powdered sugar, and sprinkled throughout with enchantingly tart and yellow bits of lemony stuff, were so amazing that sometimes we’d polish off a whole box before we even got to the check-out counter (hey, we paid for the empty box!). But in the 1990s, Lemon Coolers disappeared from grocery store shelves after the cookie’s maker, Sunshine Biscuits, merged with Keebler in 1996. You may have heard about this vis-à-vis the fuss over the also-discontinued Hydrox cookies, which fanatics claim were far superior to the similar Oreo.

In any case, Lemon Coolers have been sorely missed. There are frequent online pleas for the reintroduction of the cookies including a petition, and a much-passed-around MYO recipe.

And finally, all those prayers have been answered … sorta. Niche Foods Company, whose website proclaims its dedication to bringing back “Old Time Favorites,” has now introduced Lemon Cookies, for sale at Safeway, Dominick’s, Vons, Genuardi’s, Tom Thumb, Carrs, and Randalls stores.

Are they the same? Close enough to make me smile. They have the same pleasing tenderness, and the powdered sugar on the outside still makes a great foil for the citrus flavor. They lack the chewy lemony bits of the old cookies (whatever they were), and they don’t seem quite as tart. But since the originals have been gone for almost a decade … well … if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.