I completely support the notion that there is a time and a place for lemon desserts.

Breaking up with the love of you life? Not that time Or that place. Trust me.

Rear ending someone on the freeway because you were texting while driving? Deffffinitely not that time. And stop that. Seriously. !!!

Wiped your iPhone clean while attempting the dumb update? That calls for cheesecake. Not lemon cheesecake, FYI.

Dreamed about eating the leftover pizza for lunch only to find that your husband chewed it as a midnight snack? I hear m&m’s and quesadillas take the sting off nicely. And I think you should pinch his nose while he’s asleep tonight to wake him up. Funny haha…

Things like blowing an interview, leaving one of your favorite stilettos (it’s real life here people) in a hotel room 1000 miles away, losing an awesome earring and stubbing your toe do not require yellow citrus. Believe this. Those are like feed me chocolate plus peanut butter with an oreo crust and whipped cream on top and sprinkle Heath bars on it and give me seconds, err, I mean thirds kind of situations.

But apparently? Returning home from a weekend trip that was consumed with insane desserts only to be followed by two birthdays does call for lemon desserts. Especially when you really don’t need any desserts at all but for some freaky reason crave lemon. And no, I’m not knocked up people.


Psssst. Janetha gave me this schtuff. I used it. I loved it.

Psssst. I love her.

Lemon dessert thingies just don’t do emotional eating and cravings any justice. At least not serious justice.

If all the desserts in the world were made out of lemons, well… first I would cry, but then I would buy skinny jeans because I would always be able to stop after one piece, one bite or one slice.

This picture really looks like I stopped at one bite, huh?

I know.

Seriously though, I gotta be in the mood for something lemony. I’d like to say the same about limes, but I’m always in the mood for four margaritas, so lemon stands alone. I find it refreshing, light and a nice, but not too nice, change from the traditional five thousand pounds of chocolate that find their way into my cookies, brownies, pies and every possible dessert that crawls out of my kitchen.

I can’t help it. ohmygoshilovethesethings.

Chewy Lemon Cookies

[adapted from giant rainbow cookies]

makes about 18 cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick ( 1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest/rind

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, add cooled, melted butter and whisk sugar into it until smooth. Add in egg and egg yolk, mixing to combine, then whisk in vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms. If needed, use your hands to create the dough (I did).

Using an ice cream spoon, scoop the dough into golf-ball sized balls and place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until middle is just set an edges are slightly golden.

Now somebody give me a Snickers.

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207 Responses to “Chewy Lemon Cookies.”

  1. #
    Lys — November 10, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    Gah, I love lemon, all the time! But then again, my friends think I’m secretly an 85 year old with a really, really good dermatologist. Joan Rivers and I are besties.

    Thank you for sharing!


  2. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — November 10, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    You’re totally right – you have to be in the mood for something lemony or else it jsut doesn’t work!


  3. #
    JulieD — November 10, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    I am developing an appreciation for lemon for the last year or so and would love to try these cookies. Wonder how they would if I made them with Meyer lemons?


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 8:27 am

      Probably even better!! I love meyer lemons. :)


  4. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — November 10, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    All of those situations made me giggle because you’re right, it’s real life and sometimes it is a bummer. We shouldn’t eat lemony things on days like that. But there is a time and place for lemon. sooooo true!


  5. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 10, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    These look SO good! I love lemon and most lemon cookies are crispy—loving the looks of these chewy babies!


  6. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — November 10, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    I saw the teaser pic on Pinterest…I was wondering what they were. I thought it may be some sort of sugar cookie pre-holiday thing…never would have guessed lemon. Love it!

    And that lemon flavoring stuff that J gave you. I bet that stuff is potent!! Like peppermint extract is about 100x more potent than vanilla extract; guessing the same holds for the lemon extract.


  7. #
    Sabrina — November 10, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    Yum. I love lemony desserts even more than chocolate ones.


  8. #
    Clare — November 10, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    so true – there’s a reason why there are no lemon flavored candy bars! but WOW these are looking deeevine!


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 8:26 am

      Never thought of that – ha!


  9. #
    Emmy (Wine and Butter) — November 10, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    Lemon desserts are my FAVE!!! ALWAYS!!! and im always doing disasterous things like locking myself out, or accidentally eating a dessert apple instead of a normal apple (and obv not feeling able to stop once I noticed and thus making myself sick) or possibly ordering 3 toasters off amazon instead of one. doh.
    anyways lemon is laways my remedy – Im obsessed! Im actually posting tomorrow on my blog a recipe for white chocolate and lemon soft bake cookies which are TOO amazing and actually taste like a white truffle with gooey otis spunkmeyer style crumbs. true story. Id instruct u to check it out but sounds like you’ll be lemoned out by then…. :) ! xox


  10. #
    Melanie @ Spare Time Baker — November 10, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    These look yummy!!!!


  11. #
    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — November 10, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    Ooh, heck yes! These look GREAT! I want to drop a bunch of hot cookies into a bowl of vanilla ice cream and CONSUME.


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 8:26 am

      Uhhh. I definitely should have done that!


      • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — November 10th, 2011 @ 8:37 am

        I totally think this requires a re-bake… haha!

        Bookmarking these for sure. They have to happen SOON in my kitchen.

  12. #
    Kim in MD — November 10, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    I LOVE lemon desserts, although given the choice I will always choose chocolate. That said, this cookie looks AMAZING! You have made so many delicious variations of that CI’s cookie recipe! I think CI’s should hire you, Jessica! Seriously…you would be such an asset to their magazine. If it happens, remember it was my idea!!! ;-)


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 8:26 am

      Hahahaha, I love you Kim.


      • Kim in MD — November 10th, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

        I was totally serious, and the feeling is mutual! :-)

  13. #
    Winnie — November 10, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    Well, I like lemon desserts pretty much any ole time and I also like chewy cookies…can’t wait to try these.


  14. #
    Clare @ sweetnsimple — November 10, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    Ahh I LOVE lemon sweets.. these are so tempting! Maybe a weekend treat.. thanks for sharing :)


  15. #
    Kathryn — November 10, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    I love lemon desserts especially when combined with white chocolate. Then you get the best of both worlds.


  16. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — November 10, 2011 @ 8:27 am

    Ooo….lemon emulsion! Must look for that! I wish I could reach right through the screen and have a couple of those for breakfast!


  17. #
    Katrina — November 10, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    I love lemon things! Like you though, I don’t usually binge eat them. However, I could eat them any day! These chewy beauties sound awesome.


  18. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — November 10, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    see, for me lemon desserts are kind of an all-the-time thing! i love chocolate, don’t get me wrong, but lemon stuff just kind of does it for me. you can bet i’ll be making these asap!


  19. #
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — November 10, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    I am with you on the lemons. Mostly I’m a chocolate girl, but sometimes I really crave a lemon-y dessert. Lemon desserts seem so “light”. :-)


  20. #
    Beth @ 990 Square — November 10, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    You can send all of your lemon desserts to me! Because in my book, lemon + butter always equals AWESOME!


  21. #
    katie @KatieDid — November 10, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    I can almost always do a lemon poppyseed bread if it’s done right but as for other lemon desserts- you’re very right! Time and a place!


  22. #
    Sally — November 10, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    Oooo, yay! I love lemony desserts, especially when you’re so-stuffed-from-dinner-you’re-ready-to-unbutton-your-pants-right-there, but you still need a little something sweet.


  23. #
    Gen — November 10, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    I need to be in a mood for lemon stuff as well, but everyone else in the family loves it!!! :D Will definitely bookmark this recipe!


  24. #
    Candice — November 10, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    I actually did crave citrus when pregnant and it never went away so I am totally crazy for anything lemon or lime flavored. And lemon is my dad’s favorite so I’m going to bookmark these and definitely make them for him (and steal a few).


  25. #
    Kristen — November 10, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    My mom could eat lemon desserts for any situation. Going to have to make these for her!


  26. #
    Sanjeeta kk — November 10, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    Oh…how delicate and delightful these cookies look!


  27. #
    kathleen @ the daily crumb — November 10, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    you’re right, in times of melt down and crisis, chocolate is the #1 priority, but there are definite occasions for a lemon treat! can’t wait to try these.


  28. #
    Cookbook Queen — November 10, 2011 @ 8:56 am

    So…I’m basically a freak about lemon desserts. Love them. LOVE. So as fate would have it, my husband hates them. Sigh. It’s a miracle we’re even married.

    These look like cookie perfection!! Can’t wait to try :)


  29. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — November 10, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    To be honest (and this is probably going to blow your mind), I prefer lemon desserts over chocolate-y ones. I know, I know, I’m a crazy lady. But give me lemon meringue pie or lemon gelato and I’m like a kid on Christmas day. I’m thinking these cookies would have the same effect… ;)


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:59 am

      JK I love you.


  30. #
    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery — November 10, 2011 @ 9:00 am



  31. #
    Jen — November 10, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    Love, love, love lemons lemon cookies!!!!
    These look so great, I will have to try them soon!


  32. #
    Robyn — November 10, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    I am a lemon fan too! I love fresh zest in my baked goods. I made some bars w/ lemon juice and zest in them last week. Recipe coming soon … they were yummy!


  33. #
    Jessica — November 10, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    When shit goes down, chocolate and peanut butter and caramel, they have their place. But lemon makes me smile. And I like smiling. It’s my favorite.


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:59 am

      You win the best comment award today.


  34. #
    Piccola Italiana — November 10, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    I’m really at a loss for words, and the best I can come up with is “I’m SO making these cookies today.”

    Oh, and you’re totally hilarious :)


  35. #
    lisa — November 10, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    these sound and look great. I really am starting to like lemon things a lot more the older I get, do taste buds change or mature?


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:59 am

      They must! Mine too.


  36. #
    Nicole, RD — November 10, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    I love chocolate and caramel, but there’s something about lemon desserts that just get me. These look awesome!


  37. #
    AJ — November 10, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    LOVE lemon! Wonder how these would be rolled in coarse sugar before baking?? mmm!


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:58 am

      Probably even better!


  38. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — November 10, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    You can almost see the delectable chewiness in these photos. Now I’m craving lemon something. Anything.


  39. #
    Kellie @ Blackboard Kitchen — November 10, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    I am with you on the lemon – refreshing, yes. Craveable, no. But these look good! I am thinking they’d be a nice addition to a Christmas cookie line-up….a little refreshing oasis in the middle of a too-sweet desert. (And seriously, you left a stiletto behind? I would be heartbroken. I am so sad for you!)


  40. #
    Elle — November 10, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    I love love love lemon desserts. I could eat them any time, any day. Will have to check out that lemon extract!


  41. #
    Katie — November 10, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    What happens when you really want to make these as soon as you get out of work but you don’t have lemon extract???? I don’t think Trader Joe’s sells that…


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:58 am

      I think your local grocery store should! In the spice aisle. :)


  42. #
    Anita — November 10, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    I la-la-love lemon! My grandmother’s family name is Lemon, so I’ve been getting lemon-flavored things as a “treat” since I was wee. Only thing I don’t care for is lemonade. Gimme lemon bars every day of the week, tho! Definitely going to try these cookies – I bet they’d be good with a dark chocolate drizzle….


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:58 am

      Love that name!!


  43. #
    sue — November 10, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    when I was pregnant I craved anything lemon, it was one of the things that I could eat and not get sick off of right away. wish I had these then!


  44. #
    Jane — November 10, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    I love a good lemon dessert recipe, and these cookies look divine. Now, to hunt down some lemon extract…
    For those saying lemon desserts aren’t craveable…lemon curd (or butter, or cheese, whatever you call it in the US) is totally craveable. And best eaten off a spoon…


  45. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — November 10, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    I completely agree with you! I finally decided that I like SOME lemon desserts but would never ever eat them over something chocolate when given the choice. However, I’ll incorporate them into the mix when the opportunity is there:-) These look fantastic!


  46. #
    sherri lynn @ life of a wife — November 10, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    SO true! When I have a dessert-related NEED it usually falls under the chocolate category, but I do love a good lemon dessert every now and then! These look delish!


  47. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — November 10, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    Seriously. Perfect. Cookie. I cannot wait to try these!


  48. #
    Amanda — November 10, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    I love lemon desserts! I wouldn’t say I love them more or less than chocolate, but it’s a different kind of love, for sure. Like you said, chocolate is more soul-soothing, lemon is more “I already ate too much chocolate, and I’m already happy. I’ll eat lemon cookies now.”

    And wtf was up with that iPhone update? I unknowingly wiped out all of my contacts the last time I updated mine. That was in addition to not being able to turn off my alarm that morning for a solid 15 mins because I had to go through all of the yes/no update questions, create a new iCloud email, etc. And of course, it was on a morning where I could have hit snooze a good 5 times. SO annoying!


  49. #
    Shannon — November 10, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    LOVE!! I heart chewy cookies, especially when you get a hint of lemon or lime from them!


  50. #
    Kristen@PrettySweet — November 10, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    I think my taste buds changed in the last few years, because now I can’t have enough lemon. I used to assert that dessert was not dessert if it didn’t have any chocolate…five years ago, I would have been totally with you on this post! I still don’t care anything about lemon pies, for some reason, but lemon curd turnovers, lemon buttercream, and lemon cookies would definitely make me feel better on a horrible day. These are totally different than my lemon cookies, so I’m gonna be trying them! They look awesomely chewy. =)


    • Jessica — November 10th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

      I’m pretty much the same way!


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