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. #
    Candice @ Sailing on Paper — November 10, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Chewy cookies are by far superior to crunchy ones!


  2. #
    nicole {sweet peony} — November 10, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

    i love a good lemon dessert, but you’re right, there are some times when you just need chocolate! and peanut butter. and chocolate. :)


    • Madeline — November 14th, 2011 @ 3:08 am

      I think I must be one of the only females on this planet that just doesn’t go for chocolate. I can’t stand the stuff, actually. Lemon desserts and caramel, however, I am a sucker for.


  3. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — November 10, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    These look craaaazy good. I love lemon desserts…sometimes more than chocolate. I’m hanging my head in shame, I know. I’m the total opposite though – I can stop at one chocolate dessert because it’s so rich, but with lemon desserts I can throw a few back.


  4. #
    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — November 10, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    Great “cleansing” cookie! There is definitely a time and place for chocolate, cheesecake, and more chocolate but there is something refreshing about adding a bit of lemon every once in awhile.


  5. #
    Jackie (Just Add Milk) — November 10, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Okay… Okay… I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’ve Never had a lemon dessert, or even a lemon cookie. I’m actually worried that I may not like them or maybe I’m just intimidated… I will print this and add it to the section in my binder called “need to try”. Thanks for the recipe. I’m sure it’ll be wonderful. They look yummy!


    • Paige — November 10th, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

      I just gotta say that this is one of the saddest things I have ever heard! You must go and try something lemony and sweet, pronto!!


  6. #
    LeeAnne — November 10, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

    My fiance would so like these! But I am preferring your salty chocolate and caramel turtle cookies! Have the dough chilling right now! MMMM do they look good. I ran across your blog from a friend’s Facebook post and have been hooked ever since. Since I live in Pgh too, its nice cause I am able to get local stuff if you ever mention it. I’m heading to Robinson Cracker Barrel for Bone Suckin’ sauce tonight..


  7. #
    *Just Fran* — November 10, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    I love lemon and I love chewy cookies. These look to be always perfect for me. Thanks for sharing.


  8. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — November 10, 2011 @ 6:51 pm

    I love lemon desserts! This looks fantastic!!


  9. #
    Tali Simon @ More Quiche, Please — November 10, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    Love the top photo!!


  10. #
    Alexa @ Simple Eats — November 10, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Lemon desserts are always good in my book. These look fantastic…they also look like frosting would be good on them, too. :)


  11. #
    Jessica — November 10, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    totally off subject but I love that we share the same name.. It allows me to pretend if only for a moment that I’m a beautiful & charming baking goddess instead of the slave to my education (as I sit at the library for the 4th night in a row supposed to be doing homework) that I actually am. Enjoy an extra cookie for me.. it’s gonna be a long night.


  12. #
    Gail — November 10, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    Seriously LOL at wiping the iPhone on the stupid update…not that I did that to my iPad, or to my son’s iPod or anything…that definitely called for cheesecake.


  13. #
    Liv B — November 10, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    OH! I saw these on Instagram and couldn’t wait to see what they were. These look like that perfectly delicious, chewy biscuit which is one of my favourites. (I’m yet to find the perfect choc chip cookie recipe)… I’m looking forward to giving this a go.


  14. #
    Marianne — November 10, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

    These are in my oven right now! I already ate about two cookies worth of raw dough… uggh belly ache. anyways, thanks for the great recipe. I love anything lemon and now have a new staple to add to my cookie list!!!


  15. #
    Andrea — November 10, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    You’re friggin hilarious. And somehow, after all your “love” and “recommendations” (sarcasm) of these cookies, I still want to make them. They look SOOOO SOFT!!


  16. #
    Ann — November 11, 2011 @ 12:07 am

    The cookies look amazing and you’ve provided terrific lemon eating timing/etiquette! Thanks!


  17. #
    Ashley — November 11, 2011 @ 1:34 am

    I LOVE lemon baked goods. Especially lemon cake. I think I would like these cookies alongside a slice of lemon cake, with a lemon drop shot [the liquor kind] on the side? ;)


  18. #
    Ashley — November 11, 2011 @ 1:34 am

    I didn’t mean to end that with a ?? It was a statement of fact. !!!


  19. #
    CouponClippingCook — November 11, 2011 @ 4:49 am

    Sounds really good. love the pics too. Lemon in cookies is a nice change.


  20. #
    Miz — November 11, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    Im in for the snickers :)
    not a lemon fan UNLESS they are LEMONHEADS :)


  21. #
    Katie — November 11, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    I’m so with you on lemon desserts.. I will always, ALWAYS go for the chocolate. But sometimes a little lemon is just refreshing. Ever have those lemon italian ice cups they used to sell at costco? amazing.


  22. #
    Michelle — November 11, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    Heavenly! Def. making these!


  23. #
    Irmak — November 11, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

    I really believe that the lemon dessert craving comes full force and never leaves completely. It lessens considerably though. I dreamt all kinds of lemon desserts for some time and I didn’t particularly liked them before that. Weird. Tried these, didn’t look as pretty as yours,but they still turned out great =)
    I thought I didn’t have lemon extract but found it after I already made the cookies. Hate it when that happens.


  24. #
    Michelle — November 11, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Where did you get those measuring cups?! SO cute


  25. #
    shannon — November 11, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    so i made these today. they were delicious and even though i told myself yesterday that i wouldn’t eat any more sweets, here i was today making these cookies for a yard sale I’m hosting tomorrow and I cannot stop devouring them. the only problem i had is that golf ball size chunks were too big and i couldn’t keep the dough in ball form, i had to flatten it on the cookie sheet because the cookies themselves didn’t flatten. otherwise. they were SO. GOOD. now if only i can make it through the night with some leftovers for tomorrow.


  26. #
    Ami @ parsnipsandpears — November 12, 2011 @ 1:09 am

    I <3 anything lemon in a huge way. yum.


  27. #
    Carroll @Vanilla Lemonade — November 12, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    Yowza- They look soo good! My butt thanks you!


  28. #
    lauren @ the talking kitchen — November 13, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    ummm i made these, with only a few substitutions like whole wheat pastry flour and a little bit of baking powder and they were AMAZING. stop after one?? i ate about 5 in one sitting! thanks so much for sharing!


  29. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — November 14, 2011 @ 1:46 am

    I LOVE lemon cookies, these sound fantastic :)


  30. #
    Kat @ living like the kings — November 14, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Absolutely LOVE lemon cookies, bars, etc.


  31. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — November 15, 2011 @ 12:08 am

    Yep, I will definitely be making these!!! My husband is a LEMON fool! He would love me forever and ever if I made him these cookies.


  32. #
    Katie — November 16, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I just made these today ~ delish!! I’m planning a repeat altready for my grandpa’s birthday in a couple weeks, he loves lemon.


  33. #
    Becki's Whole Life — November 17, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    I have to say I am not with you on this one. I could eat lemon all year round and it’s one of my all-time favorite flavors. I even like to add them to my christmas cookie list in some shape or form. And lemon with butter….even better. These look like a great cookie. They’re huge! I love that.


  34. #
    Mori — November 18, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

    So lemony! Lemon fix: achieved.
    These were lovely


  35. #
    Tamar — November 21, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    These are REALLY good. My boyfriend is a cookie fiend, and I thought he would never eat a cookie that wasn’t chocolate chip, but he LOVED these. And I can pretend they’re healthy because of all of the vitamin C. Perfect- thanks!


  36. #
    Julia — November 22, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    my fiance loves everything lemon so I made these for him. they are delicious, but he said that they are not lemony enough so I made up a simple glaze with 1/4 cup meyer lemon juice, 2tsp lemon extract and 1.25 cups powdered sugar and gave them a nice little bath in that. Now they are even more lemony and delicious!


  37. #
    Jill — November 23, 2011 @ 11:59 am

    Just made this for my sister’s birthday becasuse she loves anything lemon and they are delicious! They are perfectly soft and chewy! Thanks for another awesome recipe!


  38. #
    Kristin — December 11, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    Oh my gosh, these are delicious!!! Love it!


  39. #
    Lindsey — December 23, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    These are amazing! All I can think about is adding pomegranate arils now though!


  40. #
    Courtney — January 16, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    I made these the other day when I was sitting around the house bored and craving something sweet. Fortunately I had all the ingredients on hand, because these were the BEST cookies I have had in a while! They are so mild yet you can very much taste the lemon…Just perfect! My husband and I ate them all in 2 days! Will definitely be making these again AND sharing the recipe with friends/family!


  41. #
    Veronica — March 2, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    So easyyyy to make and they taste sooo good and they are soo chewey just the way I like cookies. I didnt have lemon extract so I used little over 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. SO GOOOOOODDDD
    Love your web page and your recipes.


  42. #
    Sarah R. — April 2, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    Mmmmm. Sounds tasty. Thinking about strawberry ganache sandwiched between these. It would be like a springy explosion of tastiness. Mmmmmmmmm. I know what I’m doing tomorrow.


  43. #
    Emily Stanley — June 8, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    Hello! These came out delicious!!! I added my own twist by adding cherry extract and chopped up maraschino cherries inside the dough, they were amazing! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Maybe you’ll enjoy the cherry inside yours as well!


  44. #
    Sophia — July 8, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    Another long-time lurker. Just wanted to say I love love love this recipe. I made it with poppy seeds in addition to the lemon zest and it went down a storm. I linked to your recipe on my blog since everyone should check it out.

    Love your blog, the pictures, the recipes and your tongue-in-cheek writing.

    All the best



  45. #
    Becky — September 7, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

    Man, oh man. I LOVE lemon desserts. However, you’re right…not every day calls for them. Frequently, post-summer-pre-spring days don’t call for them, in my opinion.

    Luckily, I made these back when it was still clearly summer to bring in at a presentation I gave at the end of an internship. Good thing I DID bring them in, too, or I would have scarfed them all down to myself. Rave reviews all around and requests for the recipe.

    You, ma’am, get a gold star in my book.


  46. #
    Nina — November 23, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

    made these tonight! love love the recipe love the cookies! they are so good and chewy and ugh just the sweetness i wanted at midnight <3


  47. #
    Heather@YSP — February 8, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    I just made these with blood oranges instead of lemons (just what I had) and they turned out so, SO well!!! Thanks for the great recipe.


  48. #
    Katie — May 9, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    I fiiinally made these and they were delicious!! Thank you for sharing the recipe! :)


  49. #
    Casie Bistline — May 14, 2013 @ 3:00 am

    Lemon oil may be used in aromatherapy. Researchers at The Ohio State University found that lemon oil aroma does not influence the human immune system, but may enhance mood.


  50. #
    Amanda Hall — July 13, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    I have made these cookies since you posted this two years ago. People die for them. I have added them into regular rotation!! Delish!! Kitchen smells amazing while you make them too! Total bonus!



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