All the fresh flavors of a lemon bar packed into one delicious cookie! These buttery and perfectly chewy cookies are loaded with sweet lemon flavor, white chocolate chips and dusted in powdered sugar.
The Best Lemon Cookies
Okay, confession time: I generally am not a huge fan of sweet lemon desserts. I usually like my lemon tart and in more of a savory say. There are a few particular lemon recipes that I can’t get enough of like my Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies, Key Lime Pie Cookies and Raspberry Lemonade sugar cookies. These Lemon Cookies officially make the list- it’s a sweet lemon dessert that I could not stop eating!
And these cookies are everything! All the texture and buttery flavor you want from a cookie mixed with all the citrusy sweet flavor of a lemon bar. The combination cannot be beat!
Lemon Cookies Recipe ingredients
- Butter- I always use salted butter because that is what I have on hand, just make sure that it is softened so that it creams well with the sugar.
- Granulated Sugar- Nothing fancy here, just regular old white sugar.
- Lemon Emulsion- Lemon emulsion is different from lemon extract. You will want to make sure you use emulsion! I use Lorran’s brand. I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but it’s available on Amazon as well. This is the key ingredient!!
- Canola Oil- Adding a little oil to the dough gives the cookies a fantastic crisp edge.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Yellow Gel Food Coloring– Gel will lead to a much brighter and deeper color. You’ll need to use significantly more regular food coloring to get the right color which will add quite a bit of liquid to your recipe. If you use liquid food coloring, you may need to add a few extra tbsp of flour.
- White Chocolate Chips
- Powdered Sugar
- Corn Starch– We mix cornstarch with the powdered sugar to keep it from melting on the cookie while baking.
How to make Lemon Cookies with Powdered Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- While the oven is preheating begin the cookie dough by creaming together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, lemon emulsion and oil and beat again until it is mixed well. Scrape the sides again and add the flour and baking powder. Mix again until thoroughly combined.
- Add the food coloring a few drops at a time until the dough is a deep yellow. The cookies will get lighter when they bake. Finally, add in the white chocolate chips and mix until well incorporated.
- Scoop out 1/3 cup of dough and roll it into a ball. Break the ball in half and then put the dough ball back together with the rough edges out so that there will be plenty of texture on the tops of the cookies as they bake!
- They cookies will flatten a spread a bit as they bake, so keep the dough balls tall.
- In a small bowl mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch together and spoon onto the top of each unbaked cookie.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes. Be careful not to overbake the cookies, you will know they are done because the center of the cookie will puff up and spread slightly.
8. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for 20 minutes before serving.
9. Serve Warm and Enjoy!
How to store Tart Lemon Cookies
Store your cookies in an airtight container or zip top baggie, always. They will keep fresh on the counter for up to 3 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week and in the freeze for up to 3 months.
Can you freeze a Lemon Cookie?
Definitely! Just freeze on a cookie sheet for one hour and then you can toss the cookies into a zip top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Freezing initially on the cookie sheet will make it so the cookies won’t stick together in one frozen clump. The powdered sugar may melt and become less noticeable when thawing, but all you’ll need to do is sprinkle a bit more on.
Best Lemon Cookie Recipe FAQs
Definitely! You can scoop and roll them to whatever size you’d like. You’ll still bake at 350°, but you’ll need to adjust the cook time. For cookies that use 3 tbsp of dough, start by setting your timer for about 11 minutes.
Not in this recipe. The lemon emulsion is so super strength that you’d need a couple of lemons juiced to get to the same flavor level. Adding that much liquid would seriously alter the recipe and they wouldn’t turn out.
More Cookie Shop Style Recipes
Bakery Style Tart Lemon Cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 1 minute.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs, lemon emulsion and canola oil. Mix until well combined.
- Add in the flour and baking powder. Mix until a soft dough forms.
- Add the yellow food coloring a few drops at a time until you have a deep yellow color. The cookies will get lighter as they bake.
- Lastly, mix in the white chocolate chips.
- Scoop the cookie dough out in a heaping 1/3 cup portions. Roll into a ball. Break the ball in half and then smash the two half back together, leaving the rough edges up. This will give the cookie top some good texture.
- The cookies will spread and flatten a bit as they bake, so keep them fairly tall. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Arrange on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat covered pan. Place 6 cookies on each tray.
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and corn starch.
- Spoon a generous amount of powdered sugar onto the top of each cookie.
- Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes. The cookies will spread slightly and puff up in the center. That is when you know it's time to take them out of the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 20 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm and enjoy!