This lemon cookie recipe is close to a sugar cookie with a pop of lemon. They are easy to make and packed with lemon flavor.
This dough can be cut into shapes and rolled out easily and will hold its shape in the oven. You can also skip the cookie-cutter and simply roll into a ball and flatten. Either way, they will bake nicely and taste good with or without frosting.
LEMON COOKIE RECIPE TIPS
Chill the dough. Once the lemon cookie recipe batter is mixed wrap it up in parchment paper and chill it in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, or give it a quick chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This is a great make-ahead recipe. I recommend chilling the dough until it is chilled all the way through, as it is easier to work with when cold.
Coat with confectioners sugar instead of flour. Usually, when I roll out cookies I will coat the surface and dough with extra flour to prevent sticking. This dough will be sticky, using confectioners’ sugar to coat will help the cookie keep its soft texture. I use a LOT of confectioners’ sugar to coat this dough well. Even if you are rolling it into a ball and forming a simple shape, coat your hands with confectioners sugar to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
Chill the shaped dough AGAIN before you place the oven. Chilling the dough once you cut or roll out will help the cookie hold its shape in the oven and help the cookies bake evenly.
I love lemon flavor especially in the spring, shaping these cookies into spring shapes just feels right. I added almond extract to the icing for a sweet balance with the lemon flavor in the cookie.
WHAT KIND OF ICING SHOULD I USE?
These cookies are good on their own, but doesn’t frosting make everything better? If you love lemon you can add lemon to the icing for an extra lemony cookie. I used almond extract in a basic glaze to add some sweetness and balance the lemon zing in the cookie.
I used a basic glaze using confectioners sugar, almond extract, and a dash of milk. Vanilla extract or lemon will work for flavoring the glaze. You can also use a combination of milk and confectioners sugar or even water and confectioners sugar. These cookies also tasted good plain with just some sanding sugar sprinkled on top.
Mix the ingredients until the glaze is runny but not too watery. Using a frosting bag, pipe the edges of the cookie, this will help the glaze stay in the shape, then fill in the rest. Add sprinkles while the frosting is still wet, then let the frosting dry and set. For the fluffy tail of the bunny, I simply added more confectioners sugar for a thicker frosting that could hold its shape.
HOW TO STORE THESE LEMON COOKIES
These lemon cookies are good for about a week stored airtight if unfrosted. Keeping them in an airtight container will help them stay soft.
If the cookies are frosted they will last about 3-4 days in an airtight container. If the glaze contains milk I would store them airtight in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
FREEZING THIS LEMON COOKIE RECIPE
You can make the dough ahead of time or make the cookies ahead of time. Either way here are some freezing tips.
If you are freezing the dough, wrap it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place it in an airtight freezer bag for best keeping. I like to double wrap to keep the dough from getting freezer burn.
Dough will keep for about 3 months in the freezer. Always label the parchment or bag with the date and type of dough before you freeze.
If you are freezing the baked cookies the same guidelines apply. Wrap them in plastic wrap and then place in an airtight freezer bag or container. Again, I like to double wrap to prevent the cookie from freezer burn. These will also last for about a few months in the freezer.
REFRIGERATING THIS LEMON COOKIE RECIPE
If you are refrigerating the dough ahead of time wrap it up the same way you would freeze. I have simply thrown cookie dough in the refrigerator wrapped in parchment paper overnight and found that the edges were hard.
I would recommend wrapping it in plastic wrap or parchment paper and placing the wrapped dough in a freezer bag or airtight container. This will protect the dough and keep it cold and soft. Refrigerated cookie dough will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
If you didn’t frost the cookies or used a water-based glaze they do not require refrigeration. Simply keep them airtight.
If you did use milk or heavy cream in the glaze I recommend refrigerating them. To refrigerate, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. You can place parchment paper in between the cookies to protect them if you like. Cookies will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days.Print
A simple roll-out and shape cookie recipe that is similar to a sugar cookie with a lemon twist.
For the cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
For the glaze
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- splash of almond extract
- 2–3 tablespoons of milk or water
For the cookies
- In a medium bowl whisk flour and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl or mixer beat butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add egg one at a time mixing well in between
- Add vanilla, lemon juice, and zest, mix well.
- Lastly, add the flour mixture and mix on medium until blended well.
- Wrap the dough in parchment paper and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F while the dough is chilling. ( If you are doing a quick chill in the freezer)
- Roll out onto a surface coated with confectioners sugar and cut into shapes. You can also roll dough into a ball and flatten and place it on the pan.
- Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet with the rack in the upper two-thirds of the oven for 10-12 minutes. (ovens will vary)
For the glaze
- Place about 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl.
- Add a splash of vanilla, almond extract, or lemon to the sugar. (I used almond extract)
- Add milk or water a tablespoon at a time and whisk until incorporated well. Add additional confectioners sugar until glaze reaches desired consistency.
- Glaze cookies once they are completely cooled.