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Chewy Lemon Cookies Recipe

These chewy lemon cookies are soft and delicious. They’re great as a unique holiday cookie or to enjoy year round.

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Plate with lemon glazed cookies stacked on it.

I hosted my cookie swap this past weekend, and, as usual, I came up with some new cookie versions for it. I’m not a traditional Christmas cookie kind of gal.

Yes, I have made egg nog cookies before, but I those brownie batter truffles I posted yesterday? They were part of my cookie swap, too.

The other cookie variety this year? Chewy lemon cookies.

So yeah, I know. Lemon isn’t exactly a traditional Christmas flavor, but trust me when I say you won’t care once you take a bite of these. I let Little Miss pick out the initial flavor, and when she came up with lemon, I knew I could make a winner.

The key is keeping the lemon cookies chewy. I didn’t want the cookies to get crisp and hard, even on day two or three because lemon to me speaks of smooth creaminess, and a crunchy cookie just kills that.

Hand holding a cookie with more in the background.

How can I keep my cookies soft?

In general, you can store your cookies in a tightly sealed container with a slice of bread to help them stay soft. You can also use a slice of apple for a couple days, but make sure you don’t let it touch your cookies and change it regularly.

I’d also read somewhere awhile ago that adding a little cornstarch to your cookie dough can help keep your cookies softer. Cornstarch acts as a dough conditioner, and having a cookie that starts out with this added ingredient helps ensure it stays soft for days when you store it properly.

What kind of butter should I use?

When you bake, you should always use unsalted butter. Salted butter has a different amount of salt depending on which brand you use, which can really throw off your recipe.

Unsalted butter lets you control the amount of salt in your recipe much more easily. Baking recipes are designed and written for unsalted butter, too.

How do I keep cookies with a frosting from sticking to each other?

When you store these cookies, it’s easy for the glaze to attach to the bottom of another cookie and “ruin” it – or at least the looks of it.

To keep your cookies from sticking, first ensure that you let the glaze completely harden. Don’t store your cookies for at least two to three hours after you add the glaze.

Second, be sure to use wax paper to separate every layer of cookies. You don’t have to do this for every cookie you make, but these cookies definitely require it.

How should I store these chewy lemon cookies?

These cookies will taste great for days after you make them. However, you want them to stay as soft and fresh as the day you made them.

Once the glaze hardens completely, place the cookies into a tightly sealed container, and store them on your counter. As mentioned above, be sure to separate each layer with wax paper to ensure they don’t stick to each other.

Plastic wrap, tin foil, and the like will not work in place of wax paper, although you could use parchment paper if you have that.

You can easily store these on your counter for three to four days in a tightly sealed container.

Can I freeze these cookies?

You can absolutely freeze these chewy lemon cookies. Be sure to prep them in a storage container, and if you plan to freeze them, you may even want to use a zip top bag.

Ideally, you have as little air in the container as possible, while still ensuring you keep the cookies separately by layers of wax paper.

You can store these in your freezer for up to two months.

To thaw them, simply remove them from the freezer, and open the container. I find that any condensation that gets into your container will make your cookies soggy. If you open the container as they thaw, this prevents that issue.

Glazed chewy lemon cookies on the cooling rack

My only regret was that the batch didn’t make more cookies. I ended up with 18, but I always feel like I want more so that I can share with others. Next time I make it, I may be doubling the recipe.

How to Make Chewy Lemon Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Beat your butter and sugar until lightened in color and texture. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir until combined, then beat again another 30 seconds.

Add the salt, baking powder, and cornstarch and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until just combined.

Scooping chewy lemon cookies

Use a standard size cookie scoop to scoop your cookies onto a sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.

Chewy lemon cookies on the sil pat

Place a little sugar on a plate and use the bottom of a glass to dip into the sugar then flatten the cookies just a little – to a little more than 1/2 inch thick.

Dip a glass in sugar to keep it from sticking

Keep dipping the glass in the sugar, as this will help keep the cookie dough from sticking to the glass.

Glass flattening cookies on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, just until the tops start to crack a little. You want them to be a tiny bit soft yet.

Let them cool on the baking sheet for two or three minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

Make the glaze while the cookies are cooling.

Add the powdered sugar to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and use a fork to stir until combined.

You want this to be thick but not so much that you can’t scoop it at all. You may need to add a little more lemon juice but no more than three tablespoons in total.

Glaze dripping off a fork into a bowl.

Once the cookies have cooled for at least ten minutes, use the fork to scoop out a bit of the icing for each cookie and spread gently across the top. It should keep its shape fairly well and not drip off the edges much, if at all.

Hand holding a cookie dripping with glaze.

Let the icing harden for two to three hours (if you can wait that long), then store in a tightly sealed container on your counter.

Again, be sure to separate layers with wax paper to ensure the glaze doesn’t stick to the cookie above it.

Save this recipe to make these chewy lemon cookies again!

Glazed chewy lemon cookies on the cooling rack

Chewy Lemon Cookies

Soft and chewy lemon cookies with a tart glaze make the perfect sweet-and-sour combination.
4.88 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies
Calories: 141kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cups flour

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat butter and sugar until lightened in color and texture. Add egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir until combined, then beat again another 30 seconds. Add salt, baking powder, and cornstarch and mix until well incorporated. Add flour and stir until just combined.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 3/4 cups flour
  • Use a standard size cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto a sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Place a little sugar on a plate and use the bottom of a glass to dip into the sugar then flatten each cookie to a little more than 1/2 inch thick.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, just until the tops start to crack a little.
  • Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then place on a cooling rack.
  • Make the glaze while cookies cool. Add powdered sugar to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and use a fork to stir until combined.
    1 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Once cookies cool for at least ten minutes, scoop out a bit of the icing for each cookie and spread gently across the top. Let the icing harden for two to three hours, then store in a tightly sealed container on your counter. Separate layers with parchment paper to ensure the glaze doesn't stick to the cookie above it.

Notes

  • Store your cookies in an airtight container with a slice of bread to help them stay soft.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 132mg | Sugar: 12g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

Plate of cookies with text chewy lemon cookies.

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  1. I have never seen the glass with sugar trick! Thanks for sharing with Tasty Tuesdays!

  2. Tasty Tuesdays: 100+ Recipes: Christmas Food Round-up - Creative K Kids says:

    […] Chewy Lemon Cookies Recipe from Honestly & Truly […]

  3. I love lemon. Thanks for sharing on Tasty Tuesdays!

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