Buttery Lemon Cookies

I'm a sucker for lemon desserts. I love chocolate and caramel, but sometimes, nothing but a mouth-puckering lemon bar will do. The love affair with lemon began at a young age when, at Poppin' Fresh (then Bakers Square) I was introduced to the glory that is lemon meringue pie (even though I called it lemon syringe pie for the longest time). When I was 16 and began working as a barista at Starbucks, two of my favorite treats were the lemon knot cookies from a local bakery, and the lemon bars with about an inch of powdered sugar on top.

Lemon cookies

Yet, for some reason, I've only ever made lemon desserts a handful of times. The problem is that I'm a snot about them. I'm a strong believer in that a lemon dessert should only contain real lemon juice squeezed from real lemons, none of that bottled stuff, and definitely no lemon extract. At least, I thought that before today.

Lemon cookies

An impulse buy of lemon extract at the international market yesterday had me craving a lemon dessert, and while watching Breaking Dawn with Lizz this afternoon, I realized that I wanted to make lemon cookies. One has nothing to do with the other… Breaking Dawn and lemon cookies… though I will say: Breaking Dawn was better than all the other Twilight movies. But Twilight doesn't hold a candle to any of the Harry Potter movies. Tangent over.

After a quick dinner of roast beef sandwiches on multigrain bread, I set to work in the kitchen to make a simple lemon cookie to bring to work tomorrow, since Adam claimed that he didn't like lemon desserts.

Mission accomplished!

Lemon cookies

Buttery Lemon Cookies

Print this recipe!

Ingredients (2 dozen cookies)

  • 10 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce lemon extract
  • raw sugar for sprinkling


  • Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add vanilla.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add in 3 additions to the butter mixture.
  • Add the lemon juice and lemon extract, mix well.
  • Spoon onto a prepared cookie sheet about 2" apart, as the cookies will spread.
  • Sprinkle with raw sugar.
  • Bake until lightly browned, about 20-22 minutes.

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lemon cookies
The texture was perfect: cakey but still delicate; a crisp edge surrounding a chewy inside. The raw sugar on top added a nice crunch. The biggest surprise though, was the lemon extract. It was a true lemon flavor without the pain (literally, lemon juice in cuts HURTS!) of slicing and juicing lemons. I'll likely be using the remaining extract in another lemon treat soon.
Oh, and even Mr. "I Don't Like Lemon Desserts" has had four cookies. I hope my coworkers like them as much as he does!
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8 Responses to Buttery Lemon Cookies

  1. Jenn says:

    This looks like such a wonderful and easy recipe. For some reason, I’ve always been intimidated by lemon desserts. Good lemony flavor seemed really hard to achieve. I’ve also never baked with lemon extract, but, I’m looking forward to trying this out!
    Jenn´s last blog post ..Mushroom Saffron Risotto

  2. WHOA. I need to make these, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE anything lemon!
    Melissa @TryingtoHeal´s last blog post ..Comment on At The Table: Vegan Enchiladas by Kaitlin With Honey

  3. Mmmmm, these look great. I’m saving this recipe because I love everything with lemon. My big ‘ole tree of meyer lemons are almost ready for the picking, and this is on the top of my list to make and DEVOUR!!

    Ummm, I totally loved Breaking Dawn. It was one of the best movies of the series and stayed true to the book. I love finding everyone who’s a Twi-hard!!!! yeah buddy!!!

  4. LMAO at lemon syringe pie!! My grandmother made awesome lemon meringue pie and lemon bars, but I got away from my love of lemon desserts for years… it has only resparked recently how much I love that sweetly tart combo!
    Christin@purplebirdblog´s last blog post ..I Made Pajama Pants!

  5. Mmm these look so good. My dad is like you — a lemon dessert freak! I think I’ll make these for him. I also have a bottle of lemon extract that I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. Not sure why haha I bought like 5 different types of extracts. I guess I should start looking at ways to actually utilize them?
    Dinner at Christina’s´s last blog post ..Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  6. Holly says:

    YUM!! How did I miss these?

    Quick math question. Is it 10T or 1.5 sticks (12T) of butter? I want to make sure I get it right. 🙂

  7. Pingback: 12 Days of Cookies, Day 4: Lots of Lemon

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