Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies

These soft, chewy cookies are for lemon lovers only! They’re made with a triple punch of lemon: lemon juice, zest, and extract. Perfect for when you need a little bit of sunshine.

Unlike other lemon cookies, which have just the barest hint of lemon flavor, these cookies pack quite a lemony punch, but without tasting too sour or too artificial. The secret is to use three different types of lemon flavoring in the dough: lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.

Most lemon cookies also tend to be crispy and crumbly. I have nothing against those cookies, but I want a cookie that I can really sink my teeth into. These soft and chewy lemon cookies are certainly that.

Lemon Lovers Only!

It seems like my friends are evenly split between chocolate lovers and lemon lovers when it comes to dessert. On one side are those folks who crave dark, rich, earthy, dense chocolate.

On the other side are those folks who desire bright and sunny lemon treats. Their eyes light up when they see lemon bars. They start salivating at the idea of lemon meringue pie.

When I mentioned these soft and chewy lemon cookies, these friends immediately clamored for the recipe. If you love lemon, this one is for you!

Secret Ingredient for Soft, Chewy Cookies

The secret ingredient for making these cookies soft and chewy is cream cheese. This also adds a subtle tang that works really well with the lemon flavor. Just makes sure to let the cream cheese warm to room temperature before making the cookies or it will never properly incorporate into the dough.

Tips for Working with This Dough

Because of the lemon juice, the dough will seem really sticky and hard to work with. Let the dough chill in the fridge for an hour to help firm up the dough and make it easier to shape.

If you find the dough is still really sticky, you can also wet your palms before rolling them. Don’t worry if things get a little messy, you can always wash it all off later!

How to Store and Freeze

Store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days. They also freeze really well!

  • To freeze unbaked cookies: Roll the cookies into balls, but do not roll them in the sugar. Freeze them on a sheet pan in a single layer without touching, then transfer to a freezer container once hard and freeze for up to three months. To bake, let the balls thaw slightly so they are a little tacky on the outside, roll in sugar, and the bake as directed, adding an extra minute or two onto the cooking time.
  • To freeze baked cookies: Stack the cookies three or four high, wrap them in foil, and then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to a month.

Love Lemon? You’ll Love These Recipes!

  • Classic Lemon Bars
  • Lemon Pound Cake
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • How to Make Lemon Curd
  • Lemon Icebox Pie

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