Recipe: Lemon cookies

Lemon Cookies

Warning: This recipe takes a couple days to make & is fairly labor intensive compared to a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. Lemon cookies from this recipe are wildly popular, but don’t start this recipe if it’s a quiet Sunday afternoon and you want something quick that will result in cookies in the next couple hours. I usually make it only once or twice a year and make a quadruple or sextuple batch when I do.


  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tblsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup 1-minute oatmeal
  • 3 cups flour, preferably white whole wheat, although all-purpose unbleached or a mixture of regular whole wheat & all-purpose unbleached can be used
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened or room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups demerara or light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks


  • 1-1/2 Tblsp lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened or at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed powdered sugar


Beat butter until fluffy in a mixer. (This step is very important, otherwise the filling is very stiff both to mix and to spread.) Mash lemon peel for filling and salt for filling to paste in bowl. Add to butter, beat until mixed in. Add sugar in 4 batches, beating until incorporated after each addition.


Boil lemon juice and lemon peel in saucepan until reduced to 2 Tablespoons. Pour into a small bowl and cool.

Sift flour and baking soda into medium bowl. Add oatmeal.

With electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. (It is possible to make this part of the recipe without beating the butter, but it will result in a much stiffer & much denser dough.) Add sugar, beat until blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in yolks. Beat in lemon juice mixture.

Add dry ingredients and stir to blend well.

Cover and chill until firm, 4 hrs – 1 day.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1/3 of dough on lightly floured surface to 3/8 inch. Cut into cookies with 2-inch cutter. Bake cookies 1 sheet at a time until golden brown at edges, about 10-15 min. Let cookies cool 5 mins, transfer to racks and cool completely.

Assembly into sandwiches (if desired):

To assemble cookie sandwiches, spread 2 tsp filling on flat side of 1 cookie, top with another cookie flat side down.


Note: This is a modified version of a recipe that appeared in the January 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. The original recipe came from Citizen Cake in San Francisco. I checked their website today and although the cookies do not currently appear on their menu, there is a dessert cookbook titled Demolition Desserts by head chef Elizabeth Falkner that looks quite interesting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s