Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

With the first day of spring arriving tomorrow morning at 6:02 am, these delicious Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are a wonderful way to welcome the new season. I have been waiting for this day to arrive ever since winter began on December 21st. Although tomorrow is the first day of spring, it’s going to feel like the first day of winter! Temperatures are supposed to only be around 26 degrees with overnight lows dipping into the teens (the average temperature this time of year is the mid 50′s). Needless to say, I need some springtime weather coming my way! 😀

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

This recipe includes fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, giving the cookies a delicious lemon flavor. They’re adapted from one of my favorite cookie recipes, the amazing Chewy Lime Coconut Sugar Cookies! Soft and chewy in the middle with slightly crisp edges…just the way a sugar cookie should be! If you’re a fan of lemony treats, these cookies are for you! They’re certain to steal the spotlight on your Easter dessert table this year.

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

Soft and chewy sugar cookies packed with lemon zest and lemon juice for a springtime spin on the traditional sugar cookie.

Yield: 24 cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling dough
2 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into 8 pieces
Zest of one large lemon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract


Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar, lemon zest, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil, egg, milk and lemon juice until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet, until a soft dough comes together.
Place the remaining ⅓ cup sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Roll two heaping tablespoons of dough into ball between your palms, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Butter the bottom of a drinking glass and then dip the bottom of the glass in the remaining sugar. Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of the glass until they are about 2 inches in diameter, dipping the glass in sugar as necessary to prevent sticking (after every 2 or 3 cookies). Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the remaining sugar, using about 2 teaspoons per sheet of cookies.
Bake until the cookies one sheet at a time until golden brown around the edges and their center are just set and very lightly colored, 11 to 13 minutes. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Source: adapted from The Craving Chronicles, originally adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies {Sweet Pea's Kitchen}

One Year Ago: Peanut Butter Banana Whoopie Pies 
Two Years Ago: Baked Apple Walnut Oatmeal           

17 Responses to “Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies”

  1. #
    Judy @Savoring Today — March 19, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    Lemon desserts is a real weakness for me, these look perfect! I love the addition of cream cheese and the lemon extract. It is so hard to get enough lemon flavor for my liking, so the extract is a must! Oh, if I could just resist eating them all at once! 😉

  2. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — March 20, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    i have big lemon cookie plans this weekend Christina! I would have missed these, so I am VERY glad for stopping by today. These look SO SO good. I love lemon desserts. They are a weakness 🙂

  3. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — March 20, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    I love lemon in my desserts! These make me want warm weather! Unfortunately, that is not in the cards right now for NY 🙁

  4. #
    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — March 20, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    These cookies look perfectly soft and chewy! Great way to welcome in spring!

  5. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats — March 20, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    I have a similar chewy citrus cookie on my site…aren’t they the best? Yours look awesome 🙂

  6. #
    Cheryl McAskill — March 20, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    Gonna try these. I need Spring and I need it BAD! I am in the Northeast and I too am waiting for the warm weather! This has been a LOONNGG winter.

  7. #
    Rosa — March 20, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Oh, I love chewy cookies and anything citrusy! Those cookies are terrific.



  8. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 20, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    They look so soft and chewy which isn’t always easy to achieve with sugar cookies! Mmm! 🙂

  9. #
    ChgoJohn — March 20, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

    Chewy lemony cookies. What more can one ask for? These sound great, Christina.

  10. #
    Renee — March 21, 2013 @ 12:50 am

    I love lemons. I lived in Taiwan for two years, and it was almost impossible to find proper lemons. I feel so spoiled now just having them in the grocery store down the block. Can’t wait to try these cookies.

  11. #
    Noreen — March 21, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

    These cookies are delicious but mine came out super flat. Followed directions to a T. Any idea why? Thanks!

  12. #
    Laura Dembowski — March 23, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    We need the weather to catch up with the fact that it’s spring for sure! These cookies will have to hold us over until then

  13. #
    Sharon — May 25, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    This is the third time I’ve made these for about 90 people at work.They are fast, and very easy and taste fabulous. Everyone at work raves about these cookies and they are requested more then any other cookie.

  14. #
    John Jacobs — August 24, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    Made these for my wife’s work to give a non-chocolate option. They were a hit!

    • Christina replied: — August 31st, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

      Yay! So happy to hear they were a hit! 🙂

  15. #
    Garden Gal — March 10, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

    I just pulled these out of the oven and waited exactly 5 minutes to eat one. These are amazingly delicious. Crispy and chewy at the same time and the perfect amount of lemon flavor. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe . It’s my new favorite!

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