Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

filed under: Cookies on June 5, 2019
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  • Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies are going to be THE cookie of summer! These from-scratch Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies were inspired by my Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. They are sweet and satisfying and super fun to make! Don’t miss my 50 Best Cookie Recipes if you want more great cookie options! If you love lemon desserts, try my easy Lemon Mousse!

    Lemon Cookies

    Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

    If you are looking for a delicious cookie that has the most wonderful hint of lemon, these are the cookies for you. I am a huge fan of my Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies and thought that if I made a few simple changes to the recipe it would convert well to a lemon cookie. Well, (oddly) I was right! These cookies are soft, sweet, a little tart from the lemon zest, and easy to make! Once you try them I can’t help but think you will agree!

    Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

    What Are Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies?

    Basically one of the sweetest cookies known to man! When my husband tried one his response was, “Now that’s a good cookie.” The kids were just as pleased, asking if they could do chores to earn another sweet cookie! They are addicting, which is tough because they are so sweet you know you shouldn’t eat two!

    How to Make Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

    The ingredients for these cookies are all items you probably already have in your pantry!

    • salted butter (you can use unsalted, but add a pinch of salt to the dough)
    • cream cheese
    • granulated sugar
    • egg
    • vanilla
    • lemon extract
    • flour
    • baking powder
    • confectioners sugar

    If you don’t have lemon extract, you can use fresh lemon juice. Here is a simple equivalency:

    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice = 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

    1 teaspoon lemon zest = 1 teaspoon lemon extract

    There is lemon zest and lemon extract in this dough, so swapping out for fresh lemon juice should be ok. (I have not tested it, we thought this cookie was amazing as-is.) For this recipe specifically, you would use 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice instead of lemon extract, which is about 1 medium lemon.

    How to Make Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

    Should You Refrigerate Cookie Dough?

    Now, you may have noticed that I did not refrigerate the dough. Most recipes call for this so I, of course, tested that. What exactly does refrigerating do for cookies? Well, when you chill cookie dough, it solidifies the fat. Then, when you are ready to bake the cookies, the chilled dough takes longer to melt and remains solid longer, meaning the cookies spread less. For this recipe specifically, that meant the cookies were much more puffed up and tall, which also meant I had to bake them a bit longer to make sure they were actually baked through. The edges browned and didn’t look as pretty as I would like.

    Those cookies actually tasted less ooey gooey when the dough was chilled, so I opted to delete that instruction and use the dough immediately after preparing. The cookies are a bit flatter, but they are still just as ooey gooey and delicious!

    How to Make Lemon Cookies

    How to Freeze Lemon Cookies

    The very best way to freeze these cookies is to freeze the dough. I like to scoop out my individual cookies, place them on a baking sheet, and then place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once they are chilled through, I place them in an airtight bag and then label it with the cookie name and date.

    How to Store Lemon Cookies

    If you want to store baked cookies, grab a large flat plastic container and place a layer of parchment or wax paper on the bottom. Set cookies down, place another layer of wax or parchment, then another layer of cookies. Set a slice of bread (it will get very dry but the cookies will remain moist) in the container and close. Be eaten within 3 days.

    Looking for More Great Cookie Recipes?

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    4.7 from 13 votes
    Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    5 mins

    This delectable lemon cookie melts in your mouth!

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: lemon cookies, ooey gooey lemon cookies
    Servings: 24 cookies
    Calories: 137 kcal
    Author: Amanda Rettke
    Lemon Cookie Recipe
    • 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter, softened
    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
    • 1-1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
    • 2-1/4 cups (282g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup (63g) confectioners sugar
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, for rolling cookie dough in
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

    2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, and granulated sugar until blended. 

    3. Add in egg, vanilla, and lemon extract. 

    4. Add in flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. With the mixer on low, gradually beat into creamed mixture. 

    5. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough and then roll in the remaining 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Place approximately 6 dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread.)

    6. Bake until they no longer appear wet on top, 8-11 minutes. After about 5 minutes cooling on the pan (they will be soft!), place on cooling racks to cool completely.

    Recipe Video

    Recipe Notes

    ***The video is for my Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. The only changes I made were adding lemon zest and lemon extract! 

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  • Cherie says:

    Can these be made with less sugar

  • Lucie says:

    I only used 1 cup of granulated sugar instead of one and a half. I didn’t add any confectionery sugar to the dough. I only used a half cup of confectionery sugar to roll the dough in. They came out Great!!! I make the dough and freeze them. My husband said they were better than the butter cookies I make. Thank you for a delicious recipe!

  • Kathy says:

    How would almond flour work in this recipe?

  • Shirley Reid says:

    I made this recipe today with a couple modifications. I used all lemon juice instead of vanilla, and it was fresh squeezed lemon. I still didn’t think it tasted as lemony as I wanted so made a glaze with melted butter, confectioners sugar and couple tablespoons of lemon juice. A drop of frosting really enhanced the lemon taste.

  • Rachel says:

    These cookies are amazing. It does take about 15 minutes in my oven..at 8-11 minutes, they are raw

    If I freeze the dough (formed into cookies), do I need to thaw before cooking? If so, for how long?

  • Linda says:

    I made them with the addition of lemon juice powder in the dough. And to make them even more lemony, added lemon juice powder to the confectioners sugar that I rolled them in. So oozy gooey good. Love lemon!

  • Dawn says:

    Do you know what to use to substitute for your flour to make gluten free or a substitute for all the sugar?

  • Renee says:

    These are excellent. They have an excellent lemon flavor and are light and melt in your mouth. Mine came out flatter than the pictures here but were excellent nonetheless. Will definitely make again.

  • Gauri says:

    Made these cookies. They were amazing. Is it possible to reduce the sugar?

  • Gail says:

    I very much want to make these cookies, but the recipe says to use baking powder and the video calls for baking soda. Which one do I use?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Follow the written recipe.

  • Pam Ulven says:

    Can you use lemon concentrate instead of the zest and extract? If so, how much to replace both?

  • Sharon says:

    I made them this evening and they are very good. I used real lemon juice rather than lemon flavoring. My son wants me to make some for him but I will add more lemon juice the next time I make them.

  • Laurel says:

    These are probably some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. They definitely didn’t spread the way that I expected them to. They almost didn’t spread at all, so I flattened subsequent batches with my fingers just a bit and it worked.

  • Michelle Mesinar says:

    I have baked these cookies twice and every single person and my kids LOVED them. They are easy and quick. I just added a little lemon juice as well. Delicious!!!

  • Beth Bentrott says:

    Just clarifying, you use baking powder in the lemon cookies and baking soda in the butter cookies?

  • Rita says:

    I see the recipe calls for baking powder in the instuctions, but in the video, it says baking soda. Which is correct?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The written instructions are correct.

  • Mary Ellen says:

    I love the prep time and ability to vary the flavor.

  • Heather Reed says:

    I doubled the lemon zest and lemon juice- still not enough lemon for me. Maybe the lemon juice and lemon extract?

    I also use Mama’s Almond blend – Gluten free with 1 tsp zanthan gum. And cut the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup and no powdered sugar in the dough- only to roll the cookies. The texture is delicious and they baked beautifully!
    I wish I could post a photo!

  • Kit says:

    I’m going to try these this week-end. They look really yummy.

  • Dorothy Norris says:

    I noticed the receipt says baking powder but the video shows baking soda. Which is the best?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The written recipe. 🙂

  • Wanda Jordan says:

    This recipe is delicious! I did make a change though. I didn’t use lemons. I had lots of Key Limes so I used those instead. I followed the recipe exactly as you wrote but used the fresh lime juice and zest. Everyone that has tried them loved them.

  • Nananeedsanap says:

    This is a really good recipe but I felt like it needed more lemon. My husband’s comment was “um, lemony, but I better eat two to get the full effect.” I madevthem slightly smaller, had to mash them down a little before baking, and cooked them 15 minutes. Eight minutes, even 12, left them doughy. I will be making these again, with more lemon zest and possibly add some fresh lemon juice. Would also like to try substituting orange for the lemon and possibly an orange glaze instead of powdered sugar. Very good recipe.

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