Zesty Lemon Cookies

Why not enjoy that refreshing Summer flavor – lemon –  but in cookie form?  I saw this recipe in my newspaper last week.  Lesli Neilson was on a mission to duplicate Paradise Bakery and Cafe’s Lemon Zester Cookies and this is the recipe she came up with.  Now I have only Been to Paradise Bakery twice, but absolutely love it.  I also have never tried their lemon cookie but I know how fabulous the chocolate chips cookies are.  So I figure the lemon cookie must be equally as good.  Not sure how this version compares but it was delicious.  It’s kind of like a lemon bar without that lemon curd type layer.

The cookie is also made from simple ingredients.  We are talking butter, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, baking powder, and flour.  The zest is what really makes the lemon flavor pop in this cookie.  These cookies turn out soft and you finish them off with a light dusting of powdered sugar, just like lemon bars.  You could even top them with a drizzle of lemon glaze if you prefer.  Yummy.  Tastes like summer.  You could even make a lime or orange version just by changing the juice and zest.  These would also be perfect cookies to make a lemon whoopie pie with.  You could fill them with lemon cream cheese filling.  Oh yum!  I love these cookies, the possibilities are endless with what you could do with them.

Also, here are the Jamba winners:

  • Julianne who said, “What a great idea! I love smoothies, too. My favorite would be probably be the ‘Berries Wild.’ Although, they all sound delicious.”
  • Becky who said, “I love Jamba Juice! I would love to try the Razzmatazz.”
  • Stefanie B. who said, “The Mango-a-go-go would be my choice to try! Love mango smoothies!”
  • Julie who said, “Love jamba juice and would love to try strawberry wild!”
  • Leisa who said, “Definitely Mango…so refreshing!”
  • Deni who said, “Razzmatazz! :0)”
  • Patty who said, “Wow………..I would have to try the Strawberry Wild first,then the Mango-a-go-go.”
  • Lisa M who said, “I LOVE Mango! I would try the mango-a-go-go”

Congrats to you all and watch for the email from me!

Zesty Lemon Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add eggs, one at a time, until blended. Add lemon juice and zest, mixing until blended.
  3. Add salt, baking powder and flour and mix until blended.
  4. Drop by rounded scoopfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake until edges are firm with no color, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar.  Servings » Makes 2 1/2 dozen (I used my cookie scoop and got 3 dozen cookies)

29 comments on “Zesty Lemon Cookies

  • I made these cookies…instead of the zest I used 2 TSPs of Lemon Emulsion…added dried blue berries and a sugar glaze. They did come out like little scones…but I love that!
    I will def make these again!

  • My family loves these cookies. The first time I made them w/fresh squeezed lemon juice and the zest it was great. This time I made them w/Sicilian Lemon Juice and they were even better. The Sicilian lemon juice packs such a punch that I didn’t even bother with the zest. Everyone loved them. Thank you for the recipe.

    I get my lemon juice at Costco.

    As some have said they are a little cakey, but I love them that way. If you are looking for a crisp lemon cookie you will need to look elsewhere. 🙂

  • I made the recipe word for word and the batter was definitely not cookie-esque. I made a small test batch to see if was I right, and upon tasting them, I wasn’t impressed. They didn’t taste like cookies; they tasted more like a weird, sweet muffin. I added quite a bit more flour and kept mixing until I found a better batter texture, then tried cooking these and the results weren’t much better.

    tldr; I don’t recommend these.

  • Not impressed. I didn’t mind the cakey consistency, but they were boring white cookies (with a slightly lemon-flavor) with a white sugar dusting. Not very imaginative or interesting. Wouldn’t bother making again.

    • I have to disagree. I just made these cookies, and they were fabulous. The lemon flavor was very distinct, and they weren’t as cakey as everyone claims they are. I didn’t change a thing and they turned out wonderful. So great job whoever created the recipe. i would definitely make these again.

  • What every recipe that tries to copy the Paradise Bakery Lemon Zester cookie misses, is something I have seen them do at the Paradise Bakery. After they pull the cookies out of the oven, the cool them a few minutes, then they brush the top of each cookie with Minute Maid concentrated lemonade. I think that is what gives the cookies such a strong and tasty lemon flavor.

  • i was sooo excited to do them… and nope, they are faaaar too caky. I did not put to much baking powder and I followed the recipe to the letter. There is just something really wrong with the recipe, too much eggs, I guess you shouldnt put eggs at all in these types of cookies or maybe half an egg for this amount of flour. and I wouldnt put baking powder in these, whats the point?

    Sorry about that, very disappointed also!

  • The texture turned out like muffins instead of cookies. Dissapointed.

  • Great recipe — thanks for posting! I tried baking these today, and they turned out very well.

    I went a bit heavier on the zest (close to 2tsp, one medium lemon’s worth) because other lemon cookie recipes I’ve tried usually did not taste lemony enough. These cookies definitely taste lemony — and close to lemon bars in flavor — just like you described.

    This will be my go-to lemon cookie recipe. Happy to finally have found a lemony cookie (instead of sugar cookies with slight hints of lemon, which have been my experience with most recipes) … Thanks!

  • These cookies are delicious! I’ve made them twice and my dad LOVES them. Thanks for posting!

  • How much cream are you suppose to put in the mix? I can not see that in the ingredients.

    • if you add cream to cookie dough, you get cake batter. . .creaming refers to the blending of sugar, egg and fat until the sugar crystals begin to break down

  • I just made these today and they are SO delicious!!

  • These cookies were really easy and tasty! I made a batch to share with my friends and they really liked them. I think next time I may try them with a lemon glaze?

  • I had to add about 3/4 cup more flour in order to get these to be the right “doughy” consistency and less of a “batter.”

  • These look scrumptious and wonderful!

  • Mmmmmm….these look and sound delicious! Now, if it only weren’t so dang hot so I could turn the oven on!

  • Yum! I can’t resist anything lemon. Can’t wait to try them. Now I just need a recipe for Paradise Bakeries chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips – love those too!

    • Could you please let me know if you were ever able to get the recipe for the Paradise Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies?
      Thank you!

  • Those cookies look delicious! I was just looking at a couple of lemons in my bowl and thinking I need to do something with them quick!

  • oooh these look so soft and chewy – thanks for the recipe!

    • I am making a double batch of these cookies right now for a fundraising bake sale, and they are fabulous! I wanted to figure out an easy way for my buyers to identify them as lemony – so I zested another lemon, a bit more juice, powdered sugar and a splash of water – and now have a shiny, zesty glaze on top, so everyone will know these are no ordinary sugar cookies.

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