Nothing appeals to me more than a soft buttery cookie. This lemon butter cookies recipe with a simple glaze is one of my personal favorites. There is nothing extravagant or hard about this recipe, but in its simplicity, it is perfection. Every bite is soft, buttery, and yet, bright with lemon. They are ideal for packing in lunchboxes, perfect to serve alongside your favorite tea, or even fancy enough for a tea party, baby shower, or dare I say, a wedding.
Refreshing Lemon Butter Cookies with Glaze
If you are a cookie fiend like I am, then you know the love of a butter cookie. Melt in your mouth was a term made just for these cookies. My first introduction to butter cookies was probably those little tins my mom got around the holidays. Looking back, I loved those, but now, I realize how good a butter cookie can be, and love making them in a variety of flavors.
Since lemon is a favorite dessert flavor, it worked wonderfully to go in this little cookie recipe. I've made lemon cake many times, and Fanny loves using lemon in her recipes. Recently she even shared a homemade lemon curd with a tart recipe and a roasted blueberry cheesecake featuring candied meyer lemon. When I say lemon is popular, it is no lie. So, this cookie, while simple, easily fits into our favorite list of lemon desserts that are sure to wow anyone who is privileged to try them.
Do I Need Fresh Lemons for These Cookies?
While it is better to use fresh lemon zest and lemon juice, you can substitute with lemon extract. Lemons are, however, that one fruit you can find inexpensively year-round in your market. So, keep a lemon on hand at all times for recipes like this that pop up randomly. You'll never regret using fresh lemon instead of a bottle or extract. Fresh, in this case, is always best.
Can I Freeze Lemon Cookie Dough?
You can easily freeze this dough for future use! I like to form the dough balls before freezing so it is easy to pop right onto a baking tray. You can, however, use the method my mom and Granny always used instead. Spread the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap then roll into a tube shape. Cover the plastic wrap tube of cookie dough with aluminum foil or drop it into a freezer storage bag and label.
When you do this method, you can unroll from the packaging and simply slice the cookies off and place them on your baking dish. A slice and bake cookie is always a great idea when you have a busy lifestyle, and this lemon butter cookie is an excellent choice for that method.
This dough is good frozen for up to 4 months. You can also refrigerate the dough in a covered container for 3-4 days before baking if preferred. Bring to room temperature before putting into the oven for best results.
How Long Are These Good For?
When storing these on the counter, I recommend eating within 2-3 days. If you place them in a container in the refrigerator, they are usually good for up to 7 days. They may last longer with both methods, but depending upon weather and the climate where you live, fresh baked goods often develop mold faster than store-bought processed items. So, watch them closely and enjoy them before that happens.
Do I Have to Refrigerate Them When Glazed?
This is a question I am often asked when preparing a glaze on any recipe. Glazes tend to have a small amount of milk in them and thus require refrigeration. There is, however, an exception to this rule.
When pouring a glaze over these cookies, if the glaze is allowed to dry and harden, it does not have to be refrigerated unless you are keeping them for more than 2-3 days. It will be safe to eat even if left out overnight. However, I prefer to refrigerate the glaze separately and only top the cookies just before eating. To me, this gives a fresher flavor and makes it easier to store them.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Sour cream
- Unsalted butter
- Lemon zest
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
- Lemon juice
How to make Lemon Butter Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder together.
Whisk in a pinch of salt and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla sugar then beat together until smooth and pale in color.
Mix in the sour cream until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix for 23-3 minutes or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and crumbs form.
Use a spatula to make a dough ball, then divide it into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball and then place it on the baking sheet around 1" apart.
Press down with a spoon or bottom of the glass.
Bake for 12-14 minutes.
While the cookies are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and then set aside.
Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 10-15 minutes before coating with a thin layer of glaze and sprinkle of lemon zest or sprinkles.
Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
When making cookies, one tip I always recommend is to line your baking sheets. Parchment paper is great, but I much prefer using a silicone baking mat. They are reusable, eco-friendly, and a great investment that prevents sticking and makes cleanup a breeze.
More Tasty Cookie Recipes
Cookies are the perfect dessert on any menu. With thousands upon thousands of varieties out there, you are sure to find a cookie that suits your needs. Below are a few more of my favorite cookie recipes for you to add to your menu!
- Crunchy Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
- Soft Italian Cookies with Icing
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
- Grandma's Molasses Crinkle Cookies Recipe
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Recipe
- Classic Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Double Chocolate Cookie Recipe
Cookie Dough Ingredients
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 oz sour cream
- 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Lemon Glaze Ingredients
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder together.
- Whisk in a pinch of salt and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla sugar then beat together until smooth and pale in color.
- Mix in the sour cream until smooth.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix for 23-3 minutes or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and crumbs form.
- Use a spatula to make a dough ball, then divide it into 12 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and then place on the baking sheet around 1" apart.
- Press down with a spoon or bottom of the glass.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes.
- While the cookies are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and then set aside.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 10-15 minutes before coating with a thin layer of glaze and sprinkle of lemon zest or sprinkles.
- Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
If you prefer, these cookies do not have to have a glaze. Simply leave this off and serve as is.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g