When Life Gives You Lemons: Very Lemon Drop Cookies Recipe

Some sweet recipes dumb down lemon flavor, overcompensating with sugar to make up for the tartness of the lemon. Not these cookies. Sure, they're plenty sweet, but by using lemon juice, rind, liqueur, candies, and even lemon curd to top them, they've got so much lemon that non-lemon lovers need not apply. But if you do love lemon, then pucker up and get ready to chow down on these sweet-tart treats. Get bonus sweet-sour points by garnishing with pixie stix powder, but it's not necessary; pearl sugar is pretty too.

Lemon Drop Cookies

20 to 24 cookies, depending on size

  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup tart lemon candies
  • Optional: lemon curd, pixie stix, or pearl sugar for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the lemon rind, butter, and sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the lemon juice, lemon liqueur, and water; beat well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, and beat until incorporated, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gently fold in the lemon candies.
  7. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, drop mounds of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Be sure to leave 2 inches around each cookie, for spreading.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just golden on the edges. Let cool, and if desired, top each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd.