Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are a delicious dessert that’s easy to make and SO yummy! With a big burst of citrus flavor, I bet you can’t eat just one!
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I love lemon desserts. The bright, citrus flavor just makes my whole day better and lights up my mood. I’ve seen lemon desserts done in magically delicious ways and I’ve seen them leave me puckering so hard I thought my face would stay that way. This lemon drop cookie recipe is the former. Sweet lemon glaze coats and not too sweet biscuit-like cookie for a perfectly balanced bite of citrus you’ll crave!
Baking with my boys is one of my favorite things to do any day of the week. So I’m always on the lookout for easy to make recipes (sweet or savory) that they can help with. The first time we made these Italian lemon drop cookies we had such a good time that they’ve been in our regular dessert rotation for years. I think they definitely rival the Panera lemon drop cookie recipe for taste, even if the cookie itself is made differently.
How to make lemon drop cookies
- Mix up the cookie dough. Use a small cookie scoop to place dough on lined baking sheets. Bake until the edges are golden.
- Whisk together the lemon glaze in a mixing bowl.
- Dip the tops of your cooled cookies in the glaze and allow the cookies to sit so the glaze can set up.
See! Super simple to mix up a batch of these easy lemon drop cookies.
Tips for making lemon drop cookies
- Make sure your baking powder is not expired. This will cause the cookies to lose their fluffy texture inside and they could come out hard all around.
- These “cookies” are basically like mini scones. The flavor of the biscuit/cookie part is a very subtle lemon with a hint of vanilla – it’s not big on flavor. The big lemony punch comes from the glaze, so don’t skip icing them!!
- Using a small cookie scoop, you should get 2 dozen plus cookies in a batch. This can vary depending on the size of your scoops.
One of my favorite things about these cookies is the texture. The outsides are firm, but the inside of the cookie is light and almost cakey. I’ve been known to eat a handful of them in one sitting. They’re a fantastic little bite any time of year!
Hungry for More?
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, (1 to 2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, (1 lemon)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, (1/2 lemon)
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest, (1/2 lemon)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 1 minute or until pale and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture. Beat until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and mix to combine.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the milk and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated. The dough should be the consistency of a very thick, sticky cake batter.
- Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon) to portion the cookie dough onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 11-13 minute, or until the bottom edges are golden brown.
- Carefully remove from the oven. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.
- Place the wire racks (with the cookies one them) over some foil or over a baking sheet.
- Use a spoon to top each cookie with a heaping teaspoon of frosting. Use the back of your spoon to spread the glaze all over the cookie. Return the cookie to the wire rack and let the frosting finish coating the cookies. Let set until the glaze firms up a little, about 15-20 minutes. (The glaze will not set up completely, but will stop dripping down the cookie.)
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- If you glaze looks too thin, you can add more powdered sugar a tablespoon or two at a time. If it looks too thick, add milk a teaspoon or two at a time until your desired consistency is reached. This is a glaze, not a frosting, it should be on the runny side.
- You can add more lemon juice and zest to the glaze if you prefer a stronger lemon flavor.
- If you like, you can drizzle or spoon the glaze over the cookies while they're sitting on a wire rack. I usually dip the tops and put them back on the baking sheet to set up.