Lemon Meltaway Cookies

November 29, 2021

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Bright and tender Lemon Meltaway Cookies! It’s a simple, buttery, fresh lemon flavored cookie that’s topped with a sweet and vibrant glaze. After one taste they may just become a new favorite!

Plate of glazed lemon meltaway cookies.

Refreshing Lemon Meltaways

These are such a tempting treat and they are incredibly easy to make!

You can make them with a stand mixer or a hand mixer and you only need a handful of basic ingredients.

They are a fun size and a unique cookie that will leave you feeling those summery vibes year round. Almost like lemonade in cookie form.

If you love citrus these are the cookies for you!

Overhead photo of lemon meltaway cookies on a wooden serving plate.

Photo of ingredients used to make lemon meltaway cookies.

Lemon Meltaway Cookies Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (248g) unbleached all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 Tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp (heaping) salt
  • 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, nearly room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, plus more as needed
    Collage of eight photos showing step by step photos to make lemon cookie dough.

How to Make Lemon Meltaway Cookies

  1. Heat oven, prepare baking sheets: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make lemon cookie dough: In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or in mixing bowl and using a hand mixer) mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and lemon zest on low speed until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip until slightly pale and fluffy, about 1 – 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl.
  4. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, blending after each addition. Scrape down bowl.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and blend until combined.
  6. Shape into 1-inch rounds, flatten slightly on baking sheet: Scoop dough out 1 Tbsp at a time and transfer to the baking sheet spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Evenly flatten cookies with the heel of your hand to about 1/3-inch thickness.
  7. Bake: Bake one sheet at a time until cookies appear dry on the surface yet are just slightly soft when pressed, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Cool: Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with second sheet of cookies.
  9. Make the lemon glaze, spread over cookies: In a small mixing bowl whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar with the lemon juice. Thin with more lemon juice as needed.
  10. Spoon glaze over cookies and spread into a small thin round. Garnish with a little lemon zest if desired.
  11. Once glaze has set store cookies in a single layer in an airtight container.

Collage of six photos showing how to roll, flatten and bake lemon meltaway cookies. Also includes photos of making glaze and spreading over cookies.

Can These Lemon Cookies Be Frozen?

These cookies will freeze well in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Helpful Tips for the Best Lemon Cookies

  • Use fresher lemons for better flavor (avoid those that are shriveling and browning in places).
  • Measure flour with a kitchen scale or as noted using the scoop and level method (rather than spoon and level) or cookies wont have enough flour and will spread too much.
  • Be mindful when zesting that you avoid the white pith underneath the yellow portion of the peel. The white area will impart a bitter flavor to the cookies.
  • Only use an actual zester (rasp grater) not something like a cheese grater to zest the lemons. They work a million times better.
  • Stick with just egg yolk portion of the eggs here. It will make for a softer more tender cookie (plus the whites can dry baked goods out a little and with the added starch here we want to be careful of that).
  • Be careful not to over-bake them or they can become dry and crumbly.
  • Mix up glaze to a fairly thick consistency (not super drippy and runny). To thicken glaze you can add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick for spreading thin with a little more lemon juice.
  • Keep cookies stored in an airtight container for maximum freshness.

Possible Variations

  • Try oranges in place of lemons (both zest and juice) or limes.
  • You can use tapioca starch for cornstarch.
  • For a creamy glaze use 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp heavy cream.

Lemon meltaway cookies shown on a wooden plate over a green cloth on a marble surface with lemons for decoration.

More Lemony Treats We Think You’ll Love

 

Plate of glazed lemon meltaway cookies.
5 from 3 votes

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

It's a buttery and tender cookie with a delicious fresh lemon taste and a sweet and vibrant glaze. After one bite they may just become a new favorite!
Servings: 36 cookies
Prep25 minutes
Cook10 minutes
Cool15 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (248g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 Tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp (heaping) salt
  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, nearly room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest,* plus more for garnish if desired
  • 2 large egg yolks

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus another 1/2 Tbsp as needed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer** mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and lemon zest on low speed until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and whip until slightly pale and fluffy, about 1 - 2 minutes.
  • Scrape down bowl then mix in egg yolks 1 at a time, blending after each addition. Scrape down bowl.
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture and blend until combined (it will seem dry and crumbly at first, keep mixing and it will come together). If dough is sticky at this point you can chill it for 30 minutes but you shouldn't need too if using cool butter.
  • Scoop dough out 1 Tbsp at a time and transfer to the baking sheet spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Evenly flatten cookies with the heel of your hand to about 1/3-inch thickness*** (spray hand with cooking spray if needed to reduce sticking).
  • Bake one sheet at a time until cookies appear dry on the surface yet are just slightly soft when pressed, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with second sheet of cookies.
  • To make the glaze in a small mixing bowl whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar with the lemon juice. Thin with more lemon juice as needed.
  • Spoon glaze over cookies and spread into a small thin round. Garnish with a little lemon zest if desired.
  • Once glaze has set store cookies in a single layer in an airtight container. They'll keep several days at room temperature but can also be refrigerated or frozen for longer shelf life.

Notes

  • *Use a zester to get the zest of the lemon rather than something like a cheese grater (you'd end up with some of the white pith of a lemon if using a cheese grater and cookies will be bitter).
  • **Cookies can also be made using a mixing bowl and a hand mixer rather than a stand mixer. I've had success with both options.
  • ***Keep in mind cookies will spread some so don't flatten very much.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Meltaway Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 100 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 15mg1%
Potassium 11mg0%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 171IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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25 Comments

  • Lisa

    Made these and took them to a party, everyone loved them, and requested the recipe. They weren’t hard to make either.

  • NYCgirl

    Hi,
    Your recipe looks amazing! Thank you for sharing it :)
    I just have one question about the powdered sugar…I have read so many Q & As about powdered sugar vs confectioners sugar (which apparently has added cornstarch, who knew?) that I am now feeling unsure.
    I would love to make these cookies w my kids who share my love for lemons, but is it ok to use confectioners sugar and still use the same amount of cornstarch as your recipe calls for? I am not able to find straight up confectioners sugar, and I don’t want to make a mistake.
    Thank you so much, and we wish you a peaceful and healthy 2022

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes though the terms/ingredients are interchangeable in modern baking I do recommend confectioners sugar with added cornstarch here rather than just finely ground sugar alone. If it was just finely ground sugar I would swap 1 tbsp sugar with 1 tbsp cornstarch.

  • Jaime

    The lemon flavor on these is spectacular! I made these to add to cookie plates for friends this Christmas. So, so great! They truly melt in your mouth.

  • Laurie

    takes a little time to make but it is well worth it, they are delicious and everyone loved them, they were gone in minutes.

  • Joy Threatt

    Made as directed and cookies spread way too much and came out very flat and crispy after only 8 min.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m sorry to hear that! It sounds like they maybe needed a little more flour, did you use a scale to measure or the scoop and level method? Another thing may be that the butter wasn’t cool enough. If it’s very soft or partially melted from microwave softening the cookies would tend to spread. Chilling dough in the fridge a little while can fix this.

  • Lisa

    How can I reduce the sugar in this recipe for a diabetic co-worker? What can I use as a substitute and in what quantity?

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