Soft and chewy Lemon White Chocolate Cookies has three layers of lemon making them perfect for lemon lovers. An easy, bright and comforting cookie perfect for many events.
For lemon lovers these cookies are amazing during the holidays along with other citrus classics such as Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Orange Cranberry Walnut Balls and Simple Orange Cranberry Pistachio Fudge. Also, during the spring and summer months these cookies are delicious at parties served with Sgroppino (Italian sorbet cocktail), Italian Lemon Pound Cake and Lemon Macarons.
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Secrets to Soft, Chewy and Irresistible Lemon White Chocolate Cookies
The recipe for these Lemon White Chocolate Cookies was created with a higher amount of light brown sugar to granulated sugar purposefully. As a result, the cookies have a softer and chewier texture making them completely irresistible. However, there are three additional elements that help these cookies to taste and feel incredibly luxurious.
Chill the Dough
The good news is that these Lemon White Chocolate Cookies can be baked without the need of chilling the dough. However, chilling the dough for 1 hour before baking prevents the cookies from spreading too thin. In other words, chilling helps the cookies to maintain their shape and remain chewy.
One of the biggest secrets to making White Chocolate Chips cookies that are chewy rather than crispy is to slightly underbake the cookies. To underbake means to pull the cookies from the oven when they start to have a slight amount of color on the edges but appear slightly underbaked in the center. Once pulled form the oven, let the cookies cool on the baking sheets and then transfer to wire cooling racks.
Three Layers of Luscious Lemon
Part of what make these cookies so lusciously lemony is the three layers of lemon; extract, zest and candied lemon pieces. The addittion of the candied lemon can be added two ways. Either stir in 1/2- 1 cup of the pieces to the batter or place 3-4 pieces on top of the scooped cookie dough. The amount added will be based on personal preference.
Extra White Chocolate
Adding 3-4 additional white chocolate chips to the top of the scooped cookie dough before baking helps to make visually appealing cookies. Either withhold a 1/2 cup from the cookie dough or use chips from an additional bag of white chocolate chips.
- All Purpose Flour– Unbleached all purpose flour helps to give the cookies a chewier texture.
- Baking Soda– Gives the cookies a rise and a bit of fluffiness.
- Salt– Adding salt to baked goods helps to accentuate the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Unsalted Butter– If using salted butter eliminate the salt.
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Brown Sugar– It is important to use light brown sugar vs dark brown.
- Eggs (not pictured)
- Lemon Extract
- Lemon Zest– Adding lemon zest is optional. However, it is highly recommended especially for lemon lovers.
- White Chocolate Chips
- Candied Lemon (see section above)- Adding at least 3-4 small pieces of candied lemon to the top of the scooped cookie dough adds a pleasant bright citrusy zing to the cookies.
How To Make Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Zest 2 large lemons. (One of the easiest ways to zest lemons is to use a microplane.)
- In a stand mixer using the flat beater (or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer) cream butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Make sure to stop the mixer halfway through to scrap down the sides of the bowl using a spatula.
- Add in extract, zest and beat in one egg at a time.
- Add flour, salt and baking soda to a separate medium bowl.
- Stir well.
- Gradually add in flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just incorporated, making sure to stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in white chocolate chips.
- Chill for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Scoop the chilled cookie dough into balls and drop onto un-greased cookie sheets using a medium sized cookie scoop (equals about 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons). Make sure to space the cookies about 2 inches apart from one another.
- Add 3-4 additional chips to the top of the cookies.
- Cut candied lemon into pieces and place 3-4 pieces on the top of the cookies.
- Bake for 9-13 minutes or until lightly crispy on edges and appearing slightly under baked in the center . Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Freezing the Dough
There are two methods to freezing the dough for these White Chocolate Cookies. However, with either method the dough will stay fresh for approximately 2 months.
- Roll dough into a log on parchment paper. Wrap well in the parchment and then place log into a freezer bag or container. When ready to bake remove from freezer and let defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Cut into approximately 2 tablespoon portions and bake following recipe instructions.
- Scoop dough and freeze on parchment covered cookie sheets. Once frozen, transfer cookie dough balls to a freezer bag or container. Bake the frozen dough for an additional 3 minutes.
Freezing Baked Cookies
Once the cookies have cooled completely transfer to a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Storage of Baked Cookies
Lemon White Chocolate Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days.
Storage of Cookie Dough
The prepared cookie dough will last for 2 days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container or roll between parchment paper that is then placed into an airtight container (or plastic storage bag).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a white chocolate bar?
Yes, you can absolutely use a white chocolate bar that is cut into chunks for these cookies. Make sure that the bar is at least 12 ounces. However, if you would like to add additional white chocolate chunks to the top of the cookies, purchase 15 ounces or more of white chocolate.
Where is the best place to find candied lemon?
I used sweetened dried lemon slices from Trader Joes. Additionally, Amazon has candied lemon peel slices from Italy.
What is the best lemon Extract?
Can nuts be added to this recipe?
1 cup of cashews, macadamia or chopped pecans are very tasty in this recipe. However, these cookies are wonderful without the addittion of nuts.
Lemon White Chocolate Cookies
- 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt See Note #1 below
- 1 cup unsalted butter *room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar *packed
- 3 teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large lemons zested *about 1 tablespoon
- 2 cups white chocolate chips *12 ounce bag
- 2 ounces candied lemon *cut into pieces, See Note #2 below
- Zest lemons and set aside. (See Note #3 below)In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer using the flat beater attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand held mixer) cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, making sure to stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- To the butter mixture add extract, zest and beat in one egg at a time.
- Gradually beat in flour mixture on medium speed, making sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Stir in white chocolate chips and chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Scoop the chilled cookie dough into balls and drop onto an un-greased cookie sheet using medium sized cookie scoop (equals about 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons). Make sure to space the cookies about 2 inches apart from one another.
- Add 3-4 additional white chocolate chips and 3-4 candied lemon pieces to the top of each cookie.
- Bake for 9-13 minutes or until lightly crispy on edges and appearing slightly under baked in the center. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.