Lemonhead Cookies

Lemonhead Cookies

Lemonhead Cookies are my new favorite cookie! Even if you’re not a fan of Lemonhead candy, you will fall in love with the lemon flavor of these cookies. The glaze makes them extra special, and the bottoms get slightly caramelized from the crushed candies making them perfectly chewy, yet still soft. Seriously delicious!

Oh hello boys and girls! I am pah-rity dang excited about today’s cookie situation. Like for real for real. NO, no one ACTUALLY likes Lemonheads. I get it. But don’t let their small interference in today’s recipe to distract you from the finished product.

The Lemonheads in this recipe are important. Let me explain.

MY OTHER RECIPES

OBVIOUSLY they are lemon flavored. So the lemony-ness of these cookies comes mostly from the candy….and a little lemon zest. Yes, I fully understand that there are artificial flavors involved that typically wouldn’t be my first choice, but we’re making cookies, not cauliflower, so let’s all just look beyond that.

The other thing the candies do, is create the most perfect chewy texture. THE.MOST.PERFECT. You HAVE to crush up the cookies properly, however. The inspiration for today’s recipe actually comes from my Online Bakery Cookie Challenge. I ordered a box of cookies from a bakery called Ruby Snap. They were good! Included in the box was a Lemonhead cookie that had so much potential (in my opinion) BUT the candies were barely crushed, so in every bite of this, otherwise fantastic, cookie you’d get a pretty large piece of Lemonhead candy, and I didn’t like it one bit. Like I said, the candies themselves are subpar (sorry), and the texture shift from the hard candy inside a soft cookie just didn’t work.

So, obviously, I had to take matters into my own hands, and I am SO glad I did because these are pretty fantastic. The crushed up candy adds lemon sweetness, but also creates this amazing caramelization on the bottom of the cookie that creates a fantastic texture.

And really isn’t anything with a glaze better? Yes.

Lemonhead Cookies | Easy Lemon Cookies Recipe | Best Lemon Desserts

The dough is gloriously easy. The hardest part is crushing the candy. Which isn’t hard at all.

Lemonhead Cookies

And, like I said make sure to get a good crush. Some will be dust, some will be tiny pieces. I did it with a rolling pin and a zip-top bag. You could also use your food processor or blender.

Lemonhead Cookies

Also, you will need to chill the dough. I really love the thickness of these cookies….not too thick, but not thin. The chilling helps with the height. I also definitely recommend using parchment paper on your light colored baking sheet. You will want to use a lighter colored sheet, so the cookies don’t brown too much on the bottom. With the crushed candies inside the dough, they could easily get too brown.

Lemonhead Cookies | Easy Lemon Cookies Recipe | Best Lemon Desserts

You might notice the amount of flour in these is a little more than you would expect. That’s because of the sugar content in the cookie…the more sugar, the more spreading, so you need that extra flour to give the cookie structure.

And like I said, the glaze is really simple and not only makes them pretty, but adds to the texture.

Lemonhead Cookies | Easy Lemon Cookies Recipe | Best Lemon Desserts

I really do just love these so much!

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Lemonhead Cookies

Lemonhead Cookies

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 11 minutes
  • Yield: 36 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Lemonhead Cookies are my new favorite cookie! Even if you’re not a fan of Lemonhead candy, you will fall in love with the lemon flavor of these cookies.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely crushed Lemonhead candies

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water or milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of you stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix for an additional minute, until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just incorporated. With mixer still on low, add in the crushed lemon candies, mixing until evenly combined.
  4. Cover and chill dough for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, and roll into balls. Place them on a baking sheet 2- inches apart, and bake for 9 -11 minutes, or until the cookies are very lightly golden at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire racket cool completely.
  6. For the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and water together until a thin glaze forms.
  7. Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze and allow excess to drip off before returning to the wire rack, allowing the glaze to set.

Notes

Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days

If you plan on freezing these cookies, do so before you glaze them. The glaze can get sticky if frozen and thawed.

TIP: If the cookies are misshapen when they come out of the oven, use your spatula immediately to form the cookies back into perfect circles. These cookies bake up very evenly, but if a Lemonhead bit melts at the edge of the cookie, no problem, just reshape it slightly with your spatula AS SOON as they come out of then oven, when they are most malleable.

Keywords: Lemon cookie recipe, lemon dessert recipe, best lemon desserts, easy cookie recipe

24 Responses

  1. Anne

    I see 1/2 cup of powdered sugar listed right after the flour. When does the powdered sugar get added? These cookies look soooooo good, I can’t wait to make them!!

      1. Sandy

        Oops-sorry. I see that it’s in the recipe for the dough as well. Not sure if it gets blended with the granulated sugar and butter.

  2. Teresa

    I have the same question as Anne as to when to add the 1/2 cup powdered sugar in the cookies ingredients. These look and sound great!!!

    1. Shelly

      Oh gosh, that was a typo! So sorry! The powdered sugar is only in the glaze. No powdered sugar in the cookie dough. ALl fixed and thanks so much for the catch!

  3. Debbie

    Any idea how many ounces of Lemonheads equal the 1 cup crushed? I’m seeing them sold in usually around 5 oz. bags and wondering how many bags I’d need to buy.

    1. Shelly

      It just adds to the lemon flavor. They aren’t overly lemon with just the candies, and the zest adds a bit more flavor, but it isn’t necessary!

  4. Rozanne

    Hi Shelly! Just double checking so I don’t mess up. Each cookie is formed with 2 tablespoons of dough ?
    These sound amazing, can’t wait to try them!

    1. Shelly

      Yes! You can obviously make them as small or big as you would like, but I use a medium (2 tablespoon cookie scoop)!

  5. karenb

    Shelly, I love your blog & have always been impressed with your recipes(I have made at least 20!)

    My family LOVES lemon and lemon Cookies with Lemon Head candy sounded incredible!
    But, I was disappointed with these cookies.

    I made these cookies today after chilling the dough overnight. I followed the recipe to the “T.”
    I tasted the dough before baking them, and it lacked flavor, so I added additional Lemon zest (used total of 2 medium lemons).These cookies still lacked flavor after baked, other than the burst from the Lemon Head candy which had an “artificial” flavor.

    Sorry.

    1. Shelly

      Sorry you weren’t a huge fan. The cookies themselves are essentially a sugar cookie, with the addition of zest and candies. And yes, I hinted at the candies being an artificial flavor in the body of the post, which certainly might not be for everyone.

  6. Kathy

    Just made them and what flavor. OK, I just checked the whole article and I realize that I took the instruction to pulverize the LemonHead literally. My cookies turned out flat and chewy (a good thing!) maybe too much lemon dust. They didn’t look light and fluffy like yours, but they had pucker power. My students test tasted them and they got thumbs up and they voted not to ice them. Will make them again. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Shelly

      Oh mine were definitely not light and fluffy! They are definitely a chewy cookie, they weren’t flat, though, so yes maybe the Lemonheads were a little too pulverized 🙂 I’m so glad you liked them, though! Let me know if you make them again!

  7. Patty

    Made these cookies for my husband. We finally had to freeze them so he wouldn’t eat them all. Delicious. They were perfectly chewy.

  8. Jane

    Not a fan of artificial flavors, I made my own lemon candy using this as the base:

    http://www.forkandbeans.com/2013/09/18/homemade-lemon-drop-candies/

    I used glycerine instead of corn syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the citric acid, left out the coloring and used Frontier’s lemon flavoring to add a little oomph. It took a few tries to achieve the right lemony flavor.

    Using the homemade lemon drops, these cookies were nothing short of sensational. They’re good enough to make you want to hide them from your former loved ones (lol).

    Thanks for a great recipe.

  9. Anna

    These are so good and refreshing! Exactly what I was looking for. I’ve had cookies with this texture that I was trying to recreate, iunsure of how to do it until I found out the crushed candy bit.

    I got some lemon hard candy on amazon that’s naturally flavored and way better than lemon heads. Highly recommend this as I can’t imagine they’d be as good with actual lemon heads. I also substituted 1/4 of the sugar for light brown sugar to given them slightly more depth of flavor. I’m sure this changed the texture somewhat but regardless the texture was excellent. Chewy, crispy on edges and softer in middle. Also put some lemon in th glaze, but theyre excellent without glaze too. Might be the different candy I got, but they had plenty of lemon flavor as is. Will be adding this to my repertoire.

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