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+ servings
lemon cookies on a cake plate with two cups of coffee, plates and a striped towel and a lemon

Lemon Drop Cookies

A little bite of summer that is perfect especially as a surprising Christmas cookie.
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 50 cookies


  • 2 cookie sheets (non-airbake)



  • ½ lb unsalted butter equal to 2 sticks or 1 cup
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

Lemon curd

  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ T butter
  • 1 lemon rind zested
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice from previously zested lemon
  • confectioner's sugar for sprinkling


For the Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Lightly butter or spray two cookie sheets with baking spray and set aside.
  • Using a hand or stand mixer, combine all of the cookie ingredients in a bowl until mixed well about 3 minutes. The batter will come together in a ball and the sides of the bowl will be clean.
  • With a small teaspoon or small scoop, take a small amount of dough and create a small ball about 1-1½" in diameter.
  • Using your index finger, create a little divot in the center of each ball. Don't press too hard that you go all the way through to the cookie sheet. Place each cookie on prepared cookie sheet and line up neatly. You will get about 6 cookies across on the short side of the sheet.
  • Place cookie sheets in preheated oven and bake for 9-11 minutes. Keep an eye on them starting at 8 minutes. You don't want them browned on the top.

For the Curd

  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on the stove, combine all curd ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until curd thickens. This will take about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Assembling the cookies

  • Once the cookies are finished baking, remove them from the oven and cool them for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets and then remove to cooling racks that are sitting over sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  • Using a small child's spoon, spoon a small amount (about ½-1 teaspoon depending on the size of your divot) into each cookie being careful not to get any on the sides of the cookie.
  • Using a sugar shaker or fine mesh strainer, lightly sprinkle confectioners sugar over each cookie. You don't want it to cover the curd completely or you won't be able to see that it's a lemon cookie.
  • To store, place in a large, shallow container. The cookies will keep up to two weeks (if they last that long) and can be frozen. I sometimes make the cookies and freeze them unfilled and make the curd before serving. The cookies can stick together which makes stacking them a challenge.


Make ahead: Make the shortbread cookies (without the curd). Freeze in a single layer on a sheet pan and transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Defrost at room temperature. Top with the curd and sprinkle over powdered sugar.
Storage. If you're going to enjoy them for a few days after baking, they are fine at room temperature covered in a single layer. I have stored them in a cool place in a covered container like the basement or on my porch actually. I also have frozen them for long term storage when I make them in advance at the holidays.
To freeze. Freeze them in a single layer and then after they're frozen you can layer them between pieces of parchment and then in a covered container.