Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies – Best Ever {from scratch!}

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Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies ~ Deliciousness made with all-natural flavoring - triple lemon! Melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies at their finest and from scratch. Buttery, light and tender-crumbed, sweetened just right and bursting with lemon flavor. You just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Everyone will love them!Deliciousness made with all-natural flavoring—triple lemon! Melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies at their finest and from scratch. What could be better? Our recipe was reverse engineered from standard recipes for Gooey Butter Cookies calling for boxed yellow cake mix. The result is simply a sublime buttery, light and tender-crumbed cookie sweetened just right and full of lemon flavor including an enchanting tang from cream cheese. You just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Everyone loves these classic cookies inspired by the cream cheese variant of Gooey Butter Cake hailing from the 1930s in the USA Midwest—St. Louis!

A New American Cookie Classic:
Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies—Made from Scratch!

My friends, as I promised in my last post for Gooey Butter Cookies, today I am sharing an incredible variation for this special cookie—Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies! As I stated previously, if you have never experienced Gooey Butter Cake, or a Gooey Butter Cookie made from scratch, you simply haven’t lived.

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies taste just like a delectable lemony pastry cookie from the finest patisserie in town. In fact, the all-natural flavor comes from freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh lemon zest and pure lemon oil for that extra kick. That’s right, triple lemon!

These cookies have a tender and light crumb that is contrasted with a super-thin soft and yet crackly sugar crust that forms during baking after rolling the dough in confectioners’ sugar. Once bitten into, these easy to make cookies take on an irresistible buttery and lemon cheesecake-like texture, almost fudgy like a brownie, and then melts in your mouth. Seductive, I tell you!

It bears repeating, for any fabulous from-scratch recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies, that each comes with a very stern warning, straight up and upfront:

WARNING: DO NOT eat the cookie dough or there will not be enough to bake cookies!

Seriously. You just might want to grab a spoon and sneak a trip over to the living room and camp out on the sofa and binge watch TV whilst cozying up with the mixing bowl full of this incredibly wicked cookie dough. It is a cookie dough like no other. You have been warned.

Once I tasted the cookie dough for our Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies, the taste reminded me of a recipe found in the iconic Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book that I remember baking with my Grandma Gigi at Christmastime—Lemon Cheese Press Cookies made with 2 sticks of butter and 3 ounces of cream cheese. Mmm. Such fond baking memories.

It was a big deal to help my grandmother bake when I was only 7 years old. I was completely enchanted with baking from a very early age and even developed my first original recipe in the first grade (using a boxed cake mix!) and submitted it to my elementary school’s newspaper. It was a project assigned to my entire first grade class by our lovely and beautiful teacher, Miss Jacobs. There is more to the story and I really should share it here on the blog as part of the On Baking series I started when I first began blogging. Also, I should try to track down that edition of the school newspaper! It would be hilarious to read that recipe today.

Gooey Butter Cookies on Baking Sheet Before BakingGooey Butter Cookies after rolling in confectioners’  sugar and just before baking.

Honestly, the gluten free variation of our Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies is phenomenally good. In fact, you simply cannot tell that they are gluten free! And there is an important reason why this is so. It all starts with the right gluten free flour blend—in this case, King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour—and the perfect amount of guar gum. Yes, I prefer guar gum to xanthan gum for my gluten free baking for allergy reasons in addition to many other reasons. But, I will leave that for a future post on gluten free baking and ingredients.

King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour

King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour

So, let’s briefly talk gluten free flour.

Why does Wicked Good Kitchen highly recommend King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour?

By blending white rice and whole-grain brown rice flours with pure starches, such as tapioca and potato, while avoiding corn, dairy, nut, sorghum (grass) and soy products as well as gums and leavening agents, gluten free bakers and both the food allergic and celiac communities have a safe and well-tested gluten free flour that performs exceedingly well on a multi-purpose level.

Quite simply, King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend provides greater flexibility than other brands by allowing bakers and recipe developers to create recipes where the amounts of guar or xanthan gum and leavening agents, like baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and yeast, can be added accordingly for a wide range of applications in baking recipes from breads, cakes and cookies to savory dishes.

The good news is that King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend, is readily available among gluten free flours at Whole Foods Market® and most grocery stores.

Plus, since I am severely allergic to corn and any corn-derived food additives, I am safe from allergic reactions using KAF GF flour. Sadly, I can no longer work with gluten free flours that contain cornstarch.

For my gluten free readers, all I can say is thank the Lord above that King Arthur Flour® makes an exceptional Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour blend and that Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese is gluten free or there would be no incredibly scrumptious Gluten-Free Gooey Butter Cookies and all the variations, like these Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies, made from scratch!

Although I am enthusiastic about King Arthur Flour® products, I am not a compensated blogger, recipe developer or spokesperson for the company. I just love their products and catalog!

ChefMaster® Natural Gel Based Food Coloring - Yellow

CHEFMASTER® Natural Gel Based Food Coloring – Yellow

As mentioned in other blog posts, for food color used in baking and buttercream making, I highly recommend CHEFMASTER® 100% natural and organic gel based food colorings and purchase mine from The Baker’s Kitchen online. Kosher certified powdered food coloring is also a very good option.

When The Big Lug sampled the gluten free version of my recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies, he could not believe that they were gluten free. That is saying quite a lot because he is quite the cookie connoisseur!

During the holiday season, I shared with you that my husband is quite the cookie connoisseur and his favorite cookie in the universe is my recipe for Honey-Nut Rugelach. Well, there is a good reason for that—the scrumptious cream cheese pastry. So, when he tasted my recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies, he met yet another favorite cookie. Right away, he asked me to make these Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies!

As mentioned above, to make the most irresistible Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies, I went for “triple action” for bursting lemony citrus flavor—freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh lemon zest and pure lemon oil by Boyajian®. I purchase Boyajian® pure citrus oils from my local Sur la Table.

Why do I call for lemon oil in this recipe? Because extracts and flavorings cannot even come close to the flavor intensity of citrus oils that are all-natural, 100% pure and cold-pressed from the rind of the fruit. To fully appreciate the flavoring effectiveness of pure citrus oils, consider the fact that it takes 44 oranges, 66 lemons or 80 limes to fill a 1-ounce bottle of oil. Because of that, only a small amount need be used in baking or buttercream recipes. Generally, start with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon until the desired flavor is achieved. What you will have with today’s recipe is exceptionally flavored Lemon Gooey Butter CookiesTruly irresistible, I tell you!

IMPORTANT FOOD ALLERGY NOTE: Omit pure lemon oil to make Gluten-Free Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies as Boyajian® Citrus Oil Collection is processed on equipment shared with peanut oil, soy and wheat.

Boyajian® Citrus Oil Collection

Boyajian® Citrus Oil Collection – Pure Lemon Oil, Pure Lime Oil and Pure Orange Oil.

As for the confectioners’ or powdered sugar called for in the recipe, I found a fabulous corn-free confectioners’ sugar. This is excellent news for those who are allergic to corn, a major food allergen, because most powdered sugars contain cornstarch. It is also convenient to keep on hand when I am short on time and don’t have my own powdered sugar made from scratch, using a blender, with pure cane sugar and tapioca flour.

Organic Powdered Sugar 365 Everyday Value by Whole Foods MarketOrganic Powdered Sugar, 365 Everyday Value® brand by Whole Foods Market®.

Here at Wicked Good Kitchen, we hope that our recipe for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies becomes a new favorite and tradition for your family. They are phenomenally scrumptious!

Bon appétit!

xo,

stacysig

 

 

 

Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies ~ Deliciousness made with all-natural flavoring - triple lemon! Melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies at their finest and from scratch. Buttery, light and tender-crumbed, sweetened just right and bursting with lemon flavor. You just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Everyone will love them!

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies ~ Deliciousness made with all-natural flavoring - triple lemon! Melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies at their finest and from scratch. Buttery, light and tender-crumbed, sweetened just right and bursting with lemon flavor. You just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Everyone will love them!

 

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies – Best Ever {from scratch!}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Makes about 2½ dozen cookies.

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies – Best Ever {from scratch!}

Deliciousness made with all-natural flavoring—triple lemon! Melt-in-your-mouth Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies at their finest and from scratch. What could be better? Our recipe was reverse engineered from standard recipes for Gooey Butter Cookies calling for boxed yellow cake mix. The result is simply a sublime buttery, light and tender-crumbed cookie sweetened just right and full of lemon flavor including an enchanting tang from cream cheese. You just can’t have one! Included is a scrumptious and irresistible gluten free variation. Everyone loves these classic cookies inspired by the cream cheese variant of Gooey Butter Cake hailing from the 1930s in the USA Midwest—St. Louis!

Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups (270 grams) organic all-purpose flour, such as King Arthur Flour®
  • 2 teaspoons (about 8 grams) baking powder
  • 1 (8-ounce/226-gram) package cream cheese, such as Philadelphia®, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (12 grams) freshly grated lemon zest, from 2 large lemons
  • 1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon (a few drops) lemon oil, such as Boyajian® -Omit for gluten-free variation.
  • 1/8 teaspoon natural yellow gel based food coloring, such as CHEFMASTER®
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt, or ¾ teaspoon regular table salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk (mine weighed 71 grams w/o shells)
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling & dusting cookies

Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder until well blended. Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended, creamy and smooth. Beat in sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, lemon oil, food coloring and salt; mix until well combined, light and fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. Add egg and egg yolk and beat in well until creamy and light, about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed.

On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just fully incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Cover work bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF (165ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

Measure enough dough to roll into generous 1-inch balls, using a 1 1/3-inch spring-loaded cookie scoop (or by measuring a generous tablespoon of dough with a measuring spoon) making sure each scoopful is in equal amounts. This is important for evenly baked cookies.

Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball and then roll in confectioners’ sugar to lightly coat. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.

Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round cookie shapes and are puffed and crackly, about 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft in the centers. If they start to brown around the edges, they have baked too long. The underside of the cookies should be only very lightly browned.

Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove cookies from baking sheet using a thin metal cookie spatula and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, transfer cookies to an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough on prepared cookie sheets.

If desired, chill the cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before serving, dust cookies with additional confectioners’ sugar. Serve cookies chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Tips:

Only use completely cooled cookie sheets lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper before baking each batch.

Avoid crowding the cookies on baking sheets by spacing apart at least by 2 inches.

How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 120 grams per 1 cup of flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.

How to Measure King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: There is no need to aerate the flour. Simply spoon flour into measuring cup and level off the top with the straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) This should yield about 160 grams per 1 cup of gluten free flour. Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.

These tender cookies taste fabulous when served either at room temperature or chilled from the fridge.

Cookies will keep for up to 1 week covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Total time above does not include time for refrigerating dough before baking.

Substitutions:

To substitute pure lemon extract for pure lemon oil, the general rule is that 1 part natural flavoring oil is roughly equivalent to 4 parts pure extract (since it contains water and alcohol as well as perhaps other additives). Therefore, 4 times the amount of pure lemon extract is needed to substitute for the pure lemon oil called for in this recipe at about 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract. If extra-lemony flavor is desired, consider adding a bit more to taste. Keeping within 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract when adding to the cookie dough would be ideal.

Variation:

For Gluten-Free Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies: Substitute 2¼ cups (360 grams) King Arthur Flour® Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour and 1¼ teaspoons (3.5 grams) guar gum, such as by Now Foods, for the regular all-purpose wheat flour called for in the recipe. Whisk together until well blended and then continue with recipe by whisking in the baking powder. Also, omit pure lemon oil. See Important Food Allergy Note below.

IMPORTANT FOOD ALLERGY NOTE: Omit pure lemon oil to make Gluten-Free Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies as Boyajian® Citrus Oil Collection is processed on equipment shared with peanut oil, soy and wheat.

Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/lemon-gooey-butter-cookies-best-ever-from-scratch/

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. I love your lemon version of butter cookies, these look absolutely fabulous!

  2. Just one note? The original Gooey Butter Cake that was made famous in St. Louis never was made with cream cheese. It is a yeast dough base with a buttery topping that caramelizes and gets gooey during baking and therefore was tagged a Gooey Butter Cake. Someone bastardized the recipe and substituted a cake mix and cream cheese to try and replicate it without the work but they are not one and the same. They are legends of our childhood if you grew up in St. Louis so I just had to set that record straight! 🙂

    • Hi there, Virginia! Thanks for writing. Well, that’s why I state the following right in the header to my article for the recipe, “Everyone loves these classic cookies inspired by the cream cheese variant of Gooey Butter Cake hailing from the 1930s in the USA Midwest—St. Louis!” The cream cheese version of Gooey Butter Cake is indeed a “variant” from the original pastry chef developed recipe. I state the same thing in my recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies here on the blog. I always enjoy receiving comments from my readers…even if they think they are “setting the record straight!” with me. 🙂 Thanks again for writing and enjoy your Valentine’s Day!

  3. Totally homemade gooey butter cookies?! YES! I absolutely LOVE those cookies but I just can’t deal with the cake mix. I’m sooo making these!
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking recently posted…Paleo Lemon CookiesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Erin! Yep, totally from scratch…so easy and beyond scrumptious. 🙂 I hope you’ll make these Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies soon. Everyone loves them! Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Kristin H says:

    These cookies are delicious! I’m always on a search for new and different cookie recipes. I like hosting large family game nights and providing a buffet of cookies for everyone, so I like providing a variety of flavors and making each kind of cookie different from the others. This will definitely make an appearance on my cookie buffet next week. These were tender with a perfect lemon flavor. I actually didn’t have lemon oil, SO I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and heaping 1/2 tsp of lemon emulsion (similar to extracts). I baked a cookie weighing in at 20 grams and one it at 30 grams, and I preferred them a little larger. They do seem to take a while to chill to easily handle. I’ve had the dough in the freezer for more than an hour, and they were still quite sticky to handle. Then, I decided to weigh out the 30-gram mounds, chill them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, and they were much easier to roll. I haven’t tried chilling them overnight. That might be even better. I was too eager to try them today, so I couldn’t wait. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this delicious cookie recipe!

    • Thank you for writing, Kristin! My pleasure. I am thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies as much as we do at our house. It was a fun recipe to develop. Yes, you are correct. This dough really needs at least 2 hours of chilling time and overnight provides the best results. I have updated all of my Gooey Butter Cookie recipes to reflect the same after working with this dough on several variations coming soon to the blog. Thanks again for taking the time to write and share your experience. Happy baking! 🙂

  5. OH WOW – it’s like I died and went to heaven! These are simply decadent – gorgeous and decadent!
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan recently posted…Chicken KeemaMy Profile

  6. I made these and these were delicious! Unfortunately my lemon zest didn’t quite add up to 2 tbs, and I also only have lemon extract (80% alcohol, 20% oil, so I added a about half of a tsp to compensate),and I was desperate to have these cookies, so I made them anyways. The lemon flavor still shown through! In fact, the amount of flavor that I had was the amount of flavor that I would love to have in lemon blueberry muffins. Also, I made these with regular all purpose wheat flour. The texture of these cookies as a wee bit cake-like like compared to my regular round of cookies, but they were extremely airy and light. I shouldn’t have, but I ate one for breakfast with my regular cup of tea 😉 I can’t wait to try them with more lemon zest. I LOVE lemon!

    • Hi there, Juniper! Thank you for writing. I am so glad you enjoy this recipe for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies as much as we do at our house. Your substitution using lemon extract was spot on. I called for pure lemon oil in lieu of extract because many of my readers, including myself, are allergic to corn and the alcohol used in extracts comes from corn. Yes, the cookies are airy and light as well as slightly cake-like…sort of a cross between a cookie and cheesecake! 🙂 Thanks again for writing and happy baking with all things LEMON!

  7. These were a hit at work and with family! Didn’t change a thing. I love all lemon desserts and these sure didn’t disappoint.

    • Hi there, Ely! Thank you for taking the time to write. I am thrilled that you and everyone at work enjoyed these scrumptious Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies as much as we do here at our house. Like you, I adore all types of lemon desserts and hope you will check back as more are coming soon to the blog. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing your experience with this recipe. It is greatly appreciated. Have a great weekend!

  8. Lovely lemon cookies recipe! On top of that, the coating will balance the taste of the cookies, nice recipe!

  9. I grew up on Swedish Butter Cookies, that had a very similar texture and taste. Being a lemon freak (bring on the tart lemon bars, right?) – I was hoping these would be lemony. I was disappointed. 🙁 The cookie itself – as a butter cookie – is very tasty! But I’m afraid the zest, oil and lemon juice dissipate into the dough and the flavor is only barely there after baked (and even when you taste the dough, you know it’s not lemony enough). In my last batch, before baking, I dipped a fork in fresh squeezed lemon juice and poked the balls of dough before baking – infusing them with lemon. I have to say – it helped. I love the recipe – it just expected more lemon tartness. As well, I think that 1/2 tsp of salt would suffice, as 3/4 salt made the salt detectable. I’d love to hear if anyone can suggest a way to infuse more lemon flavor into these cookies — because when they come out of the oven – visually – they’re GORGEOUS. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi there, Kim! My pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience with me and fellow readers about this new and original recipe of mine for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies. However, I am sorry that you were disappointed in the recipe. It is true that flavors dissipate in cookie doughs and cake batters that contain cream cheese. It is a tough ingredient to penetrate for deep flavor. However, I must say that my husband shares your opinion in that he wants a more pronounced lemon flavor to shine through these cookies – his new favorite kind of cookie, Gooey Butter Cookies. In fact, this weekend, I will be testing two (2) ways as to how to add more all-natural lemony flavor to please lemon lovers, for Extra-Lemony Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies as a variation of the recipe, without compromising the overall texture of the cookies so they still have a pleasing crumb structure and pretty crinkle sugar topping. 🙂 Thanks again for writing and stay tuned!

    • I found ‘True Lemon’ on the web–dehydrated lemon juice, no sugar added. it might work for you.

      • Hi there, Sue! Thank you for taking the time to write about our recipe for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies and for recommending True Lemon. However, it is not a product that I can safely use as I have a severe allergy to corn and corn-derived food additives. Unfortunately, according to the representative at True Lemon that I just spoke with, the citric acid found in True Lemon is NOT made from citrus, but made from corn (as it is least expensive). Also, the maltodextrin additive (with a super-high glycemic index) can be found in True Lemon shakers (not the packets) and is also derived from corn. Not to worry though. I have been working on tweaking a recipe variation for this recipe for Extra-Lemony Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies with a pure, all-natural ingredient (Vitamin C) that just happens to be good for human health – in fact, essential. Once again, thank you for writing. Meanwhile, stay tuned for the recipe update!

    • Kim,

      I made these and they weren’t Lemony enough for me, so i made a light glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice and just lightly drizzled it over the cookies, and they are great, with a stronger lemon flavor.

      Charlene

      • Thank you for writing and sharing, Charlene! What a fabulous idea…just add lemon glaze. This is definitely an option for lemon lovers. 🙂 Meanwhile, I am still working on the amount of pure Vitamin C powder (made from tapioca, therefore allergen-free) to add to the dough as well as the confectioners’ sugar for coating the cookies for Extra-Lemony Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies. However, for those who wish for something similar until then, using Lemon Juice Powder, by King Arthur Flour, is an option. Unfortunately, since their Lemon Juice Powder is made from corn-derived ingredients, I cannot consume it due to a severe allergy. Here is a link to King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Lemon Snowball Cookies. They call for 1/4 to 1/2 cup of their Lemon Juice Powder in their confectioners’ sugar coating. Thanks again for writing, Charlene. Wishing you and yours a holiday season that is both merry and bright!

  10. Hi, i have just baked some of these cookies ,but they turned out brown on the base.
    You don’t actually state a baking temp, which leads me to think it just wants a warmish oven? Please advise, thanks.

    • Hi there, Julie! Thank you for writing. In the recipe, I state the following in the fourth paragraph, “Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF.” Then I state the following in the seventh paragraph, “Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round cookie shapes and are puffed and crackly, about 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft in the centers. If they start to brown around the edges, they have baked too long. The underside of the cookies should be only very lightly browned.” Meanwhile, I will update the recipe to include Celsius as I am currently updated all recipes on the blog to include this information. I hope this information helps! 🙂

    • Julie, you may want to try the insulated (double layer) cookie sheets. Since getting those about 20 years ago, I’ve haven’t burnt a cookie bottom (or scone or biscuit) since.

  11. Sabrina says:

    These are the BEST cookies I’ve ever had! I was wondering if you had a strawberry version.

    • Hi there, Sabrina! Thank you for writing. I am thrilled to know that you enjoy my recipe for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies. They are a favorite at our house! To answer your question, I am currently developing the recipe for my Strawberry Gooey Butter Cookies. So, please stay tuned. 🙂 Thanks again for writing and happy baking!

  12. Just delcious. Amything lemon, one of my faves this. Thanks .
    Simon

  13. How do they freeze?

    • Hi there, A! Thank you for writing with such a great question. In fact, I have received the same question from several readers. Based on that, I conducted my own tests and this is what I have learned: Once frozen, the texture of the cookies is slightly drier. They do lose a bit of their “gooey-ness” from the first day they’re baked. With that said, they still remained moist, not dry and still rich in taste and texture. They still had good flavor and were enjoyable to eat. As for freezing and thawing, I highly recommend the following: Store in an airtight container and use cut sheets of wax paper between layers of cookies as the wax paper absorbs moisture as well as cushions and prevents the cookies from sticking to others. When thawing at room temperature, keep the cookies inside the container to allow any condensation to form on the container and not the cookies. Once at room temperature, give the cookies a light dusting of extra powdered sugar to freshen their appearance. Thanks again for writing. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Happy holiday baking!

  14. Rebecca L Rogers says:

    Does it have to be organic ingredients?

    • Hi there, Rebecca! Thank you for writing with your question. Due to my severe food allergies, I have had to change my blog to be mainly organic and I will be calling for organic ingredients right in the ingredients section of my recipes. However, I will do my best to give recommendations for conventional (non-organic) ingredients, and their amounts, just as I did today in my recipe for Carrot Cake ~ Best Ever Bakery-Style. Look in the Notes section at the bottom of my recipes for this information. For these scrumptious Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies recipe, you should have no problem at all using conventional ingredients. In fact, the recipe was initially developed using conventional ingredients before I tested them with organic ingredients. So, you should be good to go! 🙂 Thanks again for writing with such a good question and I hope that I have answered your it thoroughly and completely. Meanwhile, happy holiday baking!

  15. shirley sproxton says:

    Hi Stacey. I just made the dough for the lemon gooey butter cookies, you’re right , even the dough is irresistable! I cant wait to taste the cookies. I wondered if you have tried freezing these? Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Hi there, Shirley! Thank you for writing with such a great question. In fact, I have received the same question from several readers. Based on that, I conducted my own tests and this is what I have learned: Once frozen, the texture of the cookies is slightly drier. They do lose a bit of their “gooey-ness” from the first day they’re baked. With that said, they still remained moist, not dry and still rich in taste and texture. They still had good flavor and were enjoyable to eat. As for freezing and thawing, I highly recommend the following: Store in an airtight container and use cut sheets of wax paper between layers of cookies as the wax paper absorbs moisture as well as cushions and prevents the cookies from sticking to others. When thawing at room temperature, keep the cookies inside the container to allow any condensation to form on the container and not the cookies. Once at room temperature, give the cookies a light dusting of extra powdered sugar to freshen their appearance. Thanks again for writing. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Happy holiday baking! 🙂

  16. Not being a lemon fan, I absolutely love these cookies. I was looking for a cookie recipe to pair with a Grenache Rose for a wine event. This paired so well; received so many raves – who would’ve thought!!

    • Thank you for writing, Margaret! I would have never thought to pair this cookie, or even our recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies, with any wine. I’m so glad you thought of it! Just as cheesecake pairs with lemon and berries with affinity, surely this cookie’s blend of butter, cream cheese and lemon paired well with the fruity flavor profile of the wine. Once again, thank you for writing and sharing all about the rave reviews when pairing this cookie, Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies, with your wine choice, Grenache Rose, at the event. Thanks to you, I look forward to enjoying similar this holiday season. 🙂 Warmest wishes to you and yours for a holiday season that is both merry and bright!

  17. Carly Warren says:

    Can I substitute something else for the citrus oil? I can’t seem to find locally, and don’t have time to order online because they are for Christmas… Or do you know a chain grocery store that sells the oil? If not, I know it’s not as strong, but can I substitute with lemon extract?

    • Hi there, Carly!

      Thank you for writing with such great questions. Yes, you may substitute pure lemon extract for the pure lemon oil. The difference between the products is that pure lemon extract contains both water and alcohol in addition to the lemon oil. Sometimes, pure lemon extract can contain corn syrup as well as other additives.

      McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract is the best grocery store brand, in my humble opinion, as it does not contain corn syrup and is non-gmo. Since I am highly allergic to sulfites and all corn-derived products and food additives (due to the fact that corn additives come from field corn that has been sulfited), my recipes call for pure, all-natural and organic ingredients whenever possible.

      The general rule for substituting pure lemon extract for citrus zest is that 1 teaspoon extract = 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest. Therefore, keep in mind that you can add extra lemon zest to your recipe for some extra citrus zing. 🙂 Also, if you have extra fresh lemons on hand, consider carefully squeezing the peels (away from eyes) to “spray” some fresh lemon oil into your cookie dough for added lemon flavor.

      If you are still interested in purchasing pure lemon oil, try Sur la Table if you have a store in your area. They carry the Boyajian Pure Lemon Oil in 1 oz. bottles as well as the citrus oil combination pack, Boyajian Assorted Citrus Oil – 3-Pack, that contains pure orange, lemon and lime oils.

      As for directly substituting pure lemon extract for pure lemon oil, the general rule is that 1 part natural flavoring oil is roughly equivalent to 4 parts pure extract. Therefore, you will need 4 times the amount of pure lemon extract for the pure lemon oil called for in our recipe for Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies at about 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract. If you want extra-lemony flavor, consider adding a bit more to taste. You should be good to go if you add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract to your cookie dough. 🙂

      Thanks again for writing, Carly. I hope that I have answered your questions thoroughly and completely. Meanwhile, I will update the recipe in the Tips section for those who want to substitute pure lemon oil for pure lemon extract.

      Happy holiday baking!

      And…

      Warmest wishes to you and yours for a holiday season that is both merry and bright!

      ~Stacy

  18. I just made these and they are delicious! I think they could use a little bit of a stronger lemon flavor, but they are wonderful just the way they are! Just to clarify, in your directions you say to transfer to a wire rack, but to let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. Those seem like a contradiction to me…

    I didn’t have a scoop so I measured each cookie to weigh between 10 and 12 grams. I also found that sprinkling powdered sugar on my hands helped when rolling them into balls. After I bake them, I transferred the parchment paper with the cookies onto the wire rack, and seemed to have good results with that.

    • Oh! And I forgot to mention… I didn’t have lemon oil or lemon extract so I put a couple of drops of lemon essential oil in them. I am not sure if it made a huge difference… But I thought they came out great! 🙂

      • Thanks for mentioning this, too, Melody. As long as you are using pure lemon oil (food grade) with your essential oil, I can only imagine that it is a good choice to help provide more lemon flavor with this recipe. Thanks again for sharing and happy holidays! 🙂

    • Thank you for writing, Melody!

      All lemon lovers seem to want more lemon flavor with these irresistible Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies (including my husband and myself!) and I think that is because getting pure lemon ingredients to penetrate through the cream cheese, let alone the flour, is the real challenge. The other challenge is that our taste buds are “conditioned” for more lemon. Lemonhead candies, anyone? Sour Patch Kids? LOL!

      Currently, I am working on a variation for Extra-Lemony Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies incorporating all-natural and pure powdered Vitamin C to be used in the cookie dough as well as the confectioners’ sugar coating. So much better than synthetic Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and citric acids that aren’t even made from citrus, but from corn) that our bodies don’t even assimilate well. Now that I have the approach down, I just need to test for the proper amounts for the dough and confectioners’ sugar coating for optimal lemon flavor.

      Yes, in my recipe directions (as I state with all of my recipes when cookies need to cool on baking sheets) I state to transfer to a wire rack to allow the cookies to cool either for a brief time or completely. What I mean is the baking sheet itself when transferred from the oven. Not the cookies. Thank you for mentioning your confusion because I can certainly convey that with better word usage by including the words “baking sheet” to make it clear. 🙂 With that said, I have found that carefully transferring the cookies to wire racks, after 10 minutes of cooling time on the baking sheets, speeds up the cooling process. I will definitely update the recipe directions and tips to reflect this.

      Thank you for sharing your tips with me and fellow readers. I agree that powdered sugared hands would help with rolling the dough into ball shapes. I’m glad that transferring the parchment paper with cookies on them warm from the oven seemed to have good results for you. The only reason I don’t recommend that is because some bakers use baking sheets that are half sheets with a rim and I don’t want fellow home bakers, especially new or young bakers, writing me saying that the shape of their cookies were ruined during the transfer due to the soft nature of these cookies when warm from the oven. Experienced bakers know what they are comfortable with when it comes to maneuvering in the kitchen. 🙂

      Thanks again for writing, Melody. Warmest wishes to you and yours for a holiday season that is both merry and bright!

      ~Stacy

  19. Loved the flavor and how the cookies stayed soft but did anyone else have difficulty with them sticking to your hands when you were trying to make the balls and roll in the sugar??? Tried coating hands with flour and also with coconut oil, (not at the same time of course) but neither was effective for very long. Probably would not make these again, even though I really liked them, because of this issue.

    • Hi there, Betty! Thank you for writing and sharing your experience with this recipe. Yes, the dough is very sticky and handling it makes for sticky hands. Imagine a cookie dough crossed with regular cookie dough and cheesecake batter. This is what we have with Gooey Butter Cookies such as our Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies recipe. My advice is to try sprinkling or dusting some confectioners’ sugar onto your hands and use it versus flour which will make your cookies tougher. The cookie dough balls will be rolled into confectioners’ sugar anyway, right? So, a little thin coating of confectioners’ sugar on them during the process of rolling into ball shapes will not detract from their texture yet will help with hands not becoming overly sticky with dough. Thanks again for writing, Betty. I hope that I have addressed your concerns thoroughly and completely. Wishing you and yours a holiday season that is both merry and bright!

  20. I just made the Gluten Free version of these cookies. They were delicious. Everyone that came to dinner loved them. Even the people that said they really did not like lemon items. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!

  21. Just made these and can’t wait to pass them out on Easter. I found that freezing the dough for a little while (at least 10 minutes) made it much easier to roll and they were fluffier coming out of the oven as well. I was so happy to find this recipe since I used to live in St. Louis and gooey butter anything is always a fave. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi there, Molly! Thank you for taking the time to write and share your experience making these delectable Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies from scratch. Also, thank you for the great tip about freezing the dough and thus making it much easier to roll as well as achieving a nice fluffy texture after baking. This is extremely helpful when baking on warm days in the spring and summer. I have not yet tested this recipe with the freezing method, but I will. Then I will update the Tips in the Recipe Notes section. Thanks again for writing and sharing your tip. I hope everyone enjoyed these cookies and had a meaningful Easter holiday!

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