These Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft, chewy and bursting with fresh lemon flavor! This recipe is homemade, from scratch and does NOT use cake mix, making this the best lemon cookie you’ve ever had! This is an easy cookie recipe and makes for a quick lemon dessert.
You guys…I love lemon. Like, LOVE IT. I’ve never had a lemon dessert I didn’t like. When thinking about a new recipe for OBB, it dawned on me that I really wanted to have an ultra chewy, soft lemon cookie. But I didn’t want just a regular sugar cookie flavored with lemon, I felt like it was too boring. I was craving a good old fashioned, chewy chocolate chip cookie; I wanted that kind of cookie, but with lemon instead. You know what I mean?
Well, Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies are literally everything I had hoped for. Chewy. Soft. REALLY, REALLY lemony and really white chocolatey.
I brought them into the office and they were a HUGE hit. Here are a few of the best comments I received:
“These taste like a lemon bar, but in a cookie”
“Mmmm….I feel like I’m on an island” *big smile*
“Omg, Liz. This is crazy good…There’s so much lemon!! It’s so lemony! I’m taking two for the road”
I made sure that these cookies were packed with intense, fresh lemon flavor, and I think that’s what sets this apart from other recipes.
What’s the key difference with my recipe? ZEST! Lots and lots of zest. Two full tablespoons in fact, or the zest of 3 whole lemons.
Yes, it sounds like this is a lot of zest. It is a lot. These cookies are seriously lemony.
They are bright and bold and absolutely heavenly!!
Zest is the colored part of the rind on citrus, whether it be a lemon, lime or orange. It contains the sweetest and best flavor of the fruit because it’s loaded with the fruit’s oils. The flavor of the oil is not tart in any way and it does not bake out. Extracts on the other hand contain alcohol, which bakes out and leaves you with less flavor.
What I also love about these cookies, is the addition of white chocolate chips. The white chocolate added such a beautiful balance to this cookie. I recommend using a high quality white chocolate chip such as Ghirardelli or Guittard.
No chill, no butter softening
For this lemon-white chocolate variation, I figured I could straight up use my chocolate chip cookie recipe and swap out the regular chocolate chips for white, and add a bunch of zest. However, my only hesitation was, that recipe has a lot of brown sugar, and I didn’t want that caramel-y flavor to come through against the lemon. But, if I removed the brown sugar and replaced it with granulated sugar, it may make the cookie less chewy. So, I felt like I had to start from scratch.
While speaking with my mom about it, she told me she recently tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe where you partially melt the butter, which helps lend to a soft and chewy cookie. I found that pretty interesting so I decided to incorporate that idea into this recipe.
If I could swap out more of that brown sugar and still get an ultra chewy cookie, then I’m all for it! Plus, you all know I HATE waiting for butter to soften.
When a cookie craving hits, there needs to be as little time as possible between you and a fresh batch of cookies, and I get that.
How to make Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Like I said, these cookies are EASY to throw together.
I placed the butter into a microwavable bowl, (the same bowl I was going to use for mixing to keep it easy) and put it in for about 45 seconds on full power. I did not want TOO much meltage, but just enough so that the rest of the butter was really softened through, like this.After prepping the butter, making the cookie dough is really straightforward and easy. Add the sugar, eggs, mix for a minute or two…add zest and mix again.
Omg, just look at all that zest.
Add the dry ingredients last and stir well. Scoop out onto parchment leaving some room.
Tips on lemon zest
Since lemon is pretty much the star of the show for these cookies, I wanted to share a few of my tips for perfect lemon zest!
- When you’re shopping for lemons to zest, choose deep yellow, ripe lemons. I find these have the best flavor for zesting.
- Wash the fruit before use. Because you’re using the outside rind, you want to be sure that you’ve rinsed the lemons well under cold water.
- Prep your space by laying down a piece of parchment paper. I always zest onto parchment because it makes it easy to create a funnel and dump the zest into the dough. Plus, since zest is oily it can stick to a cutting board and by using the parchment, you get every last bit of glorious lemon gold.
- Use a sharp microplane, be careful, go slowly and watch out for your fingers.
- Apply light pressure to the microplane when you’re zesting. You only want to zest the colored part of the rind, not the white pith underneath as it can be bitter.
Instagram worthy Cookies
You could easily dump in the entire bag of white chocolate chips into the dough, but I suggest reserving some chips for the tops of the cookies. Adding a few chips to the tops before baking makes these cookies photo ready. It’s my favorite little tip to create beautiful chocolate chip cookies!!
If you’re a lemon love like I am, try my other favorite lemon dessert recipes!
Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies
bursting with fresh lemon flavor! This recipe is homemade, from scratch and
does NOT use cake mix, making this the best lemon cookie you’ve ever had! This
is an easy cookie recipe and makes for a quick lemon dessert.
- 1 c butter (unsalted)
- 1 c granulated sugar
- ½ c light brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon zest (the zest of about 3 lemons)
- 3 c all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ c white chocolate chips (mostly the entire contents of a 10 oz bag; reserve some for the tops. If you don't want to add chips to the tops, adding the entire bag of chips is fine!)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare baking trays with parchment paper.
- In a large microwavable bowl, microwave the butter on 100% power for about 40-45 seconds until partially melted (the two sticks of butter should mostly still be there, but very soft with some melted butter in the bowl).
- Using a hand mixer, add sugars and beat on medium for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla; beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon zest and combine.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt using a whisk.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low speed until all the flour is absorbed.
- Add in the white chocolate chips and incorporate by hand.
- Using a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the parchment lined trays, leaving a few inches in between each cookie.
- Take the white chocolate chips from from the 'reserves' and press them lightly into the tops of each cookie. I used about 4-5 chips per cookie.
- Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. I found that these cookies baked up quite fast so be sure to keep an eye on them. They are easy to over bake!
- Once they are done baking, allow them to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- When you're shopping for lemons to zest, choose deep yellow, ripe lemons. I find these have the best flavor for zesting.
- Wash the fruit before zesting. Because you're using the outside rind, you want to be sure that you've rinsed the lemons well under cold water.
- Prep your space by laying down a piece of parchment paper. I always zest onto parchment because it makes it easy to create a funnel and dump the zest into the dough. Plus, since zest is oily it can stick to a cutting board and by using the parchment, you get every last bit of glorious zest.
- Use a sharp microplane, be careful and watch out for your fingers.
- Apply light pressure to the microplane when you're zesting. You only want to zest the colored part of the rind, not the white pith underneath as it can be bitter.