Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies

When I find something ultra-seasonal and ephemeral at the market, I am very excited. Now I realize that an item’s rarity is defined by your geography, so some of you may be swimming in Meyer lemons, but in Wisconsin they are here for a brief time. Meyer lemons are a small golden yellow citrus, thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. They are less tart than a standard lemon, with a sweeter, floral taste and aroma that makes them very distinctive.

My excitement is soon surpassed by panic. This always happens to me with Meyer lemons and fresh figs. I can only make one, maybe two recipes with my bounty. Choosing a recipe that will highlight the fruit’s unique qualities, and making sure it is something I won’t mess up, stresses me out a little.

Last year I made lemon bars with my Meyers. It turned out not to the greatest idea. What I love about lemon bars is their tart sweetness. Meyers aren’t that tart, so they made the bars kind of perfumey and sweet. I wasn’t crazy about them.

This year, I believe I hit a home run. A simple drop sugar cookie, infused with Meyer lemon juice and zest. Not super-sweet, but nicely highlighting the fruit’s special flavor.

You could fancy them up with a little lemon icing drizzle, but we enjoyed them plain and simple.

Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 3 T
zest of two Meyer lemons (about 2 T)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1) In food processor, blend all sugar and lemon zest until zest is chopped and everything is well-combined and smelling pretty.

2) Cream butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Reserve additional 3 T of lemon sugar for sprinkling.

3) Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

4) Add dry ingredients to your butter, and stir until combined.

5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops of cookies with reserved lemon sugar. Bake for 9-12 minutes until just turning golden on bottoms.

Note: I’m sure making these with regular lemons would be just as yummy.

Additional note: If you found Tallgrass Kitchen from’s Top 100 Mom Food Blogs, welcome! Come back and visit anytime, and I’d love to hear what you think. And Babble, thank you for including Tallgrass Kitchen in your Top 100 list. I’m honored.

Comments 17

  1. D'Aulan gentry wrote:

    Our mother made “orange cookies” every Christmas, using Naval oranges, since that is the only time they are in season. She’d drizzle the icing, just as you suggested and they were wonderfully cake-like.

    All things old are new again!

    Posted 10 Mar 2011 at 11:33 pm
  2. Michelle BB {Munch} wrote:

    If my local store still has Meyer lemons as they had the last time I stopped in, I’m making these this weekend! Thanks, I’ve been having huge cookie cravings and wanted to try something new so this recipe will fit the bill perfectly.

    Posted 11 Mar 2011 at 2:47 am
  3. Marie wrote:

    Could you tell me approximately how much butter you use? In this part of Canada, our “sticks” of butter are more like “bricks” of butter.


    Posted 12 Mar 2011 at 11:07 pm
  4. Anna wrote:

    Thanks for writing – 1 stick butter is equal to 1/2 cup, so this recipe calls for 1 cup of softened butter. I hope you enjoy the cookies!

    Posted 13 Mar 2011 at 9:23 pm
  5. Kelly wrote:

    I’d been trying to figure out what to do with the meyer lemons my husband picked up at the store (aside from making meyer lemon whiskey sours – yum!). Just took these out of the oven and they are delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    Posted 20 Mar 2011 at 10:29 pm
  6. Anna wrote:

    I’m glad you like them!
    Care to share the recipe for the whiskey sours? Those sound like a great way to ring in the new season!

    Posted 21 Mar 2011 at 6:43 pm
  7. Otehlia Cassidy wrote:

    Oh, I love lemon in baked goods! Perfect for a sugar cookie. Looks great!

    Posted 08 Apr 2011 at 12:53 am
  8. Chung-Ah Rhee wrote:

    I have an obsession with lemons so this is definitely something I must try! :)

    Posted 07 May 2011 at 8:55 am
  9. Anna wrote:

    The tartness is addictive, isn’t it? Let me know how they turn out!

    Posted 08 May 2011 at 2:57 am
  10. Tiffinie C wrote:

    These cookies were outstanding. I found a deal at Sam’s Club on Meyer lemons, so I was looking online for the perfect recipe to try. I’m so glad I found this, as these cookies were probably some of the best I’ve ever made. Most of the lemon cookie recipes that I found only called for the zest. Yours calls for the juice as well. I think that is what made these so special. I’m glad I made a double batch. I froze most of the dough. Thanks again.

    Posted 11 Jan 2013 at 9:05 pm
  11. Harriette wrote:

    I followed your recipe exactly, and these cookies are fabulous! I never post comments, but I had to on these as they were exceptional: great lemon flavor and great texture too. Kudos to you!

    Posted 27 Apr 2013 at 6:12 pm
  12. Anna wrote:


    Thanks for trying the recipe and commenting! I don’t comment for comment’s sake either, so I appreciate your kind, kind words.


    Posted 28 Apr 2013 at 1:22 am
  13. Ann-Marie Tracz wrote:

    Can you tell me about how many cookies the recipe makes?

    Posted 07 Dec 2013 at 8:40 pm
  14. Anna wrote:

    They make 3-4 dozen, depending upon what size you make them. Happy baking!

    Posted 08 Dec 2013 at 12:55 am
  15. Doris wrote:

    I have a Meyer lemon tree that produced 6 lemons, I found your recipe and have been baking ever since, fabulous cookies, thank you for sharing!

    Posted 19 Dec 2013 at 7:19 pm
  16. Anna wrote:

    Any lady with a meyer lemon tree is a lucky lady indeed! –ATB

    Posted 19 Dec 2013 at 8:10 pm
  17. anna wrote:

    great recipe my husband loved them! Thank you.

    Posted 03 Feb 2015 at 6:58 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 5

  1. From Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies | Shameless Domestic Hussy on 22 Mar 2011 at 1:53 am

    […] the Kitchn featured a recipe for Mandarin Orange Cookies, which they had adapted from a recipe for Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies from Tallgrass Kitchen.  So as soon as I saw […]

  2. From » Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies guitar picks & apron strings on 26 Oct 2011 at 9:03 pm

    […] a recipe for Mandarin Orange Cookies, which they had adapted from a recipe for Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies from Tallgrass Kitchen.  So as soon as I saw […]

  3. From Top Ten Tallgrass Kitchen Posts of 2011 | Tallgrass Kitchen on 03 Jan 2012 at 3:59 am

    […] Thanks to a recipe review from The Kitchn, my Meyer Lemon Sugar cookie recipe was far and away the most viewed. Meyer lemons should be popping up at a store near you very […]

  4. From Honey Meyer Lemon Curd | Tallgrass Kitchen on 23 Jan 2012 at 8:10 pm

    […] So I realize this photo makes my dish look a little like a sunny-side up egg. It is not. It is a dollop of golden honeyed lemon curd. I came across Meyer lemons at the store (thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange), which are super-seasonal around here. Last year I made these cookies. […]

  5. From Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies « Cate's World Kitchen on 30 Jan 2012 at 11:46 am

    […] Recipe Plugin1.3 (adapted from Tall Grass Kitchen) var linkwithin_site_id = 40770; (function () { var elem = document.createElement('script'); […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *