September 3, 2018

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

San Francisco has no shortage of excellent bakeries and I love sampling as many of them as possible.  Recently Jane The Bakery was awarded the 2018 winner of best croissant and pain au chocolat in the city by French Morning website.  This accolade pretty much guaranteed a visit to the bakery from the likes of me.  While Jane's viennoiserie were delicious and deserving of the title what actually caught my attention were the Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies.  I'm a sucker for citrus flavored desserts so I put my detective hat on to see if I could replicate these cookies myself

I was first introduced to these cake-like cookies many years ago by my friend Jill's family friend Patti.  Patti was known for her Patti Cakes which were cookies made using boxed cake mix.  It was love at first sight when I tried them back then, but the thought never crossed my mind to make them from scratch.  Tasting Jane The Bakery's cookies motivated me to give it a try.  

A Google search resulted in quite a few recipes and I ended up trying this one from West via Midwest.   The results turned out fantastic and tasted just like the ones from Jane's.  Score!

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

Yields about 3 dozen cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
zest of a large, washed lemon 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 drops yellow food coloring 
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk 
1 cup powdered sugar

In a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder until combined completely.

Using a mixer cream together cream cheese, butter and lemon zest until very well blended.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you are working the batter to incorporate all butter and cream cheese, about 2 minutes.

Beat in on high, sugar, lemon juice, lemon oil, vanilla, food coloring, and salt.  Mix until well combined,  Dough will be light and fluffy.

Add egg and egg yolk, beat for for 1-2 minutes until light and very creamy.  Reduce the mixer to low and in small batches to avoid flour flying everywhere add the flour/baking soda.  The dough will be very sticky, and wet.

Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°. Place a piece of parchment paper onto baking sheet.  

Using a small cookie scoop, 1", make cookie balls.  Using your hands, roll the edges evenly.  Then place powdered sugar into a bowl.  Dump each ball into the powdered sugar and roll to coat all sides,  repeat until all balls are done.  Place the sugar coated balls 2 inches apart on top of parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12-14 minutes.  The cookies will spread, and you want them to be barely golden on the edges.  This will allow for gooey centers.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before moving to a rack to completely cool.  Repeat baking instructions until all cookies are baked.


  1. would there be a sub for the lemon oil?

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