Easy Lemon Meltaways Recipe

Lemon Meltaways - Light and buttery, these lemon bite-sized cookies are a real treat! Easy to make and the perfect little bite of lemon!

Lemon Meltaways

Do you think if I post bright lemony recipes, spring will come early?  Probably not but it’s nice to dream.  The forecast is calling for -4 degrees tomorrow night, we have about 7 inches of snow on the ground and a cold front coming in.  I’m really not complaining  because we’ve all wished for a good snow this year.  Now that we’ve had our snow – I’m ready for blooming dogwood trees, tiny tomato plants in the garden, asparagus peaking out from the frozen ground and I can’t wait to go camping and kayaking again!  It seems like it has been a long, long winter.    But who wants to talk about the cold when there are delicious, lemony, melt-in-your-mouth cookies to share?!?

I’m envious of my west coast friends with citrus trees in their yards.  How fun would it be to go outside and pick a few lemons and whip up a batch of these sweet gems?

Lemon Meltaways are easy to make with just a few pantry ingredients.

These truly do melt in your mouth and are similar in texture to a buttery shortbread cookie.  The lemon brightens the cookie and gives it an irresistible freshness.  Simple to make with just a few pantry ingredients they come together in no time.  Roll the dough into balls or flatten into discs and bake until barely browned around the edges.

The warm baked cookies can be tossed in confectioners’ sugar like a Russian Tea Cake or Mexican Wedding Cookie.

Or drizzle with a lemon glaze and have a memorable lemon experience!  The glaze can be thin or thick – it’s all up to you!

Lemon Meltaways are bite-sized treats that freeze beautifully!

Rolling the cookies into a small single-bite size treat makes it super easy to pop them in your mouth.  That can also be bad if you keep the entire batch for yourself.  They are not overly sweet so they’re the perfect light ending to any meal.  And they won’t make  your tummy hurt if you have a few for breakfast.  Not judging – just saying!

How to avoid a bitter lemon aftertaste when making these cookies:

  • When zesting lemons, make sure you’re not getting any of the white pith. The pith can make the cookie taste bitter. You only want to grate the yellow zest on the outside of the lemon. I recommend using fresh, firm, organic lemons that have not been coated in any kind of pesticides.

For the cookie dough:

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, packed - about 2 lemons (no white pith)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the lemon glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest for garnish, if desired


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Gently blend on low until incorporated, scrapping down sides with a spatula as needed.
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together.
  4. Add the flour in four batches to the creamed butter and lemon mixture. Blend on medium low until each is incorporated.
  5. Place the cookie dough in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Scoop a level spoonful of dough using a 1-inch cookie scoop. Roll each into a tight ball and place two inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. If you want to make cookie discs, press each dough ball to the desired thickness using the bottom of a flat glass covered with a small piece of wax paper.
  9. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Slide the parchment paper and baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. Repeat with a new piece of parchment paper placed on a cooled cookie sheet. Cool cookies completely if using a glaze. If covering in confectioners' sugar, allow the hot cookies to cool for a minute then toss in 1 cup of powdered sugar to coat. Cool completely on the wire rack.
  11. To make the glaze, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add more lemon juice or sugar as needed to reach desired consistency. Spread on each cookie and garnish with lemon zest if desired.
  12. Allow the glaze to fully set then store cookies in a cool place or refrigerator.

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