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Lemon sugar cookies recipe taste like you’ve taken a big bite out of summer! So fresh and delicious, it’ll become a favorite!

Lemon Sugar Cookie Recipe from
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I always love bright, citrus flavors, especially in the summertime. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, I can’t seem to get enough of them! Add them to a cookie and you better believe I’m all about it!

I’ve been making this lemon version of my sugar cookie recipe for years and years and every time I take them to an event or to friends, I’m asked for the recipe and how to make them. They are packed full of so much lemon flavor!

So, if you love citrus flavors and sugar cookies, then this recipe is definitely one you are going to love! They are perfect for summer entertaining or enjoying with your family.

The secret really comes down to the lemon in the cookie and then rolling them in lemon sugar. It makes for the perfect citrus-y cookies in my opinion!

Lemon Sugar Cookie Recipe from

Here’s my Lemon Sugar Cookies recipe. I hope you love them!

4.89 from 52 votes

Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe

Dessert 22 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 24 cookies
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Lemon sugar cookies recipe taste like you’ve taken a big bite out of summer! So fresh and delicious, it’ll become a favorite!


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of two large lemons
  • juice of one large lemon about 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup lemon sugar recipe for rolling cookies


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  • Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and mix until well-combined.
  • Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes to allow lemon flavor to develop.
  • Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon full and roll into a ball.
  • Add lemon sugar to a large bowl for rolling cookie dough in before baking. Place each ball of cookie dough into the bowl of lemon sugar and roll to coat well. Place cookie dough onto baking sheet, spacing about 1 1/2-inches to 2 inches apart. Lightly press each cookie down. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Cookie Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


  1. You are making me into a lemon lover…but stay away from my tea and fish!!! This cookie looks so goood! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These were amazing! I used my leftover lemon sugar to sweeten my cup of hot tea and had it with my lemon cookies for an afternoon treat! Thank you!

  3. My daughter loves anything lemon so I am always on the look out for NEW recipes. Thank you. I am baking a lemon cake right now for dessert after dinner this evening.

  4. 5 stars
    Ms. Robyn
    The Lemon cookies…one word. Phenomenal !
    They were gone in 15 minutes. My family loved them.
    Thank you for such a fabulous recipe. XoXo

    1. These are sooo good….love the lemon sugar in my tea…I wounded if you could use. Oranges…I love oranges too.

    2. I freeze my dough all the time…this one included. I usually put it into a blob into the center of plastic wrap, then shape it into a log. Roll it up in the plastic wrap. then I wrap in foil (prefer heavy duty) and then stick it into a zip lock bag. I always make a double batch of any dough I make so I can always wipe up a quick dessert if needed.

  5. I really like lemon squares and cookies. These sound so good.

    How do you store them and about how long do you think they will keep? Pinning it!!

    1. These are super tasty!! Mine went a bit flat and seemed a bit greasy, so I’m going to try 1.5 sticks of butter instead of 2 next time. Otherwise, amazing!

  6. I just printed Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe. It calls for Lemon Sugar but no recipe on how to make it. Could Robyn Stone send it to us?

    1. If you click on where it says “lemon sugar recipe” in the ingredients it takes you to the instructions for the sugar. 🙂

  7. I made these yesterday and they are delious but they did not stay in the shape in the picture they came out very flat and runny

  8. These came out delicious. I didn’t even roll in lemon sugar. They kind of stuck together but that’s okay, ant eat just one anyway!

  9. my mum-in-law gave me a bucket of lemons last week so I’m frantically looking for recipes to use them up – I blogged lemon bars the other day 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I just made these yesterday and they came out delish! I’m going to add this to my stack of go-to recipes for when I need to whip up something easy & awesome. Next time I make these, I think I’ll try it w/limes.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    The dough and sugar taste awesome! I’m planning on making these cookies for a tailgate tomorrow. My only problem is that the dough is so runny I cannot manage to roll them. I’ve added flour trying to make the dough manageable but that has not done much. Any suggestions?


  12. I just made these. The taste is sooo good. The dough was super sticky, so I placed the dough in the freezer for 30minutes, since more flour could’ve made the cookies dry. The cookies came out still sticky, but I still baked them, and they came out like a flat saucer. Maybe it was just my luck. 🙁

    1. That’s what happened to me but I added more flour and didn’t refreg them My turned out good… Try more flour next time
      My zest for the top off cookies came out like water so I didn’t use it

  13. Sooo yummy! I put my zest into my nutribullet blender along with 3 smallish, organic strawberries. I added the lemon juice to this mix, and then creamed it into the butter/sugar/egg mixture before I added the dry ingredients. I then finished preparing the cookies as directed. These ‘strawberry lemonade’ cookies are super adorable and deliciously sweet and tart!

  14. 5 stars
    I made these cookies last night for Easter. They came out perfect-and delicious! The dough was slightly sticky but no problem forming balls and rolling in the sugar. I didn’t roll half the batch in sugar; iced with lemon glaze this morning. Very very good both ways. I’m pretty sure my husband (who doesn’t like lemon) will eat them all before the guests even get here!

    1. 🙂 I hope you have at least one or two to share with your guests, but if not, hopefully your husband will enjoy them both ways! Happy Easter!

    2. Hi. I think you need some baking soda and more flour. The first batch came out really flat and buttery so I added I teaspoon of soda and another cup of flour. The second batch turned out great, thank you!

  15. 4 stars
    My batter also turned out prettty sticky. I ended up adding an extra two or three tablespoons of flour and freezing the already balled dough before baking it. The cookies aren’t the prettiest. They flattened out quite a bit and ran into each other and were hard to scrape off the sheet without breaking. However, I dont even mind how they look because they taste delicious. The edges taste like lemon drops and the inside is gooey and delicious. So I dont love the looks, but if you are going for taste these are delish!

  16. Mine were flat too (but my batter was NOT runny, just sticky – which dipping your fingers in flour took care of) – but the flavor was good. Wondering if you add baking soda? I will try that next time – since they were no were near like the picture.

    1. 5 stars
      So – I made again… this time added 1 tsp of baking soda and 3 cups of flour. They now look like the picture and the taste is great. No more weird flat saucer cookies!

  17. My wife wants me to make these cookies for her – so I read through the comments first, and this post is crying out for some input/assistance from the OP. First, it says it’s a summer cookie, so we know upfront that it’ll be hot – then we add the heat from the oven, and the poor cookie dough doesn’t stand a chance. If you want/need to bake cookies in the summer (especially those based on creamed butter/shortening and sugar), it’s always good practice to immediately refrigerate the dough upon completing construction of the dough (the hotter the kitchen, the longer the cool-down). Then, proceed with recipe – that should remedy the ills of soft, sticky dough (wet your hands to roll them too).

    Now, I’m going to make these beautiful cookies, and I will be refrigerating the dough!

  18. Theses were excellent! I chilled my dough for an hour. My family loves them. Thank you. This will be a repeat for sure!

  19. I followed the recipe exactly but my dough came out too soft to roll in sugar. So i left it in the fridge overnight. This has happened to me a couple of times. What did i do wrong?

  20. Cookies came out great. Highly recommend a lemon glaze with lemon juice from lemon uses to make the lemon sugar.

  21. 5 stars
    I had a sudden desire to make citrus cookies, and you delivered. Didn’t have any lemons on hand, so I used Florida oranges instead. They were absolutely delicious, and I’m looking forward to trying this recipe again in the future with a different variety of citrus.

  22. I made these cookies and now they are a must have in the kitchen. I add more lemon sugar on top of the cookies after I press them flat and yummm,you get a coating of lemon sugar on your lips.

  23. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious. I crushed some lemon drops and added them to the batter, Instead of the lemon sugar, I made a lemon glaze to drizzle over the cookies. If you love lemon like I do, you will love these cookies.

  24. These were good but if you use a convection oven, I might suggest chilling the dough before you bake. Mine were very yummy, but flat.

    1. Good to know! My first batch came out perfectly, but I guess as the dough warmed up in my kitchen, they got flatter.

  25. 5 stars
    I know it sounds like heresy, but I used margarine to make these kosher (pareve) and they were amazing. The lemon sugar hint was delightful – thanks!

  26. I’d love to try these cookies for Christmas – think they’d be a nice change. Has anyone tried freezing them? Thank you.

    1. Hi Kathy – I’ve double checked to see what you meant, but the directions say “…add egg and mix…”. If I didn’t have my reading glasses on, I’d might have thought it said milk too! 🙂 Enjoy the cookies! Thanks so much!

  27. Hi, juice of one lemon is way more than a TB… I used it all! I split the zest 3/5 to batter and 2/5 to sugar. Maybe I am just coping with large-large lemons? These cookies are divine…. and the power sugar roll carmelizes just a wee bit on the edges and I liked them flat with more carmelized edges!

  28. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice. The flavor is through the roof with lemon. The texture of the cookie is semi-soft and the lemon flavor is bold. This is a keeper recipe.

  29. 5 stars
    First of all I would like to say OMG. My kitchen smells like heaven n these cookies taste like u are there. Super easy to make I will be making these again. Thanks for sharing ?

    1. Hi Debbie,
      I use salted butter. Usually if I use unsalted, I try to specify that in the recipe. I hope you enjoy these – they are so delicious! Thanks!

  30. This is by far the best lemon cookie I have ever had! Thanks soo much for this amazing recipe!

  31. 5 stars
    This looks great but do you think I could use key limes.? I have a bag I would like to use up.



    1. How sweet to bake these for your mother! I’m thrilled that she liked them! Thanks so much!

  32. 5 stars
    Made these for my wife to take to the Post Office where she works about 6 months ago and now they request them every week or two. Thanks for the super easy, super tasty. Key is in the lemon sugar.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you are a regular baker of this recipe and that everyone requests them, James! I do love the lemon sugar in these cookies…so refreshing and so good! I’m happy you shared this with me and so glad you’ve enjoyed them! Thanks!

  33. 5 stars
    This was the first and last recipe for lemon cookies I tried, they were that good. If you’re a citrus fan, this is where it’s at! Even those that I know, that don’t seem to like liking things, couldn’t deny the awesomeness! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    1. Yay, Kim! I’m thrilled you liked them so well! Thanks so much for sharing that you thought they were “awesome”! xo

  34. Not lemony at all. They taste like vanilla sugar cookies. I used zest of two large lemons and juice of one lg lemon, as directed, but still not enough lemon flavor. Also, I rolled them in lemon sugar, but the sugar was absorbed into the cookies, therefore the tops were just smooth. Nothing like the picture on the website. Also, they never turned light brown. I baked them for 14 minutes instead o 10-12. Don’t think I’ll make these again.

  35. 5 stars
    I made these today, they taste amazing but they are super flat…do not look like the pics you posted, and I don’t know why. Made 2 separate batches and same with both. That being said, they are thin and a bit crunchy on the edges and really good. Contemplating making a lemony filling and sandwiching them together but either way I will definitely make them again because they are really good. Thanks! 🙂

    1. I’m not sure why they are flat – sometimes that happens when the dough is beaten too much after adding the butter. I am glad you enjoy them though! They are so good! Thanks!

    2. If you use a lemon extract, that will boost the lemon flavor, and add about 1/4 tsp of cream of tarter. This will help keep them from not getting so flat. I thought they were delicious!

  36. 4 stars
    I love everything about the recipe, except for me I had to add 1/2 cup more flour because they weren’t thick enough to roll into a ball. It was my first time zesting properly and the zest is really cool. I hope I followed the instructions properly, if you don’t think they’re lemony enough just squeeze more or a BIGGER lemon (duh)! 🙂

  37. 5 stars
    Sounds like sugar not creamed with butter enough. Flat maybe too much butter too short and spread. Hope this helps. Doreen Martin

  38. 3 stars
    My cookies came out flat as I don’t know what I did wrong but they taste good. I eooo try this recipe again a later time when I have more zest.

  39. The cookies turned out flat and super chewy . I added more flour and refrigerated the dough and that helped. It just seems like the recipe is not complete. The flavor was good. 

    1. 5 stars
      For those whose cookies come out flat and/or tough and crunchy, when mixing the butter and flour mixture, don’t run a mixer on high speed or even medium. It would be better to hand mix these and make sure you don’t mix it to the point the butter melts. The idea is a fluffy and light mix, not a runny oily mess. Adding flour to this will only compound the mischief. Also make sure the baking powder is fresh as well as the flour. The flavor is enhanced by letting it sit, I had the best luck putting it into the fridge for 10 min to let the zest leech. This also allows it to rise a bit. When rolling the balls, it’s the same idea, LIGHTLY roll into a ball, don’t roll it tight. Gently mash it down a bit. It doesn’t have to be mashed into finished shape, just a  little bit of flattening. Hope it comes out well for you all. It really is about the technique more than the recipe being defective. The author has made these for years and has a subconscious “feel” for it. It’s hard to convey that in the recipe.

    2. Thanks so much for adding your tips on what works for you too! I’m happy you enjoy them and appreciate you taking the time to share your method so that might help someone else. xo

  40. 5 stars
    First time I made them I forgot to take the butter out the night before and ended up using melted instead of softened. The batch rolled in the zest sugar can out very crunchy even if i took them out after 8min.

    The other batch I mixed real honey with lemon juice and brushed them, they came out sooooo soft and nice. I sprinkled them with powdered sugar after.

  41. I had high hopes for these cookies as I made the sugar version last week and they were the most perfect sugar cookies I’ve probably every made. These came out really greasy and stuck to the pan, and I guess flat like others were saying. When I made the sugar cookies, I didn’t beat them anywhere near the 3 minutes in the recipe but I tried it this time so maybe that was the problem. They tasted pretty good.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the sugar cookies and sorry these didn’t turn out for you Sherrie. I can’t be sure what happened unless your butter got too warm. I’ve never had an issue with these cookies. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ruth,
      Here’s the Lemon Sugar recipe. I am sorry it wasn’t easy to find – I will correct that in the recipe. I hope you enjoy the cookies! xo

  42. I made mine dye free and they were a huge hit… Even with my all natural friends. They were easy to make and since I was hurrying I made my lemon sugar with lemon juice instead of zest and added sugar until you could roll cookies in it. I also add 1/4 tsp of lemon extract as I didn’t zest and people have been raving over these cookies. The down side. I am requested to bring cookies 2x month to church lol. Thank you! I did notice the first time when I microwave softened butter they were flatter than when I softened the butter by leaving it out. This recipe is the best!!! I also made them with just sugar to be rolled in and they were still awesome!!

    1. Isn’t it a good feeling when everybody raves over your baking, Michelle?! I’m so happy you enjoy these cookies! You are correct about the butter – when it is too warm, the cookies tend to be flatter and they roll up better with cooler butter. I have more sugar cookie recipes that you may enjoy too – my Chewy Sugar Cookies and my Chocolate Sugar Cookies.
      Thanks! xo

  43. 5 stars
    Theese are perfect! I made them for the first time on a gloomy winter day, added a pinhead of yellow color paste. They lit up the whole table and everybody loves them. I have made my lemonsugar with ground, dried lemon peel, and i make lime-, orange- ang strawberry sugar which i great in plain cookies.

    1. Aren’t these cookies amazing?! I’m so happy you and your friends enjoy them as much as we do! Thanks so much Mette! xo

  44. 4 stars
    Based on comments, i did doctor up…1) added extra 1/4 c flour, 2) in addition to juice of one lemon (which was ~3tbs), I added 1/2tsp lemon extract (i also only had 1 lemon, so didnt hv zest of 2), 3) used baking soda instead of powder. Results: still flatter cookies than expected; but really good…crisp edges, chewy middle good lemon flavor.

  45. Robyn,
    Bravo! Wonderful recipe. I baked these lemon cookies with my son tonight who loves all things lemon. We followed the directions exactly and they baked perfectly.  These will be a staple in our cookie recipe war chest. Many thanks!

  46. 5 stars
    These cookies are a favorite of all who have tried them. The lemon flavor is so refreshing and tasty. Quick and easy to make.  The lemon sugar is a must to add more flavor.  

    1. Hi Glora,
      I give a link to my Lemon Sugar recipe in my writing prior to the recipe, but have linked to it here for you. I hope you enjoy it! So delicious! xo

  47. 4 stars
    How much butter do you use for 1 batch, 1 cup or 2 cups? I am confuse ’cause saiys 1 cup 2 sticks (knowing 2 sticks is a cup). Just clarifying, do not want to mess up my recipe,
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Marcela,
      You are correct in that the recipe will use 1 cup of butter, which equals 2 sticks. I am sorry for any confusion – there should have been parentheses around (2 sticks), but I’ve corrected that now. I hope you enjoy the cookies – they are delicious! Thanks!

  48. 5 stars
    I cannot believe I haven’t rated this recipe!!
    It is REALLY good! Have been making them for a few years now!
    The recipe, as written, works for me. I have never had to make any adjustments, except adding more lemon zest when I have smaller lemons. Other than, delicious and perfect!
    I am looming at a heap of lemons right now, that will be zested and juiced to make these!

    Thanks for sharing!

    From a beautiful, sunny, Cape Town, South Africa
    Sa-eeda 👍🤗😚

  49. Amazing cookies! Very soft and with a nice amount of lemon (but not overwhelming). My co-worked loved them as well.

  50. First time making lemon cookies but not the last. Yum. I made an icing that I use on my butter cookies and used lemon juice and a hint of vanilla. Great finish to these if you’re looking for a tart lemon flavor. I ate 6 today and killed my diet. Grandkids finished them all off after school. Left a few un-iced and they loved those also. Thanks for sharing this recipe

  51. 5 stars
    Made these with Gluten Free flour (King Arthur brand) and little Meyer lemons we had grown on our little indoor tree.  Was generous with the lemon juice, and since they have such a thin skin and can’t be zested, simply finely chopped the peel and added in place of the zest.  Was a little generous with the lemon juice, and let the batter sit a few minutes before rolling (since GF flour is slower to absorb moisture) but otherwise no changes.  Cooked for 15 minutes (GF flour doesn’t tend to golden up the way wheat flour does) and they were incredible.  Crisp on the outside and slightly chewy in the center – everyone loved them.  Thanks for such a great recipe!

  52. Hi Robyn,
    I made this recipe yesterday and I have to say, I read the comments above and I was a bit nervous about trying it. I am not what you would call a professional baker by any means but I do pretty well. With that said, I dove right in because I thought to myself that I don’t usually have issues with cookie dough. And boy am I glad that I went for it because they came out perfect and incredibly delicious. I added a cup of White Chocolate, 1/4 teaspoon of Lemon Extract to the dough and a little bit more of the Lemon Zest to both the dough and the Lemon Sugar. I plan on making these cookies for our family reunion end of June but I might make them again sooner because my husband loved them !! Thank you for sharing ✌

    1. Hi Esther,
      I’m so glad you tried this recipe and loved it. It is one of my family’s favorites, too. Sounds delicious with the additions you made. Thanks.

    1. These cookies do freeze well, Susan. Scoop dough by the tablespoon and roll into a ball and place onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour or until the dough is frozen. Remove from the freezer and place the cookie mounds into airtight containers or freezer bags. Label the bag with the date and name of the cookies.

      When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the container from the freezer. Remove the number of cookies from the container that you wish to bake and place them in the refrigerator to thaw. Once the dough has thawed, roll the balls in the lemon sugar and place them at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake as directed in your recipe but you will probably need to add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

  53. 5 stars
    I’m a chocolate girl, so OF COURSE my husband is a fruit guy! 😉 & since it’s Xmas, I thought I’d make a dessert for him. He loves lemon cakes (& Joffrey). I have the added complication of him being GF. So I did have to used my own flour blend & b/c it’s GF dough, let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins B4 shaping & this recipe turned out really well! I was surprised by the amount of flavor. The fresh lemon zest gives the cookie a brightness. We’ll definitely B adding it to the rotation. Thx!

    1. Rachel, I’m glad this recipe worked so well for your husband’s need for gluten free and his love of lemon. Thank you!

  54. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe! One of my new favourites. So much flavour. Don’t be afraid to add more lemon than you might think. There really is no such thing as too much lemon in my opinion.

  55. 5 stars
    Made these cookies and they turned out wonderfully!! Not flat, full of flavor and simple. The lemon sugar gives the cookie a nice crisp to the outside too. So yum!

  56. 5 stars
    Hi I made these today they are delicious tho they could be a little more lemony but I could add extract to fix that they turned out perfect and I even forgot to add the vanilla

  57. Hello Robyn. I’ve been reviewing lemon sugar cookie recipes on the web and yours is the best one out of at least 20 that I have reviewed. I like that you use lemon and zest, not extract. I can already tell these will be delicious. Your lemon sugar recipe is not only going to be a yummy finish for the cookies but a beautiful addition to brewed sweet-tea when I rim the glasses and add a sprig of mint. I love recipes with history, so thank you for sharing yours. These will be dessert after Sunday dinner tomorrow and I can’t wait!

    1. Thank you, Loralei. I hope everyone loved the cookies. I love your idea of rimming the tea glasses with the lemon sugar. xo

    1. These cookies are so fragrant an lemony, buttery and chewy. They are divine with a coffee. My only amend will be to reduce sugar a little as for my tastes it is quite sweet. But that is completely subjective. The cookie dough comes together great. And so easy to form and bake. A seriously impressive cookie. Thanks

  58. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! If you are a lemon lover, or know one, this recipe will satisfy! So absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to find other uses for the lemon sugar too. I used my small cookie scoop and did slightly flatten the balls, which I did not do with my chocolate sugar cookies. That step makes all the difference. This is a keeper, and the kitchen smelled amazing!

  59. 5 stars
    Its a great sugar cookie recipe. However depending on where you are located you may want to chill the dough first for an hour or two if you’re like me and notice your cookies want to spread alot while baking …also a rounded tablespoon makes a huge cookie so I’d recommend like others and use a small cookie scoop to roll into smaller balls. Overall the taste is amazing.

  60. I absolutely love this recipe! So far I have made them twice andthey are a hit. My husband loves them. So grateful that I have a wonderful lemon tree in my backyard. I would definitely recommend them to my fellow lemon lovers😊

  61. I just made these with my mom and they’re fantastic. The recipe was very easy to follow and my family and I are going to enjoy them. Thank you so much for this great recipe!!!

  62. These cookies have such an explosion of lemon flavor. @Sunflower Bake Shop sells them out every week! One customer buys them by the full sheet pan. He buys as many as I can roll out. Yummm! Thank you

  63. 5 stars
    This is a lovely cookie – it was my uncle’s favorite of the cookies I’d bake when I visited! I do like to add an additional sprinkle of lemon sugar atop the cookies before baking.

  64. OMG! First time I made these cookies. Turned out so delicious. Really tastes like lemon. Took some to one of my church meetings and they were a hit. Have to print out a bunch of recipes to hand out. I made one substitution, lemon extract for the vanilla extract. Juiced the three lemons and added the leftover lemon sugar that you roll the cookies in and made lemonade.

  65. I followed your lemon cookie recipe step by step. It doesn’t look right! The dough is super crumbly. If a squeeze the dough it will come into a ball (sort of). Is this the way it is suppose to be?

    1. Your dough should not be super crumbly, Jacque. Was your butter softened and other ingredients at room temperature? Also, could you have added too much flour?