Lemonhead Cookies are my new favorite cookie! Even if you’re not a fan of Lemonhead candy, you will fall in love with the lemon flavor of these cookies. The glaze makes them extra special, and the bottoms get slightly caramelized from the crushed candies making them perfectly chewy, yet still soft. Seriously delicious!
Oh hello boys and girls! I am pah-rity dang excited about today’s cookie situation. Like for real for real. NO, no one ACTUALLY likes Lemonheads. I get it. But don’t let their small interference in today’s recipe to distract you from the finished product.
The Lemonheads in this recipe are important. Let me explain.
OBVIOUSLY they are lemon flavored. So the lemony-ness of these cookies comes mostly from the candy….and a little lemon zest. Yes, I fully understand that there are artificial flavors involved that typically wouldn’t be my first choice, but we’re making cookies, not cauliflower, so let’s all just look beyond that.
The other thing the candies do, is create the most perfect chewy texture. THE.MOST.PERFECT. You HAVE to crush up the cookies properly, however. The inspiration for today’s recipe actually comes from my Online Bakery Cookie Challenge. I ordered a box of cookies from a bakery called Ruby Snap. They were good! Included in the box was a Lemonhead cookie that had so much potential (in my opinion) BUT the candies were barely crushed, so in every bite of this, otherwise fantastic, cookie you’d get a pretty large piece of Lemonhead candy, and I didn’t like it one bit. Like I said, the candies themselves are subpar (sorry), and the texture shift from the hard candy inside a soft cookie just didn’t work.
So, obviously, I had to take matters into my own hands, and I am SO glad I did because these are pretty fantastic. The crushed up candy adds lemon sweetness, but also creates this amazing caramelization on the bottom of the cookie that creates a fantastic texture.
And really isn’t anything with a glaze better? Yes.
The dough is gloriously easy. The hardest part is crushing the candy. Which isn’t hard at all.
And, like I said make sure to get a good crush. Some will be dust, some will be tiny pieces. I did it with a rolling pin and a zip-top bag. You could also use your food processor or blender.
Also, you will need to chill the dough. I really love the thickness of these cookies….not too thick, but not thin. The chilling helps with the height. I also definitely recommend using parchment paper on your light colored baking sheet. You will want to use a lighter colored sheet, so the cookies don’t brown too much on the bottom. With the crushed candies inside the dough, they could easily get too brown.
You might notice the amount of flour in these is a little more than you would expect. That’s because of the sugar content in the cookie…the more sugar, the more spreading, so you need that extra flour to give the cookie structure.
And like I said, the glaze is really simple and not only makes them pretty, but adds to the texture.
I really do just love these so much!
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup finely crushed Lemonhead candies
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons water or milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of you stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix for an additional minute, until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just incorporated. With mixer still on low, add in the crushed lemon candies, mixing until evenly combined.
- Cover and chill dough for 2 hours or overnight.
- Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, and roll into balls. Place them on a baking sheet 2- inches apart, and bake for 9 -11 minutes, or until the cookies are very lightly golden at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire racket cool completely.
- For the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and water together until a thin glaze forms.
- Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze and allow excess to drip off before returning to the wire rack, allowing the glaze to set.
Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days
If you plan on freezing these cookies, do so before you glaze them. The glaze can get sticky if frozen and thawed.
TIP: If the cookies are misshapen when they come out of the oven, use your spatula immediately to form the cookies back into perfect circles. These cookies bake up very evenly, but if a Lemonhead bit melts at the edge of the cookie, no problem, just reshape it slightly with your spatula AS SOON as they come out of then oven, when they are most malleable.