These cookies are light, fresh, sweet, and wonderful. Out of one batch, we’ll get 3 different types of cookies. Plain, these cookies have a soft lemon flavor with just a hint of spice. Then we’ll add a dollop of preserves to the top. The fruit really brings out the lemon flavor, and makes the whole cookie taste sweeter. For the last sheet into the oven, we’ll stir in some raisins. No lie, the raisin cookies taste just like Fig Newtons. This recipe will yield 27 cookies, 9 of each style. Of course you could make them all plain, or all fruit, but variety is the spice of life.

Chewy Lemon Cookies

Preheat oven to 400F.

1 cup softened salted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup preserves, room temperature
1/4 cup raisins

I use a stand mixer for this recipe. If you don’t have one, you can simply use a whisk in the beginning and then switch to a spoon.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the butter and both sugars until they’re fluffy. Mix in the orange extract. Add both eggs and mix again. Now pour in the lemon juice and combine very well. Switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer.

In a separate bowl, stir the baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg into the flour. Turn your mixer to stir and add these dry ingredients to the wet, in 1/2 cup increments over the course of 1 minute. Stir until well combined. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides.

The final step is to add the lemon zest and stir it in by hand. If you try to let the mixer do it the stringy zest will get caught up in the paddle and won’t incorporate fully into the dough. Your dough will be very soft, and this is just fine.

Sheet 1: Get a small scoop. I used a 1/8 cup measure, but you could use a very heaping tablespoon instead. Scoop 9 piles of dough onto a cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 7 minutes, or until the bottom edges are a nice golden brown.

Sheet 2: Using the same scoop, prepare sheet 2 just as you did sheet 1. When you’re done, stick your finger gently in the top of each pile of dough, creating a well about half the depth of the cookie. Spoon roughly a teaspoon of preserves into each well. I like to do some with strawberry and some with raspberry, but I think apricot, orange, or any sort of berry would work just as well. Bake this batch for about 1 minute longer than it took your first batch to finish. If it took 7 minutes, bake this one for 8 minutes.

Sheet 3: Add your raisins to the remaining dough. You can add as many or as few as you like. I like a lot of raisins, and I throw in about 2 handfuls. I know that’s not a precise measurement, but that’s why I gave you 1/4 cup as a guide. Use your judgment. Using the same scoop, scoop out your raisin cookies. These will bake for 2 minutes longer than the plain cookies. If your first batch baked for 7 minutes, these should bake for 9.

All of these cookies should be gently removed from the cookie sheet and cooled on a rack. They’re delicious warm, but they’re fragile until they cool. They’re a pretty soft cookie. If you want them to be even chewier, you could try adding an extra egg.

Chewy Lemon Cookies, 3 Ways
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