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ITALIAN LEMON DROP COOKIES {Light & Bright}

If you love lemon you are going to love these Italian Lemon Drop Cookies. Light and fluffy cookies with a bright and tart glaze! Perfect for any occasion!

stack of lemon drop cookies on white plates

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

LEMON DROP COOKIES

Also known as Anginetti, these bite-size cookies are a traditional Italian dessert found at many different gatherings.

These fluffy, buttery cookies are not too sweet and covered in a tart lemon glaze that gives them a burst of sweetness and citrus flavor.

The texture and flavor are a winning combo for these cookies. With a fluffy, almost biscuit-like texture in the cookie and a bright, tart glaze on top, they are the perfect cookie. Not too sweet and bursting with flavor!

WHY YOU WILL LOVE MAKING THESE COOKIES

  • Perfect balance of sweet and tart!
  • No chill dough!
  • Less than 30 minutes to make and enjoy.
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labeled picture of italian lemon drop cookie ingredients
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon
  • Powdered Sugar

Flour – Use all purpose flour for these. I have not tested this recipe with alternative flours.

Cornstarch – This helps keep the cookies from spreading and light and fluffy.

Butter – Unsalted butter is best for baking so you can control the salt level. If using salted butter, just leave out the salt.

Lemon – Use fresh lemons for best flavor. Juice and zest the lemons.

Powdered Sugar – Be sure to sift and then measure to remove any lumps.

HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN LEMON DROP COOKIES

FIRST: Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

SECOND: In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix to combine. Add the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine.

THIRD: Add half the flour mixture and stir. Add the milk, stir to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 375F for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Remove and cool completely.

FOURTH: While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled cookies and place on cooling rack to let excess drip off. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Let set completely. Enjoy!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

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tray of lemon cookies

WHAT ARE DROP COOKIES?

A drop cookie is typically a free-form cookie that is made when dough is “dropped” onto the baking sheet without shaping.

HOW TO STORE ITALIAN LEMON DROP COOKIES:

Keep them stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 2 months in an airtight freezer safe container. I would leave off the glaze until ready to serve as it doesn’t hold up well in the freezer.

hand holding cookie with bite out of it

TAPAS TIPS & TRICKS

  • This dough doesn’t require chilling but I like to chill mine for about 15 minutes to keep them from spreading too much. I like a tall cookie:)
  • Make sure your baking powder is still good. It’s a pantry item that doesn’t get used very often so check the expiration date. Otherwise the cookies won’t be as fluffy.
  • Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to keep the size consistent so they bake evenly.
  • Only bake the cookies until they start to lightly brown on the outside. You do not want to over bake them.
  • If you don’t have lemon juice you can use lemon extract.
  • Depending on your oven, I would start checking for doneness at 10 – 12 minutes.
  • Prepare your baking sheets with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Cool the cookies completely on wire racks before dipping in the glaze.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

stack of cookies with text "lemon drop cookies"

Whip up a batch of these Italian Lemon Drop Cookies for any occasion! Not too sweet with a burst of bright lemon flavor and a sweet glaze.

MORE EASY PARTY FOODS

tray of cookies

Lemon Drop Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

If you love lemon you are going to love these Italian Lemon Drop Cookies. Light and fluffy cookies with a bright and tart glaze! Perfect for any occasion!

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  5. Add the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine.
  6. Add half the flour mixture and stir.
  7. Add the milk, stir to combine.
  8. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
  9. Scoop dough (roughly 1 tablespoon) onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  10. Bake at 375F for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown.
  11. Remove and cool completely.
  12. While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze.
  13. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk. Stir until smooth.
  14. Dip cooled cookies and place on cooling rack to let excess glaze drip off.
  15. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Let set completely.
  16. Enjoy!

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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Christie

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

I LOVE lemon cookies!! They look so delicious and that frosting on top. Yum!!

Lynne Robinson

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

How much lemon extract would you use if you were going to use it in place of the lemon juice?

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Monday 15th of November 2021

Well, HELLO! I love lemon...so I'm pretty sure these cookies will make the perfect addition to my cookie platter this holiday season!

Lynne Robinson

Saturday 13th of November 2021

How much milk goes into the cookie batter? The recipe does not state the amount.

Jennifer

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Sorry about that it's 1/3 cup milk for the cookie dough!

Lisa Kerhin

Thursday 11th of November 2021

I love lemon cookies and these look so soft and tender

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