Extremely soft cookies, loaded with white chocolate chips and burst with refreshing lemon flavor.
This blog is a clear evidence that most of my baking involves chocolate. And brownies. Lots of brownies. The reason is simple. I crave chocolate 24/7. While it isn’t easy to have these constant cravings, I’ve learned to live with them by eating chocolate all the time.
Case in point – today’s lemon white chocolate chip cookies. I had no intention of adding chocolate at first, but faith interfered the second I laid my eyes on those white chocolate chunks I bought on my trip to Paris (a post about Paris bakeries is coming soon!). I just had to mix them into the batter. Lemon and white chocolate both have of a subtle, refreshing flavor, and they go together perfectly.
Today’s cookies are nothing like traditional lemon cookies, which are buttery, crackly, and tough. I wanted to create soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies that burst with lemon flavor. I always prefer soft cookies, such as my soft chocolate chip cookies and vanilla pudding cookies. The softer- the better!
A few notes about the ingredients:
Brown sugar: For this recipe, I used an equal amount of granulated sugar and brown sugar (you can use either light or dark). Brown sugar adds chewiness and therefore in some of my cookie recipes I use more brown sugar than granulated sugar. Since brown sugar contains molasses, which gives a caramely flavor to cookies, I felt that for this recipe, too much brown sugar will interfere with the lemony flavor. I used enough brown sugar to add moistness and chewiness to the cookies, but without overpowering the lemon flavor. Using only granulated sugar for a more subtle flavor is also an option (the cookies will still be soft, but less chewy).
Lemon: For a strong lemon flavor I used 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. You can use 1 tablespoon for a more subtle flavor. In this recipe, I mix the zest together with the sugars. This step helps to bring out the lemon flavor.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch makes cookies soft like magic, so when I want my cookie to be extra soft I add 1-3 teaspoons of cornstarch. This ingredient is optional, but I strongly recommend adding it to your cookies!
To get to the perfect cookie texture you need to chill the dough and underbake the cookies. While chilling is not mandatory, when the cookies rest in the fridge, the flour absorbs the liquids, which results in thicker cookies. It’s your call, depending on how much time you have (and patience :)). Underbaking is my favorite trick for extra soft cookies. Take the cookies out of the oven as soon as the edges brown and are just starting to set. Wait for a few minutes until they cool down on the pan. They will be so soft that if you try to remove them right away, they will break. If you prefer crispy cookies, bake the cookies 1-2 minutes longer.
These super soft lemony, white chocolaty cookies are like no other, trust me!
To understand the science and secrets behind making perfect chocolate chip cookies, read here and here.
- 1¾ cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (omit only if you must)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest from 1-2 lemons (use 2 tablespoons for strong lemon flavor)
- ¾ cup (1.5 sticks or 170 grams) butter, softened
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (170 grams or 6 ounces) white chocolate chips or chunks
- In a medium bowl sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together well granulated sugar, brown sugar and lemon zest. Set aside.
- In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for one minute until creamy. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Do not overmix. Fold in white chocolate chips.
- I highly recommend (i.e. this is not mandatory and this step can be skipped) chilling the dough for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days). This step results in thicker cookies that won’t spread in the oven while baking.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees. Line pans with parchment paper.
- If the cookie dough is hard to handle after refrigerating, leave it on the counter for a few minutes.
- Drop rounded balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, the size of 1.5 tablespoons each (use an ice-cream scoop or heaping tablespoon). Bake for about 8 minutes, until cookies just begin to brown at the edges, but the center is still soft. Cookies will appear undone but will continue to bake on the warm baking sheet. Leave to cool for 10 minutes or until the cookies are easy to transfer without breaking (that’s how soft they are!). Then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months.