Lemon zucchini cookies are the perfect way to use up that summer garden zucchini. These cookies are chewy, buttery, and sweet, filled with lemon zest and white chocolate chips.
I'm sure you've heard of making zucchini bread with zucchini, but what about cookies? If you love lemon desserts, these lemon cookies are a must try.
Lemon zucchini cookies are a chewy drop cookie. Just like a classic chocolate chip cookie, but with the addition of shredded zucchini, lemon zest, and white chocolate chips. Zucchini adds structure and moisture to baked goods (without the extra calories), so we're able to reduce the butter and eggs slightly.
These cookies are buttery, sweet, and chewy, with plenty of fresh lemon flavor. Perfect for spring and summer baking!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter - Unsalted butter can be substituted with salted butter (omit the salt listed in the recipe).
- Sugars - I used a combination of granulated and brown sugars in this recipe to make a chewy chocolate chip style cookie.
- Lemon zest - Lemon zest can be substituted with lime zest or orange zest if you'd like to try a different citrus flavor. Two teaspoons of lemon zest can also be substituted with one teaspoon of lemon extract.
- Egg - Adds structure and moisture to your cookies.
- Vanilla extract - Adds depth of flavor to your cookies.
- Flour - Adds structure to your cookies. I've only tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, so I can't say how your cookies would turn out using an alternative. Baking is an exact science, so substituting ingredients can change the structure and texture of your baked goods.
- Leavening - Baking soda is needed for this recipe to provide the proper lift.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of your cookies.
- Zucchini - You'll need about 1 cup of finely shredded zucchini (measured including the liquid) for this recipe. This equals about 135 grams before squeezing the liquid out, and about 70 grams after squeezing the liquid out. I recommend using finely shredded zucchini because it will more easily melt into your cookie dough while baking.
- White chocolate chips - Can be omitted if desired (your batch will make slightly less cookies than indicated in the recipe card). Or, add a cup or two of chopped/slivered nuts, like almonds, to your cookie dough instead.
Can you taste the zucchini in baked goods?
Zucchini has a mild, neutral flavor that can't be detected in baked goods. The tiny green flecks throughout the dough is the only sign of zucchini you'll notice.
Make sure you're using zucchini, not other green vegetables (like cucumber) that do have a strong flavor.
Not sure which one you have on hand? Check out my post - Zucchini vs cucumber - what's the difference?
Do I need to squeeze the liquid from my zucchini?
Yes, for this recipe you need to squeeze the liquid from your shredded zucchini before adding it to the dough.
If you forget to squeeze the zucchini out beforehand, your cookies will likely turn out cakey and puffy instead of chewy.
Cookie tips and tricks
Room temperature ingredients cream together seamlessly to make an even, consistent dough. Place your butter and egg on the counter top about an hour before beginning. Cold ingredients can leave lumps in your dough that bake up inconsistently. Melted ingredients make your dough spread too much in the oven.
Properly measured flour is the most common issue I see in baking. Scooping flour directly from a bin with a measuring cup compacts flour into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to the recipe. Instead, I highly recommend measuring your flour by weight (this is the only method I use), or using the spoon and level method (gently spoon flour into the measuring cup, then level off with a knife).
Use parchment paper or a silicone mat to line your baking sheet. Grease on the baking sheet can cause your cookies to spread more while baking.
Squeeze the liquid from your zucchini before adding to the dough. Extra liquid can cause your cookies to spread more in the oven, or puff up and get cakey/gummy from the excess liquid.
Storage and freezing
Lemon zucchini cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Cookies (and cookie dough) can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed freezer-safe container.
To thaw frozen cookies, place on counter top and allow to thaw for 1 hour.
Frozen, pre-portioned cookie dough can be baked from frozen (cookies will turn out slightly thicker). Simply add 1-2 minutes to your baking time.
Lemon Zucchini Cookies
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup (160 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (135 g) finely shredded zucchini, measure before squeezing liquid out
- 11 ounces (312 g) white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add room temperature butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. With a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat until creamed and fluffy, about a minute. Add lemon zest, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about a minute.
- In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add to butter mixture and stir to combine (do not overmix).
- After measuring zucchini, wrap in a few layers of paper towel or a kitchen towel, then squeeze firmly over the kitchen sink to remove excess moisture. Do not skip this step, excess moisture will make your cookies cakey and/or soggy.
- Add shredded zucchini and white chocolate chips to dough and stir to incorporate.
- Scoop dough using a medium cookie scoop or shape by hand into 1.5 inch balls. Place cookie dough balls 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned across the tops. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Measure 1 cup (135 grams) of finely grated zucchini, then squeeze liquid out (about 70 grams) before adding to the dough.
- Baked cookies will keep for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature. Cookies (and dough) can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
- 2 teaspoons of lemon zest can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
Leave a Reply