Thick, chewy cookies with crisp edges stuffed with tart lemon curd and rolled in sweet, subtly crispy poppyseeds. These lemon curd cookies scream, lemon!!
Once again, I am inspired by a trending cookie. And once again, I’ve yet to try said cookie! But the image is enough to get my wheels a ‘turnin’. If you are looking for a copycat recipe, I couldn’t tell you how these match up, but I can tell you this recipe makes a wonderfully lemony cookie with crisp edges and soft middles, stuffed with sharp lemon curd.
P.S. if you are interested in a copycat crumbl cookie check out these by lifestyleofafoodie (she’s got a few others too!).
Lemons: You’ll want lemons that aren’t covered in any wax or chemicals, if they are non-organic rub them under running water to remove anything on the skin. Two large lemons will yield enough zest or 3 smaller ones.
Flour: I used KAF AP flour here which has a higher protein content. If you use a brand with a slightly lower content, the cookies may be more tender and spread a bit more (might not be a bad thing but watch out for the curd seeping out!)
Butter: Unsalted and at room temperature. If you are using salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe or add just a pinch. The butter should not be overly melty when making the dough.
Egg: I have not attempted this recipe egg-free.
Lemon Curd: You want to use a really good curd here as it’s the stand out part of this cookie. If you aren’t making your own, buy a really good quality curd that you know tastes good.
Poppy Seeds: There are a few different types of poppy seeds but the ones that are blue/black (almost grayish in color) are the best for sweet applications. If you see little brown bits in the can they will taste a bit bitter so get a brand that doesn’t have those.
This recipe is based on my lemon sugar cookie recipe but I make the dough a little differently: I melt the butter and make the dough the night before. It isn’t necessary to do this but I find that a dough left to rest will intensify in flavor – exactly what I want for this cookie which is designed to be very lemony.
So, the butter is melted then the sugars, vanilla and salt are stirred in and lastly the flour and baking soda. This also makes it easy for those who don’t have a mixer for creaming.
Once the dough comes together like in the photo below, I’ll put it in an airtight container (or wrap it in plastic wrap) and leave it in the fridge overnight or at least for 2-4 hours. When it’s time to shape and bake the cookies you’ll want it to soften a bit, to make it scoop-able so take it out of the fridge 30 minutes before (or more if you’ve left it overnight).
Before you begin shaping and baking is to dollop the curd onto some parchment paper and freeze it. You want it frozen solid before beginning otherwise you’ll have a mess on your hands when you try to shape the cookies. I like to freeze it for two hours before.
Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven.
Once the cookie dough is softened, use an ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon to portion it into 3 tablespoons (one for the top half one for the bottom).
Then flatten out one of the halves with your thumbs and place a lemon curd dollop in it. The other half will go on top – it’s okay to leave a little lemon curd peeking out on the top (but not the sides or it will burst out). Seal the bottom and sides of the cookie dough.
If you can, work near the freezer. The curd will thaw quickly so by the time you are halfway through (less if you are working slowly and carefully) it will become messy and difficult to deal with.
Lastly you’ll roll the tops of the cookies in the poppy seeds. If the seeds aren’t sticking it’s likely because the dough got dry/hard but you can just gently roll it into the palm of your hand to warm it up and then try dipping it in the bowl of poppy seeds again.
Then bake! These are best cool so don’t chocolate chip cookie them and eat them right off the pan ;p
With this method the curd is not solid. You’ll take care making each bowl by pressing thumbs into the center to make a well then shaping it so it’s a deeper bowl. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl isn’t cracked or too thin, and pour enough curd to almost but not quite come to the top. Then gently squeeze the dough to conceal most of the curd (it tends to bust out in the oven). Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of the curd (it won’t stick to the dough and because the curd is soft you can’t dip it into a bowl of poppy seeds). Bake as directed.
Yes! Here’s a few other curds that I think would work well:
You can make your dough and lemon curd (if you are using homemade curd, I hope you are) ahead of time by a a day for the dough and up to a week for the curd.
They’ll be fine at room temperature for a day, I like to keep mine in an airtight container in the fridge (they taste fantastic cold!) and they’ll last about 4-5 days in there.
I may be biased but I used and think this lemon curd is the absolute best. I spent about a year tweaking it until I decided it couldn’t be better.
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Couldn’t find the lemon curd recipe
Sherri, if you click on where it says ‘lemon curd’ in italic, it’ll take you straight there
So excited to make this and I am half way through and the dough is not cohesive at all. ????
Hi Jill! By cohesive I just mean well mixed, it won’t be ready to portion into cookies yet as it needs to chill (then it will be sturdy enough to be scooped!). Does that help?
Made these awhile back and they were tasty. Love everything with lemon curd, I have to say, but poppy seeds balance the tart/sweetness so well.
So, first thing’s first. This recipe is top to bottom delicious. Love it, made it twice. The lemon curd is to die for. If you’re not feeling fancy, just slap the two halves together around the lemon curd and bake. Some caveats! The recipe itself is a little fiddly, and some notes about timing are not clear if you jump right to the recipe. A) If you’re in a cold climate/it’s winter, you will need to take your dough out of the fridge at least 1 hour ahead of time. Build that into your time (or overlap it with chilling time). If your oven is fast to heat up, you don’t necessarily need to preheat the oven when you first start prepping the cookies. You have to scoop 26+ balls of dough, flatten 26+ balls of dough, shape 13+ cookies, cover in poppyseeds, and THEN freeze for 10+ minutes. With my oven (which runs a touch cooler than some but not overly so), it also took well over 12 minutes to bake — 16-17 minutes, and they were probably underdone even then. So don’t panic if you’re getting outside the recommended baking times. They WILL be delicious any way you try them.
I’ve made these twice already because I had some curd that needed to be used, and they are great! Come together really quickly. I scoop out the portions before chilling just because I’m very impatient when I take them out to form them. I’m not sure if this would negatively impact the end result, but it doesn’t seem too! Both times, my batter made 15 cookies measuring out 1.5TBS of dough (using 2 1.5TBS portion per 1 cookie), so I would maybe add in a few extra dollops of curd in case you run into this as well!
If you love lemon, you MUST make this recipe. I had my doubts about making a lemon curd with whole eggs but trust the process! Also I’ve often found that with other lemon recipes, I need to double or triple the lemon – but not with a Sam recipe. And this is just a perfect cookie – I will make it again and again and again!
yay emily!!! I’m so pleased you used my lemon curd recipe too. Thank you!
I didn’t think I was a lemon cookie fan, but this recipe completely changed my mind. You MUST make Sam’s lemon curd to go in the cookies, it’s incredible and no store bought will compare- she has the perfect recipe! The cookies are pillowy soft, sweet, and wonderfully tart.
I am so excited to try these with your pomegranate curd! Is it possible to freeze the cookies after they’ve been baked?
Hi Ruby! Yes you can but I’d put a line of parchment paper between the layers because with the curd exposed they’ll stick to each other
I have made the orange variation before and absolutely loved them! I recently made the original lemon and poppy seed version and they are just as delicious ? Even though I’ve already left a review, I just have to leave another because they’re so good!!! One of my favorite cookies of all time <3
I love these cookies, the lemon curd blends so well with the cookie!! Hard to eat just one!!
I’m not usually a lemon person, but I made these for my family last week and they were AMAZING! We all were raving about how good they were, and I shared your site with them! They are so beautiful, too. I’ve never made lemon curd before, but after using your recipe, I know I’m going to be using it often (especially for these cookies)!
These cookies are drool worthy. I used Harry and David’s key lime curd but I plan to try the lemon curd referenced in this recipe next time. So good, everyone loved them!
I made the orange curd/orange zest variation and absolutely loved them! So sweet, tangy and soft in a perfect serving size. Is it acceptable to eat these as a breakfast cookie? I hope so!
woooo! I wish I saw what these looked like, i bet they were amazing as orange.
I made these last weekend to bring in to work for my coworkers, and everyone went absolutely BANANAS for them. They were soft and sweet, the curd I made a bit on the tart side (how I prefer it) to balance the sweetness of the cookie, everything worked perfectly together. I cut the dough amount per cookie by 1/3, so I used 1 Tbsp for the top and bottom to get more cookies out of the batch, and reduced the curd amount to ~ 1 tsp per cookie.
I already have requests to make more, and I plan on putting a blueberry spin on the next batch, and testing out an orange zest/orange curd recipe as summer begins.
Absolutely amazing recipe, 10/10
First of all, BEST lemon curd! I like a sharp curd myself, and this delivers without the egginess I despite in other lemon curds (particularly the smell). This was bright, tart, balanced, and luscious.
The cookie dough itself makes for some fantastic sugar cookies that remind me of the ones from my favorite bakery. I didn’t roll my cookies in poppy seeds but topped them with a marshmallow (like Sam did on her IG stories) and they were delicious! These are some of the best cookies I’ve ever made .
Laura – this comment made me so happy! I love that you likened it to bakery-style cookies as that’s exactly what I was aiming for. And so cool you tried the marshmallow trick! I should update my post to include that option now that I know someone besides me liked it =)
Wow, these were amazing. I was craving lemon curd so I made this curd recipe (phenomenal) then was inspired to make these cookies. Thankfully the cookies don’t require all the curd, so I was able to enjoy it straight up with a spoon as well! The cookies were pretty easy to make, albeit much more work than your typical cookie – but they are worth it!! Followed the recipe exactly (baked for 12 min) and they came out perfectly. I got 14 cookies out of the dough and will probably double the recipe next time.
I made these today and they are spectacular! Followed the directions exactly and the recipe is perfect! I will note that I have made lemon curd many times before, but I have never cooked it for as long as I did for this recipe. Only because I was trying to reach 170 degrees (as suggested) The curd froze well and did not ooze from the cookies at all! And is insanely delicious! Thank you!
Mindy that’s so wonderful to hear!! Especially pleased to know that the temperature guidance helped with getting the curd to set perfectly. Thank you for this review
I made these with the last of the lemons from my tree. My MIL loves anything lemon in her desserts, and she was such a fan of these. These are spectacular. I used your curd recipe, which is also amazing on its own.
For others making these, I think it is essential to leave some gaps on the top bc you really lose out on the visual when they are perfectly sealed and you can’t see the curd. I made a bunch of perfectly sealed ones and froze them and whenever I pull out a few cookies to bake now, I cut a little line in the center so the curd is exposed. It looks great, but I think if I were to make them again, I would leave some openings as I was forming them, bc the post-freezer cut doesn’t look as organic as your photos.
I think the extra time involved in making and freezing the curd is totally worth the end result.
Gwen, thank you for the review! I agree with you, having the curd peek out on top is a great visual (why I ended up putting those ones front and center for the pics). It’s also very nice to bite into a bit where you taste the curd on it’s own.