These sweet and tangy Golden Oreo Lemon Cookie Bars combine two classic flavors for the ultimate cookie bar – fresh, tangy lemon and sweet, vanilla cookies. Move over, chocolate, these Oreo cookie bars will win over any cookie aficionado!
Golden Oreo Lemon Cookie Bars
If you’re here then there’s a good chance I don’t have to convince you how good these cookie bars are. You probably love lemon. And cookies! But I just gotta say, these bars are so good that even your lemon-hesitant family and friends will like them! They’re a classic cookie bar flavored with lemon extract and fresh lemon zest (plus a little vanilla) and vanilla Oreos. They’re a sweet feast for the eyes. And you don’t need to worry that someone else will bring them to the potluck 😉
What You’ll Need + Possible Substitutes
- Plant-based butter is the perfect butter substitute to make these bars dairy-free while keeping that classic butter flavor. Feel free to use stick or tub “butter”, though stick butter will need to be softened prior to beating (tub butter is soft enough to use straight from the fridge). Regular butter will also work in this recipe.
- Sugar sweetens the bars and helps create the cookie texture we all know and love. You can use your favorite granulated sugar – white, raw/unrefined, or coconut sugar.
- Brown sugar has molasses in it, which helps with the moisture of these cookies. You can use light or dark brown sugar.
- Eggs bind the ingredients together and the extra yolk adds chewiness to these bars. I haven’t tested this recipe with any egg alternatives.
- Lemon extract + lemon zest add tons of lemon flavor. I highly recommend adding both – the extract is more concentrated (and easier since there’s no work involved) and the fresh zest adds visual appeal. If you don’t have one or the other, you can swap each out for the other. 1 tsp of lemon extract = 1 tsp fresh lemon zest.
- Vanilla extract helps with the flavor. It’s not totally necessary, but I like to add it!
- Salt assists in flavor development and helps to cut the sweetness slightly.
- Baking soda + baking powder leaven the cookie bars.
- All-purpose flour is the only flour I recommend for this recipe as I haven’t tested any others.
- Golden Oreos are the wow factor of these bars! I mean, look at them! You can use any brand of vanilla sandwich cookies, or for extra lemon flavor, you can try a lemon cookie variety.
More Lemon Desserts
- 1/2 cup plant-based butter (or regular butter), softened (see Note 1)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp lemon extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of two lemons (+ more to top)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Golden Oreo pieces (8 Oreos) + more to top (about 4 Oreos)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare an 8x8" baking dish. Spray the dish with non-stick spray (I used olive oil) and then line with a strip of parchment paper, folding the excess over the sides.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk. Beat in the extracts and lemon zest. Finally, beat in the salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the flour and use a large spoon to gently mix until combined. Stir in the Golden Oreo pieces - you can break them up however big/small you'd like. The dough will be very soft.
- Spoon the dough into your prepared baking dish and gently spread into an even layer. Press more Golden Oreo pieces into the top of the dough.
- Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the middle no longer looks wet.
- Allow the bars to cool in the dish until nearly room temperature. Once cooled, run a butter knife around the edges and then use the parchment paper to lift the whole bar up and out onto a cutting board. Top with extra lemon zest and then gently slice into 9 or 16 squares.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
- For plant-based butters, both tub and stick butter will work. Stick butter will need to be softened prior to beating. Tub butter can be beat right out of the fridge as it's already soft.