This is not the most aesthetically pleasing cookie I have ever baked, but it is probably the tastiest lemon cookie I’ve ever eaten. The edges browned a bit more than I would have liked, but it really only affected their look, not their taste.
I actually baked three different renditions of this dough, in various stages of chilled-ness and using the rolling sugar in different ways (the original recipe calls for it to be put on the cookie after they bake, twice—once when warm and once when cool). This final adaptation is my favorite—the dough is easier to work with for having been thoroughly chilled, to the point of completely firming, and the final cookie has a better texture and sweetness level from using the rolling sugar before they bake. Using it after produced a soggier cookie that was almost cloying. Using no sugar was not quite sweet enough however. Rolling the dough in the sugar before baking gives the cookies an almost velvety exterior of sweetness that is not overwhelming.
Try it and let me know what you think.
Summery Lemon & Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
Adapted from King Arthur Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
¼ t salt
½ t baking powder
Zest from 2 lemons
Several drops lemon oil
½ cup (3 ½ oz) granulated sugar
½ cup (2 oz) confectioners’ sugar
2 cups (8 ½ oz) AP flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 t lemon oil
Beat together the butter and cream cheese until well blended and creamy. Add the salt, baking powder, lemon zest and oil and sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in the flour. Cover and thoroughly chill: I find it easiest to freeze the dough and then let it thaw for about 15 minutes before working with it. Otherwise this dough is pretty soft.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Whisk together the 2 rolling sugars with the lemon oil. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop 2 tablespoons of the cookie dough and roll them into a ball. Then the roll the ball in the rolling sugars mix, coating it thoroughly. Place the coated balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until the edges have browned and the centers are set.