I don't even really like lemon or lemon cookies, but when I saw this recipe and the accompanying pictures, I immediately wanted to make these cookies. The blog I found these on has the most amazing pictures! As an added bonus, the recipe suggests making the cookie dough in a food processor and I'm always looking for an excuse to use mine.
The dough came together easily and quickly in the food processor and I loved that I didn't have to make the glaze with my mixer. As much as I love the mixer, I'd already washed that bowl twice yesterday and really didn't want to have to wash it a third time... I tried a cookie and the lemon flavor was too strong for me, but that wasn't terribly surprising as I didn't expect to like them too much. However, I brought the cookies to work today and people couldn't stop raving about them. In fact, someone even asked for the recipe! I would definitely make these again to bring to work or to another function!
Glazed Lemon Cookies
From Cafe Johnsonia (originally from Cooks Illustrated)
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. grated zest plus 2 Tbsp. juice from two lemons
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
12 Tbsp. ( 1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
1 lg. egg yolk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375 F.
In the bowl of food processor, process granulated sugar and zest until it looks damp and zest is thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, and baking powder; pulse to combine, about 10 one-second pulses. Scatter butter chunks over. Pulse until mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 15 one-second pulses.In a measuring cup or small bowl, beat lemon juice, yolk, and vanilla until combined.With machine running, add juice/yolk mixture in slow, steady stream (process should take about 10 seconds); continue processing until dough begins to form ball, 10 to 15 seconds longer.
Turn dough and any dry bits out onto counter (or board); working quickly, gently knead the dough together to ensure no dry bits remain and dough is homogeneous.Roll dough into cylinder approximately 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.Center dough on piece of parchment (waxed paper or plastic wrap will work in a pinch ). Fold paper over dough.Grasp one end of parchment. With other hand, use bench scarper to firmly press parchment against dough to form uniform cylinder.Roll parchment and twist ends together to form tight seal. Chill dough until firm and cold, about 45 minutes in freezer or 2 hours in refrigerator.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough log from wrapping and, using a sharp chef's knife, slice dough into rounds 3/8-inch thick. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
Bake until centers of cookies just begin to color and edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time.
Cool cookies on baking sheet about 5 minutes, using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature before glazing.
1. Whisk cream cheese and lemon juice in a medium nonreactive bowl until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.
2. When cookies have cooled, working one at a time, spoon scant teaspoon glaze onto each cookie and spread evenly with the back of spoon.
Let cookies stand on a wire rack until glaze is set and dry, about 1 hour.
Makes about 30 cookies.