Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies
My daughter adores lemon desserts and I surprised her with these super soft cookies and very lemony cookies.
The cookies are topped with a lemon glaze that adds to the pucker-up power and we couldn’t get enough of them.
They’re a hybrid of a few recipes starting with cream cheese in cookie dough. Cream cheese keeps the cookies soft, moist, tender, and ironically it doesn’t make them taste like cream cheese. Rather it makes them taste more buttery.
Rather than adding lemon juice to the dough for lemon flavor, I use lemon extract and lemon zest. I’ve learned through trial and error that you get a bolder lemon flavor with extract, you don’t thin out or water down the batter, and without the possible complications that can come from incorporating a hefty dose of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice into sensitive dough.
However, I am a fan of lemon juice in glazes because it brings a bold intensity of flavor. The cookies have a nice pop of lemon flavor on their own but the lemon glaze and finishing sprinkle of lemon zest take them over the lemon edge.
Between the soft, slightly chewy cookies that are perfectly thick and ridiculously tender without being cakey courtesy of the cornstarch, and the wonderfully tangy-sweet glaze, the cookies are boldly lemony and lemon fans are going to be in lemon love.
Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies
These super soft, very lemony cookies are topped with a lemon glaze that adds to the pucker-up power. Cream cheese keeps the cookies soft, moist, tender, and makes them taste more buttery. Lemon extract and lemon zest are used for flavor in the dough while a lemon juice glaze and more zest top the cookies. Between the soft, slightly chewy cookies that are perfectly thick and ridiculously tender without being cakey courtesy of the cornstarch, and the wonderfully tangy-sweet glaze, the cookies are boldly lemony and lemon fans are going to be in lemon love.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened (use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese not ‘spreadable’ or whipped cream cheese)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract (do not substitute with lemon juice)
- yellow food coloring, optional and as desired
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or 2 tablespoons if you want cookies very lemony)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency
- lemon zest, for garnishing
- Cookies – To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, light, fluffy, and well combined, about 3 minutes.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, lemon extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and optionally add the lemon food coloring (as many drops as necessary until desired shade is achieved), the lemon zest, and beat on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute; don’t overmix.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or your hands, form approximately 18 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake or undersides could become too browned. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool completely before glazing. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
- Glaze – To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and whisk until smooth and combined. Depending on preference and desired glaze consistency, you may have to play with the sugar and lemon juice ratios slightly.
- Using a small spoon, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of glaze over each cookie, and spread glazeout using the back of the spoon. Repeat until all cookies are glazed.
- Sprinkle a small pinch of lemon zest over all cookies before the glaze sets and before serving.
- Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
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