Since the summer has ended and Fall is here (yay!) I’m still trying to cram in the last of those great summery recipes before I move on to the seasonal stuff. These cookies have a rich and bright lemony flavor and are delicious with tea or coffee or all by themselves. It’s hard to eat just one.
adapted from The New Best Recipe
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated zest plus 2 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
1 large egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon, + more if needed
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
In a food processor, process the sugar and zest for about 30 seconds, until the sugar looks damp and the zest is incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, salt; pulse to combine, about ten 1 second pulses. Scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients; pulse until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about fifteen 1 second pulses. In a measuring cup or small bowl, beat together the lemon juice, egg yolk, and vanilla. With the machine running, add the juice mixture in a slow, steady stream; continue processing until the dough begins to form a ball, 10-15 seconds longer.
Turn the dough out and knead until all of the dry bits come together and the dough is smooth. Shape the dough into a cylinder about 10” long and 2” in diameter. Wrap the dough in parchment paper and/or plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal. Chill until the dough is firm and cold, about 45 minutes in the freezer or 2 hours in the fridge.
Put the oven racks in the upper and lower middle positions and preheat the oven to 375°.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the wrapper from the dough and slice the dough into rounds about 3/8” thick. Place the rounds on the baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake until the centers of the cookies just begin to color and the edges are golden brown, 14-16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool to room temperature before glazing.
Whisk the cream cheese and lemon juice until no lumps remain. Add the confectioner’s sugar and whisk until smooth. (start with 2 T of lemon juice and gradually add more until you get the consistency you want.)When the cookies have cooled, spoon a scant teaspoon of glaze onto each cookie and smooth with the back of the spoon. (you can also pour the glaze into a plastic squeeze bottle to make for a prettier presentation. Let the glaze dry before serving or storing.