Ridiculously Delicious Lemon Butter Cookies

I found this recipe while looking for a different recipe. Naturally, I love new recipes and simply could not resist acookie recipe with cream cheese in the batter. And, as an added bonus, it came from a recipe blog with the name "wicked good kitchen." How could it not be amazing!? haha.... These cookies are RIDICULOUSLY delicious. So soft. So delicate. Full of lemon flavor but not over the top. I'm totally in love with them. I prefer to double this recipe. It makes about 40 cookies when doubled.

2¼ cups flour (can also be gluten free, see original recipefor how)
2 tsp baking powder
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened (I like Philadelphia best)
½ cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest, from 2-3 large lemons
1½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract (or 1/8 tsp lemon oil or, if using essential oils, one drop for a double batch)
1/8 tsp natural yellow gel based food coloring -I chose to omit this and it was okay
3/4 tsp salt 
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup powdered sugar for rolling & dusting cookies

I used my Bosch for this recipe with the paddles. If using an electric mixer, use a large bowl.

Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar, zest, lemon juice, vanilla, lemon extract or oil, food coloring -if desired, and salt. Mix until light and fluffy, scraping sides as you go. Add egg and egg yolk and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. At this point, the batter will look very light and creamy and airy. YUM! Sift in flour and baking powder gradually, on low speed. Mixing only until incorporated. You don't want to over mix this batter.

At this point, I like to scrape all the batter into a glass bowl and put a lid on it rather than just covering my Bosch and placing it in the fridge. The batter must refrigerate at least 2 hours but is best if left in the fridge overnight. 

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees, with rack in the lower third of your oven. I like to use a cookie scoop that is about a 1 Tbsp size. This helps immensely for getting similar sized cookies. The batter will still be pretty sticky. I prefer to put the powdered sugar on a plate to roll my cookies. I've done the ziploc method. I feel the plate does a better job getting the cookies coated to my liking. Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, or a cookie scoop of the same size, scoop a generous 1 tbsp size dollop of dough and place it on the powdered sugar plate. Using your hand, make the dough into a round ball coating it well in powdered sugar as you go around. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. You'll want to keep the spacing about 2 inches apart for optimal baking.
Bake for 14 minutes. These cookies should not be golden brown. If they are browned, they'll be over cooked. They will have slightly soft centers. This is okay! Remove from oven and allow them to cool on the cookie sheet while the next batch is baking. I like to use a fine sifter and very lightly dust the top of the cookies with additional powdered sugar to give it a more finished look. Not too much. Just a little dusting. ;)

Transfer cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. When I am doing a double batch, I am always sure to use fresh parchment each time I put another pan in the oven. Also be sure your pan is cool before you put another round of dough balls on it.

These cookies are so delicious. Not sure if I mentioned that! haha. They're a light cookie and always very well received when I make them for someone.

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