This delicious recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated. DH and I made these cookies for Christmas and everyone raved about them. According to Cook's Illustrated, the dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks. The cookies are best eaten the day they are glazed. Prep time does not include the 45 minutes dough is in freezer (or 2 hrs refrigerated) or one hour cooling time.
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 3⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 cups confectioners' sugar
- For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375°F.
- In food processor, process granulated sugar and lemon zest until sugar 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 measuring cup or small bowl, beat together lemon juice, egg yolk, and vanilla with fork to combine.
- With machine running, add juice/yolk mixture in slow, steady stream (process should take about 10 seconds); continue processing until dough begins to form a ball, 10-15 seconds longer.
- Turn dough and any dry bits on counter; working quickly, gently knead together to ensure that no dry bits remain and dough is homogenous.
- Shape dough into log about 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough in parchment, and twist parchment to 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 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, 14-16 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 temp before glazing.
- For the glaze: Whisk cream cheese and lemon juice in medium nonreactive bowl until no lumps remain. Add confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth.
- To glaze the cookies: When cookies have cooled, working one at a time, spoon scant teaspoon glaze onto each cookie and spread evenly with back of spoon. Let cookies stand on wire rack until glaze is set and dry, about 1 hour.