Delicate and sweet, with a tang from lemon flavouring and icing, these lemon cream cheese cookies are bound to disappear on the day of baking. Which is just as well since they don’t keep too long.
Cream cheese is one of my favourite ingredients and it doesn’t only come out to play with a smoked salmon bagel, carrot cake frosting or New York cheesecake. It makes wicked pastry and gorgeous cookies too!
Apparently, you can make cream cheese at home though I have not tried it myself – not yet. Dairy making is a little unrewarding as cheese produced in large quantities, with professional equipment and in proper conditions is usually superior. Homemade cheese is a bit like homebrew – good effort, but mediocre outcome.
Still, I’m bound to try at some point.
How versatile is cream cheese?
Frosting is probably the first thing that will come to mind when thinking about cream cheese uses. And it is truly gorgeous, even better for it if some whipped cream is folded into the cream cheese. And then you can use it to decorate carrot cakes, fill buns or serve it as is for dessert.
Then there’s cheesecake, both in the baked and the fridge version. But I bet not everyone knows what wonderful pastry is made with cream cheese, the 3-ingredient rugelach dough that can be made both into sweet and savoury biscuits.
There are also the savoury uses of cream cheese: dips, spreads or fillings. It thickens sauces, dresses pasta, substitutes expensive mascarpone and is less watery than ricotta. A magic ingredient!
How to make cream cheese cookie dough?
It’s easy enough, with the classic method of creaming butter and cream cheese in this instance, with sugar for the start, then adding the egg and the flour mix. It’s a cross between dough and batter though scoopable with a spoon to shape the cookies. Bonus point: it doesn’t need chilling before shaping and baking.
The cookies bake in twelve minutes and the lemon icing drizzle is optional, but a delightful touch.
They are best on the day as they turn a little soggy after some time in a jar. If you plan to store them for longer, perhaps bake them for a couple minutes more than the recipe states.
And the original recipe (with far too much icing to my taste) belongs to Samantha Seneviratne of New York Times Cooking.
More cookie recipes
Cranberry, rye and chocolate cookies from Parisian Mokonuts bakery are a revelation. If you thought you knew all about cookies, think again!
Sicilian pistachio cookies are meltingly tender and coated in cracked icing sugar, easily adaptable to be gluten free.
The classic, chocolate chip cookies, here with triple chocolate: milk, dark and white. Pure indulgence.
More lemon dessert recipes
Lemon and vanilla whoopie pies with vanilla buttercream – those cookies are certainly due a revival.
An easy and very lemony dessert, the English classic lemon posset. All you need for it is cream, lemon and sugar.
Wonderfully gooey lemon bars on shortcrust base and tangy filling encrusted with chopped pistachios are excellent, even if you want to call them squares or slices.