1st place in our 2017 Cookie Baking Contest!!! (Terri Pike)
"The Best Ever!!" "Soft & Moist" "Very Good, Soft. Flavorful"
2 ½ Cups Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 pkg. 8 oz cream cheese softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest, from 2 large lemons
1 ½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Butter Vanilla Emulsion
1/8 tsp Lemon Emulsion
1/8 tsp Yellow gel food coloring
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Large Egg and one large egg yolk
1 Cup Confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for rolling and dusting
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder until well blended. Set aside.
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended, creamy and smooth. Beat in sugar, lemon zest, and juice, butter vanilla emulsion, lemon emulsion, food coloring and salt. Added egg and egg yolk and beat in well until creamy and light, about 1 to 2 minutes on medium speed.
- On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just fully incorporated. Dough will be very sticky. Cover work bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
- Measure enough dough to roll into generous 1-inch balls, using a 1 1/3-inch spring-loaded cookie scoop (or by measuring a generous tablespoon of dough with a measuring spoon) make sure each scoopful is in equal amounts. This is important for evenly baked cookies.
- Roll dough in the confectioners’ sugar and then roll between hands to make into a small ball and remove most of the confectioners’ sugar. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round cookie shapes and are puffed and crackly, about 14 minutes. Do not overbake. The cookies will still be soft in the centers. If they start to brown around the edges, they have baked too long. The underside of the cookies will be only very lightly browned.
- Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove cookies from baking sheet using a thin metal cookie spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once completely cooled, transfer cookies to an airtight container. Repeat with remaining dough on prepared cookie sheets.
- If desired, chill the cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Before serving, dust cookies with additional confectioner’s sugar (I did not apply any more then what the cookies was rolled in). Serve cookies chilled or at room temperature.