From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Can there be too much of a good thing? Each of you, I'm sure, has an answer that depends on your personal experience and disposition, but one thing is for sure, at least when it comes to the kitchen and its happenings, someone out there is shooting for the moon. I have thirteen recipes for chocolate chip cookies, at least that many for meatloaf, and we won't speak of the contents of my bean soup collection. Why, when I already have recipes that are perfect, do I continue to try and best them? I view it as my contribution to the economy. Somewhere, in some test kitchen, there is a recipe developer or cook who owes their job to me. I had that thought when I made these lovely cookies. Sugar cookies are a favorite of mine, and despite the fact that I already have a recipe that would make the gods swear off ambrosia, I couldn't resist the temptation to try just one more version. The recipe that was my undoing was developed in the Cook's Illustrated test kitchen, and it used a technique that was so new to me that I simply had to give it a try. Did and done. Now, I must tell you that while my personal favorite cookie, which you can find here, has not been displaced, this is a wonderful sugar cookie and I know you will love it. The only suggestion I would make is to cut back on the amount of lemon extract that is used in the recipe. The next time I make these, I plan to use only a quarter of the extract called for in the ingredient list. Lemon extract is very strong and when combined with the amount of zest produced by a large lemon, the combination borders on overkill and I think it produces a slightly metallic taste. Others may not have the same reaction. The recipe is sound and the cookie is delicious. Do give the recipe a try. Here is how these chewy cookies are made.
Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Cook's Illustrated
2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 small pieces
zest of 1 large lemon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3) Place 1-1/2 cups sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and whisk together until fragrant. Add cream cheese to sugar mixture and pour warm melted butter over top. Whisk briskly to combine (some lumps are OK). Whisk in oil. Add egg, lemon juice, milk, vanilla and lemon extract. Whisk until smooth. Fold in flour mixture with rubber spatula until incorporated and a soft dough forms.
4) Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl. Using a 1-1/2 or 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, portion out 12 dough balls per baking sheet. Roll each dough ball in your hands, then roll in sugar to coat. Space about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
5) Bake 1 sheet at time 11-13 minutes, until set and just beginning to brown on the bottom. (They might not look done, but don’t over bake!) Cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Yield: 24 cookies.
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