Perfect Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are divine.These lemon sugar cookies aren’t the only things that were been perfect today. What an awesome Saturday. I enjoyed my coffee in bed, watched a little bit of Food Network, and then listened to my son and his friends that spent the night giggling in the front room. Ushered all the kids, including my daughter, out the door with my wife, who drove them to places they’d been invited for the day. Then, I spent a few hours at the barn riding horses with friends. I came home to find my daughter still at her friend’s house, and then later, my son was invited to spend the night at his friend’s house. My daughter didn’t come home until about dinnertime. With all that quiet free time, I got to try out a few of the recipes I’ve saved on Pinterest. And now, with no further adieu, we come to the cookie recipe portion of this post.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly mist three cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

In a second larger bowl, mix together the sugar and the lemon zest until incorporated. Add the cream cheese, pour in the warm melted butter, and stir together to combine (it will be slightly lumpy).

Add in eggs, lemon juice, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. Stir together until smooth. Then, pour the flour mixture on top and gently fold it into the wet ingredients until a soft dough comes together. Refrigerate for ten minutes to make the dough easier to handle.

Spread about 1/3 cup sugar out on a plate. Scoop a large tablespoon of dough up at a time, and form into a ball. Roll the ball in the sugar until coated and place on cookie sheet, allowing 12 balls per sheet. Bake each sheet on its own for 11 to 13 minutes, but do not over-bake; the cookies are done when they are set and only just beginning to turn a light golden brown around the bottom edge. Allow it to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

For me, this recipe made 32 cookies. The cookies are delightful and the recipe is definitely a keeper, or it wouldn’t have made it to my blog. They are the perfect blend of chewy and slightly caramelized on the bottom. The flavor is sophisticated and rich. They would fit right in at a tea party, but since I don’t have many of those around here, I’ll settle for just making my family’s tummy happy with them.

Fun with cupcakes!

It's quite easy to make delicious cupcakes.Yesterday we went out to my mom’s house for a visit and when we arrived, she had surprise for me!  My mom rocks. My surprise was a set of 3 of these:

Silicone cupcake cups in the shape of ice cream cones! Oh, the fun to be had! I got them home and searched for a place in my cabinets for them to live while I wondered to myself when I would get a chance to use them. So many things like this get bought, loved and put away only to be forgotten. That thought made me sad for the assorted shaped pans I have and forget about. So I thought, “What the heck–I’ll make them tomorrow!”

See, my son has been gone with his grandparents over the weekend, and what fun it would be for him to come home to fun new cupcakes! I was thinking about making these awesome sugar cookies but decided to leave them for another day.

I baked the cupcakes and waited for them to cool, only to discover that once you take them out they’re terribly top-heavy and do not stand on their own. What a shame! How would I ever decorate them? So. I got a couple of empty paper towel rolls and cut them in sections to create little stands for them.

They worked pretty well for the most part, but one of them just couldn’t handle the pressure of the job.

I put them all on my oldest, ugliest cookie sheet. I’ve come to terms with my ugly cookie sheets.

Anyway, I got them decorated and sprinkled and got the reaction I wanted from my son when he got home. His jaw hit the floor and he started drooling. Okay, not really. But he was pretty excited. It’s just too bad he’s stuck with a mean daddy who told him he had to wait until after dinner to eat one!

So, I moved them aside for the time being. Once we had our dinner, we dug into the cupcakes and they were all delicious!

Note to self: make cute cupcake stands out of paper towel rolls and pretty paper. And use pretty cookie sheet.