Lemony-Glazed Cream Cheese Cookies

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In our house, we make these cookies around Christmas, but they’re great year round. They’re soft and sweet—and slightly tangy. This recipe is a family heirloom. (I actually called my mother to ask for permission to share it with you. No joke.)

You’ll need a standard cookie press to make them. If you don’t have a stand mixer for the first part, a hand-held one will work just as well.

Lemony-Glazed Cream Cheese Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 lb. box of powdered sugar
2-3 lemons, each cut in half
sprinkles or colored sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Make the dough
Put the sugar, butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until smooth and well incorporated.

Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until dough is uniform. Set aside while you make the icing.

Make the icing
This is the basic lemon juice and powdered sugar icing that a lot of our mothers and grandmothers made. I have to admit, I’ve never measured this part out. I’m not sure they did either.

Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl to remove any lumps. Squeeze each lemon half over the powdered sugar. (Do this over a strainer or your hand to catch any pulp.) Stir the sugar after each lemon half. It will gradually come together into icing.

The icing needs to be fairly thin because you’re going to paint it on to your cookies. Add more lemon juice until your icing is about the consistency of heavy cream.

Press & bake the cookies
Load the dough into your cookie press. Press cookies onto your parchment-lined sheet pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cookies will be pale when done. Transfer to a cooling rack.

While the cookies are still warm, use a pastry brush to paint them with lemon icing. (To save a huge clean-up, put a piece of aluminum foil under the cooling rack to catch icing drips.)

Sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles. Let cool completely.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.