Cookies!What to CookBaking

When a Lemon Cake Meets a Cookie, This Happens

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Cookie texture is a serious matter of preference, more so than most desserts. The choice of crisp or chewy varies greatly. Maybe you like a thin, golden biscuit with a satisfying crunch and snap to it. Or perhaps you prefer a very soft chocolate chip cookie that yields easily to your teeth.

I have a weakness for soft-batch style cookies, ones that sport the delicate but sturdy texture of the store-bought Chips Ahoy or Pepperidge Farm variety. It's simple to achieve this texture at home: You just need to add something to your dough to soften it up. I've been playing around with a few different ingredients that do the trick—cornstarch, cookie butter, and sour cream, to name a few—but today's recipe uses cream cheese.

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Photo by Posie Harwood

Cream cheese, in addition to creating a soft and chewy texture, gives a slight tang to your cookies. It pairs wonderfully with citrus, so I've added Fiori di Sicilia for flavoring. Fiori di sicilia is an excellent specialty baking ingredient that combines citrus and vanilla together; it's traditionally use to flavor Italian breads like panettone. If you can't find it, you can substitute a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of fresh citrus zest (I like lemon best).

These cookies are quite cakey. It's important to not overbake them at all or they can easily become dry. Underbaking slightly keeps them chewy, but this is really a recipe for fans of cakier-style cookies.

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Soft Cream Cheese Cookies

1e4d7b52 fd4f 4798 ae19 d0f715768358  ry 400 Posie Harwood
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Makes 2 dozen
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon fiori di sicilia flavoring

Tags: Fiori di Sicilia, lemon cake