Preparation time:15 minutes
Chill time:90 minutes
Baking time:8 minutes
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup block-style cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp very finely grated lemon rind
½ tsp vanilla
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir with a fork to combine. Reserve.
Combine butter, sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, lemon juice, rind and vanilla, and beat until fully incorporated. Add reserved flour mixture and beat until just combined. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hr or until firm.
Working with one half at a time, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to between ¼- and 1/8-in. thick. Cut out desired shapes (use a cutter with a window in half the cookies if you plan to sandwich them). Place cut-outs on parchment-lined baking sheets and chill 30 min or until firm.
Heat oven to 350F. Bake cookies in the middle of the oven until lightly golden (8 to 12 min depending on size and thickness). Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 min then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Make Ahead Tip:
Freeze dough in well-wrapped logs or flattened discs. To save time later, you can also cut out cookies and freeze in layers separated by parchment paper on a tray. Be sure to wrap very well with plastic. Dough will keep up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge overnight before baking. Freeze baked cookies for up to 6 weeks.
Sandwiched – Spread seedless strawberry jam in the middle
Sliced and Baked – Split dough in half. To one portion, add 1/3 cup each chopped dried apricots and pistachios; to the other, 2/3 cup chopped candied ginger. Roll into a log, chill, slice and bake.
Iced – Pretty it up with royal icing and decorative sugar.