Sunday, March 20, 2016

Lemon Cream Cheese Chippers

Today is the first full day of Spring and next Sunday is Easter! What better way to start the new season than with a tasty new lemon cookie recipe? These would be a lovely addition to any Easter basket or dessert table! To be honest, these are great any time of year!

When I first came up with the idea for this recipe, I assumed that I'd find several similar ones online already. Well, not quite. I found many lemon cookie recipes and many cream cheese cookie recipes. I even found a few lemon cream cheese cookie recipes. The problem was that none of them really seemed to have everything I wanted and never enough lemon flavour! I've played with enough lemon recipes while baking to know that what looks like a lot of lemon in a recipe doesn't always translate to the flavour in the finished product.

So what to do?

After reading several recipes, I actually ended up sort of combining three recipes with a few extra additions!

I already had a great Lemon Pudding Cookie recipe. I also took inspiration from a Lemon Cheesecake Cookie and a Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I compared ingredients and quantities and came up with a beginning version to play with.

After that, it would just be a matter of testing out various quantities till I got what I wanted!

The first time I made them, the dough was far too sticky! I should have just added a bit more flour but I wanted to see if chilling the dough would improve the consistency. BIG MISTAKE! After chilling, the dough was like glue! It was a royal pain to even drop by spoonful onto the pans! Working with that dough wasn't easy even for a fairly experienced baker like myself! The baked taste was good but could definitely be improved.

Lesson learned! The second time, I added a bit more flour and a smidgen more lemon juice. I also added more chocolate chips!

The results were exactly what I had been imagining when I first started searching! A soft and slightly chewy cookie bursting with lemon flavour and loaded with chocolate goodness!
My taste testers thought these were delish!

Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

Lemon Cream Cheese Chippers
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 99g (4 serving) lemon instant pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large (or 2 small) lemons (You will need the zest and 3 Tablespoons lemon juice)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup block margarine, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/4 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chips
Line three or four cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. (Note: I generally like to use four sheets for recipes that make more than 5 dozen cookies. That way I can keep the baking going while rotating pans in and out of oven. I can have one pan baking, one baked pan cooling, one pan ready to go in and one pan ready to go with fresh dough. The parchment paper can be reused at least two or three times within the same recipe.)

Combine the flour, instant pudding mix, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Zest the lemon and set aside. Juice the lemon. Set aside.

Place the white sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the zest and sugar together. This releases the oil from the zest and infuses it into the sugar for a more lemony flavour!

Add the brown sugar, margarine and cream cheese, Beat on low speed to combine then increase speed a bit to get the batter nice and creamy. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon juice. Mix in thoroughly.

Add the flour mixture and combine thoroughly. Add the chocolate chips and mix in. Batter will be quite soft and sticky.

DO NOT CHHILL OR FREEZE THE RAW DOUGH!! That will make it even harder to work with.

Drop by teaspoons about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Flatten slightly as the cookies spread very little while baking.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for 10-12 minutes. These brown very little on top but you will see a bit of brown around the bottom. Allow to cool on pan on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 7 1/2 dozen yummy cookies! These do freeze well.


No comments: