Lemon Sour Cream Cookies

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The Perfect CookiesWe’re all for the crispy edges, chewy middles, and buttery caramelized flavor of a chocolate chip cookie, but sometimes we get a hankering for a cookie that’s more plush and tender. We loved the idea of a soft-baked lemon cookie that we could top with a tangy glaze. With their fluffy-yet-sturdy texture and a crumb that is simultaneously moist and light and airy, these cookies more than fit the bill. To achieve this unique texture, we reached for sour cream, and plenty of it; a full cup contributed moisture and richness, tenderized the cookies’ crumb, and, in conjunction with the lemon juice in this recipe, reacted with the leavener to create fluffy lift. This generous amount of sour cream also added a pleasant tang, which we reinforced with a couple teaspoons of floral lemon zest. Creaming the butter and sugar and adding two whole eggs to the recipe also helped aerate the dough. While the cookies themselves were sufficiently tangy, they were a bit plain, so we turned to the topping. A lemon–cream cheese glaze was a nice finishing touch that delivered a second hit of clean citrusy flavor.

  • Yield: 42 Cookies


  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (10½ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus ¼ cup juice (2 lemons)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
How to Make It
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low, add sour cream and lemon zest, and beat until just combined. Add flour mixture until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Drop heaping 1-tablespoon mounds of dough onto prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until just golden around edges, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely on sheets.
  4. Whisk lemon juice and cream cheese in bowl until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. Spread 1 teaspoon glaze onto each cooled cookie before serving.

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