Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cream Cheese Gems

When I was a little girl, my wonderful grandma always had some type of homemade treat for us when we visited. There was one time that I vividly remember her telling us how she had run out of eggs. But because she was so sweet, she cracked open her cookbooks in search of an egg-free cookie recipe. This was it!! I've adapted it a few times over the years, but they are truly one of my favorite cookies of all time. Tart and tiny, with a crunchy, sugary exterior. And the addition of cream cheese provides a really soft, smooth texture. YUM. I love the memories I have of my sweet Grandma whenever I make these!

Cream Cheese Gems
-Beverly Brisco-
1 c. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
juice of 1 lemon
2 c. flour
extra sugar for rolling

Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and juice. Gradually add flour.

Chill dough for 1-2 hours. Form into small balls (smaller than a regular cookie) and roll in sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are barely golden. Do not over bake! Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before transferring to a cookie sheet.
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