Yield: Depends on the size of your cookie cutter(s). We made about 2 ½ dozen 4" footballs and 1 dozen small stars of various sizes.
Lemon Pepper Cookies:
- 3 1/3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (225g) granulated sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (114g) full fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbsp Alchemy Spice Company Lemon Pepper Blend
- ½ tsp salt
- pinch of citric acid, optional
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk, room temp
- yellow food colouring, optional
Lemon Royal Icing:
- 1 Tbsp meringue powder*
- 1 cup (114g) confectioners' sugar
- 1–2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
*We typically use Wilton’s meringue powder.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub together until sugar turns yellow and you smell that citrusy goodness.
- Add butter, cream cheese, lemon pepper blend, salt, and (optional) citric acid. Attach paddle, then mix on low until fully combined, 4–5 minutes. You want to remove all lumps of cream cheese, but without creaming this mixture, as that will add too much air.
- Add vanilla, egg yolk, and (if using) food colouring. Mix just until incorporated.
- Add flour mixture to wet ingredients; mix again on low until barely incorporated.
- Knead dough with your hands a few times to ensure that flour is fully incorporated.
- Divide dough into two. Wrap dough balls individually in cling film, then press into patty shapes. Place wrapped dough in fridge to chill for roughly 20 minutes. The dough should be cool, rested, and firm, but not completely hard.
NOTE: If you’re making this dough somewhere particularly hot and/or humid, your dough may need to chill for more time.
- Once dough has chilled, cut 2 pieces of wax paper that are slightly longer than your baking sheet. Place one on your work surface.
- Unwrap one dough patty and place on wax paper. Set other piece of wax paper on top. With your rolling pin, roll out dough to ¼" thick.
NOTE: Do NOT flour your dough before rolling! It’s already perfect.
- Repeat with other dough patty.
- Slide one dough/wax paper sandwich onto baking sheet. Then gently place second dough/wax paper sandwich on top. Place in freezer for at least 1 hour.
- When you’re ready to bake your cookies, heat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough sheets from freezer and peel off top layers of wax paper. Using your Off The Beaten Path football cookie cutter, cut cookies directly from frozen dough sheets. Use other, smaller cutters or a paring knife to cut shapes from excess dough. (You can also reroll and rechill the scraps to cut out more footballs.)
- Transfer shapes to room temperature or cold baking sheets lined with parchment.
NOTE: If the dough became soft while you were cutting out shapes, place in freezer (baking sheets and all) for 10–15 minutes before baking.
- Bake cookies for 8–12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through the bake time. The cream cheese causes the cookies to not brown very much, so keep a close look-out for slight browning at the bottom edges where the cookies touch the parchment.
- Transfer cookies to wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- Once your cookies are totally cool, it’s time to decorate with lemon royal icing! Sift meringue powder and confectioners’ sugar into bowl of your stand mixer, then add lemon juice. Attach paddle and beat on low speed, scraping down bowl as necessary, for 4–5 minutes. Icing is ready when it’s smooth and glossy.
- Transfer royal icing to a piping bag fitted with your desired piping tip. (We used an Ateco 800 tip for the lines seen here.) Pipe designs on your cooled cookies. Allow royal icing to harden and set completely at room temperature.