Friday, February 8, 2019


Remember that Week of the Polar Vortex? Since I work from home, I didn’t have to go out into it (besides, I had some pipes to thaw). I had enough cat food and people food to survive, and the power never went out.

But then I found myself craving cookies. Something sweet—and an opportunity to turn on the oven and keep the kitchen warm. Since I usually have an odd assortment of ingredients squirreled away, and of course the basics of sugar, flour and butter, I figured I could find something appealing.

And I have a lot of cookbooks! Old ones, new ones (sometimes snatched from the very hands of the chef-author), simple ones, classic ones, and so on. Obviously I hadn’t used all of them, so I have a wonderful stockpile of new recipes to try.

What did I find? An old Sunset cookbook from the 1980s, creatively titled Cookies. Yes, it’s all cookies. I bought it for $3 at a used book sale, and promptly forgot about it. I finally opened it and immediately found a recipe that was exactly what I was looking for. It has only six ingredients, and it’s really, really easy to make.

Oddly enough, the resulting cookies are far more interesting than they sound. They’re crisp and chewy at the same time, with a nice flavor (that’s from the lemon extract). They seem to be keeping well (those few that I haven’t eaten yet). One warning: they’re made up mostly of butter and cream cheese, so you might have to suspend your diet for a few days. But they’re very satisfying.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract (or you can add grated lemon rind)
1 cup all-purpose flour


In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese and sugar until creamy.

Beat in the vanilla and lemon extract and/or lemon rind.

Gradually add the flour, blending thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Note: you do not need to grease your cookie sheets!

Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough 2 inches apart on the ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just begin to brown.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes (otherwise the cookies will be too crumbly to remove intact). Place the cookies on racks and let cool completely.

Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


  1. I love cream cheese in sweet baked goods. It is the bit of tang that it brings which makes the item more interesting to me.

    1. And that little splash of lemon flavor goes well with it. Does nice things for the texture too.

  2. Simplicity at its best--sweet!

  3. I love this type of cookie. And I have cream cheese in the fridge!