These Lemon Sandwich Cookies are a lemon lover’s dream! Soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies are sandwiched around a zingy lemon cream cheese frosting for the ultimate spring cookie!
Every winter, I almost forget we have neighbors. Despite the fact that our homes are literally feet away from each other, we scarcely see our neighbors from December to February. Like bears, we all seem to hibernate for the winter, only coming outside for absolute necessities. In the dreariest months, a neighbor sighting is rare and only results in a quick wave before we each retreat to the warmth and coziness of our homes.
But, oh, how delightful it is on those first sunny days. Suddenly the sidewalks come alive. Mommas push their babes in strollers and dogs pull their owners along, determined to sniff every fresh blade of grass along the way. Everyone seems cheerier. We stand at fences and chat, wave across the street, and park ourselves on the front porch. The smell of grilled meats fills the air at dinner time, and the sound of mowers roaring to life joins the chorus of birds in the morning.
It’s the time of year when you’re likely to find me on your doorstep with a plate of cookies, the results of my latest baking adventure. It’s also the time of year when I’m likely to develop an insatiable craving for all things lemon, which means chances are really good the contents of that plate look something like these Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies.
Though I have no authority to do so, I would like to declare Lemon Sandwich Cookies the official cookie of spring. Sure, I might get some push back, a few angry dissenters, but then I’ll show up at their door with a plate of cookies and win them over. These cookies are just so happy, I don’t know how anyone could resist their charm. The cookies themselves are a simple sugar cookie that’s triple infused with lemon from juice, zest, and extract. They’re chewy and zesty and sweet and, thanks to a little sprinkle of coarse sugar, even sparkly.
The cookies are extremely munchable all on their own, but they really shine when sandwiched around a dreamy lemon cream cheese filling. While these may look fancy, they’re actually quite easy to make, so they work equally well on an Easter table or at an informal neighborhood potluck. They are good immediately after making them, but they get even better after a few hours in the fridge. The cookies and cream meld together and become something greater than the sum of their parts. I actually love eating these straight from the fridge, but they’re also perfect for taking to a party (or a neighbor’s house), and will hold up well if left out of the fridge for a few hours.
Of course, good cookies need good neighbors to give them to. I recently had the pleasure of visiting and baking in a model home in a new M/I community in Westerville. Truth be told, I’ve always been a little wary of new homes. I had never really spent time in a newly developed community, and I imagined it would feel sterile, cold, and uninviting. The truth turned out to be quite the opposite. The home we visited was vibrant and welcoming. Rather than feeling like it was engineered by robots, it felt like it was thoughtfully planned, down to the last detail, to make you feel at home. It goes without saying that the kitchen was beautiful. Honestly, I hardly knew what to do with all the counter top space. The island was so expansive, I could make my entire recipe right there and leave the rest of the kitchen completely undisturbed. It was dreamy. But the thoughtfulness didn’t stop there. It was the perfectly sized mud room nook (complete with hooks and cubbies) and upstairs laundry room that made my inner mom squeal with delight.
Of course, home for me has always been about more than just some shwanky countertops and a stunning fireplace. Home is family pictures hung on the mantle, a well-loved sidewalk worn out by strollers and dogs. It’s standing in the driveway chatting with your neighbors, and gathering at the fire pit with friends and family. What impressed me most about my time with M/I wasn’t the home itself (though it was stunning), but more about their commitment to building neighborhoods, not just homes. Most of their communities have almost 50% green space, many with walking trails, ponds, and wooded areas. They work closely with the surrounding neighbors to make sure their homes will integrate well into existing communities. They treat their neighbors well, and that’s pretty much what I’m all about here.
After all, what would a home be without neighbors? And what says welcome home better than bright and happy lemon cookies dropped off at your doorstep? If you’re in the Columbus area and interested in learning more about the new communities M/I is building in Westerville, be sure to visit their website, or even better, hop in the car and visit a model home! It’s really the best way to get a feel for what they’re building, not just in brick and mortar, but in making a house a home.
For the cookies:
- 10 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Sanding sugar
For the filling:
- 1 8 ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixture, cream the butter. Add the sugars and eggs and continue to beat until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla, extract, and lemon zest.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Place heaping teaspoons of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten a bit with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until cookies are set on the edges and no longer jiggly in the center. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium high speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, beating on low speed and increasing the speed slowly as the sugar is incorporated. Add the lemon zest and juice, to taste. I like a lot of lemon flavor, so I always use the full 3 teaspoons.
- Pipe or spread the cream cheese frosting on a lemon cookie and sandwich with a second cookie. Store the finished cookies in the fridge. I love the taste of these cold directly out of the fridge, but they can set out at room temperature for several hours and be fine.
You will likely have leftover lemon cream cheese filling. It makes an awesome dip for fresh strawberries or use it to make little fruit pizzas.
This post was sponsored by the wonderful people at M/I homes. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies who help keep NeighborFood up and running!