My recent flu attack derailed my monthly cookie baking regimen, so this weekend I found myself owing our church raffle winner two months of cookies. (Constant readers will remember that, for the past two years, I have raffled off a year's worth of home-baked cookies.)
I decided to mix up my raspberry bar recipe , but make it a little more February-esque by using black cherry preserves instead of raspberry jam. These turned out quite good; the preserves (a found item in the German section of the new import aisle in our local supermarket) were on the tart side, and the flavor in general was a little more complex and interesting.
What to make for the other batch...pawing around through the family cookbook drawer, I found an Ideals cookie book from the early 70's that one of my aunts gave me when I started getting interested in baking. I'd never tried too many recipes from this particular book, but I did remember one successful, easy-to-make cookie that would make good use of some cream cheese in my refrigerator. So...here is the recipe, submitted for your approval. These cookies are not keepers -- not that that will be a problem -- and should be kept in the refrigerator if you happen to have any left after a day.
Lemon Cheese Balls
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 3-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBS lemon rind
1/2 tsp lemon extract (I really dislike the taste of most extracts, so I squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the dough instead; maybe also a little spot of real vanilla)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup coarsely crushed cereal (cornflakes, Rice Krispies, etc.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and cream cheese; add sugar gradually. Add lemon rind and extract or juice. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and gradually add to mixture. Chill dough several hours. Shape heaping teaspoons of dough into balls and roll in crushed cereal. Please on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes. (Cookies will not brown.) Makes about 3 dozen.