Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Sandwiches with Lemon Buttercream
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, soft
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, soft
- 1 1/4 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest, no white bitter pith
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside.
- Mix soft butter and cream cheese on low speed until no lumps remain.
- Add sugar and once well combined add egg, salt, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until smooth.
- Add flour in one step and mix until just combined.
- Press dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a plastic food film or parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in refrigerator for about 40 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F about 20 minutes before starting to roll dough.
- Keep one half of dough chilled and roll remaining half of dough on parchment paper or a kitchen towel well sprinkled with granulated sugar. Roll dough slightly thicker than 1/8-inch or about 4 stacked credit cards. Use sugar to keep dough from sticking.
- Cut rounds using a 1 1/2-inch diameter cutter and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
- Bake until light golden on edges, about 12 minutes.
- Prepare lemon buttercream. Using a paddle attachment, mix soft butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. Add 2-3 tablespoons evaporated milk at a time - waiting for previous added amount to be fully incorporated and mixture becomes homogenous again.
- Gradually keep adding milk until all incorporated. Add lemon zest. If buttercream is too firm, heat cream with a blow dryer while mixing.
- Pipe buttercream on half of cookies and top with remaining half.
The cookies are equally delicious without the filling.
For a smooth and creamy buttercream frosting, all ingredients should be at the same temperature. If your liquid was not at room temperature the mixture cannot homogenize and will take on a curdled appearance (become soupy looking). This is a sign that the mixture is still too cold. Rapidly stirring and gentle warming will emulsify the buttercream to a smooth and creamy consistency. Continue to mix while using a hair dryer on the outside of mixing bowl until the perfect consistency is reached. For additional tips on how to make the perfect buttercream, watch our How to Fix a Broken Buttercream video.