These are just so good. They're like a combination of these Strawberry Cookies and the LDS Lemon Cookies, creating what one of my coworkers described as "a little lemony pillow from heaven."
So, the secret is obviously cake mix. And Pillsbury just started making a pink lemonade flavor of cake. You add extra stuff to it - extra lemony flavor - to make it even better, but the cake mix is what makes it so pillowy. Another coworker told me she makes these with carrot cake mix, some grated carrot, and some raisins, which is just so genius it blows my mind. I will try that later this year in the fall, I think. It sounds delicious.
Pink Lemonade Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Zest of 1 whole lemon
1 package pink lemonade flavor cake mix, 18.25 oz size
Granulated sugar, for rolling
Confectioners' sugar, for rolling
Put the butter into a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter until soft and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until mixture is smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon extract and lemon zest until combined. Add the cake mix and beat just until well mixed.
If the dough is too soft to roll into balls, cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours or until it's easy to handle.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Place some granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar into separate bowls.
Roll the dough into 1-inch to 1 1/4-inch balls.
Drop each dough ball into the bowl of granulated sugar and roll it in the sugar to coat completely.
Immediately drop the sugared dough ball into the confectioners' sugar and roll it to coat heavily with the sugar. Rolling the dough balls in the granulated sugar first helps the confectioners' sugar coating not sink into the baked cookies.
Place the dough balls 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Take the cookies out of the oven when they look a little underdone.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes, then remove them from the pans to wire racks and cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container. Makes about 2 1/2-3 dozen.