Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract (or 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice )
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ cup roasted cashews, chopped
Additional sugar for dough
Freshly grated lemon zest, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon extract (or lemon juice and lemon zest) and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low, add flour and mix just until dough begins to form a ball. Stir in cashews.
Shape dough into 1½ -inch balls. Roll dough balls in additional sugar, place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and flatten with bottom of a glass (and sprinkle with a bit of fresh lemon zest if desired). Bake just until cookies are set and edges are lightly browned, 17 to 19 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
2004 Finalist: Jean Livingood of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota