Friday, October 10, 2008
At last, Lemon Cookies!
I have a fond memory from several years ago of cookie baking at Christmas with a fellow catering coworker. We each chose several goodies that we wanted to bake for gifts, then baked in quantity, and split up the results so we each had some of everything. We made some great stuff! One of my favorite things was a lemon cookie recipe that I got from an old cookbook that belongs to my stepmother. The book came from her grandmother, and had many wonderful old-fashioned cookie recipes to draw from. The recipe that I'm referring to is a lemon cookie that is meant for rolling out and cutting. I remember that I made lovely small bite sized diamond shaped cookies with scalloped edges, and iced them with a simple powdered sugar/ fresh lemon juice combination.
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg + 1 extra yolk
2 T lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
To make the cookies:
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and sugar, add egg and extra yolk and beat until fluffy. Add lemon juice and zest, and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Chill until firm, roll, cut and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until lightly browned on the bottom (lift one gently with a spatula to check doneness.) Again, I'll guess that these cookies will take about 8-10 minutes, but always watch them carefully and check for doneness. This type of cookie is easy to overbake. Of course, it will be delicious regardless, but it is at its best both in lemony taste and pretty appearance if not allowed to brown up too much.
To make the icing:
Put lemon juice in a bowl, add powdered sugar, and stir until smooth and a bit creamy. Adjust the thickness/ thinness of icing by adding small amounts of either juice or sugar. You may need to try it on a cookie or two to judge whether it needs adjusting at all. ( This icing is also good on the Basic Rolled Cookie. I plan to post a more detailed discussion of icing recipes and methods.)
When thinking about how to shape lemon cookies, the obvious choice is, of course, a lemon.
Actually, I've already done a lemon shaped cookie in the kale soup recipe. It is more fun to know that the cookie will taste like a lemon as well as look like one! To truly qualify as a Strange Cookie, however, one needs to exercise a little more imagination. My next obvious choice was a can of furniture polish.
The Ford Edsel was a popular suggestion from the peanut gallery, but my featured strange cookie is a Volkswagon Rabbit modeled after an ex- boyfriend's car that haunted my life for several years in the late 80's- early 90's.
I think people either loved their Rabbits, or hated them. I'm not sure why the boyfriend who owned the Rabbit I'm speaking of loved his so much, but his love inspired the sinking of many paychecks into the Rabbit's cause, with very little return. Oh yeah, some of this inspiration was fueled by the Repair Your Own (enter name of Volkswagon product here) literature available for starry- eyed wanna-be weekend mechanics. Sadly, these projects seldom ended well at our place.
Apparently, Volkswagon has a new Rabbit to offer the world. I doubt that the floorboards will rust out as readily as those in the older models were purported to do, but who knows? I do know that I enjoyed eating this cookie. All the lines were drawn with a chocolate/ lemon buttercream, mmmmmmmmmm!.
I'm currently testing my bread recipe before sharing it. I'd love it if anyone wants to try these recipes and leave comments-- anyone can.