Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lemon Drop Cookies

It is no secret to everyone who knows me well that I love, love, love lemon flavored desserts. I just adore the fresh combination of citrussy tartness and sugary sweetness and these Lemon Drop Cookies fit the bill perfectly! This recipe comes from the book "Milk & Cookies" by Tina Casaceli. I highly recommend both the recipe and the book. The cookies are super easy to make, yet extremely delicious and refined- the perfect accompaniment to a cup of steaming aromatic tea in winter, or a glass or frosty homemade lemonade on a hot summer day.

3 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz) superfine sugar
2 large egg yolks at room temperature
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cups granulated sugar
Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin beating on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, or until very light and smooth.

Add the superfine sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. When all the sugar has been added, beat for 2 minutes.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with rubber spatula after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat for 1 minute.

Mix in half the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Add the milk. When blended, add the remaining flour, the lemon juice, and the lemon zest and beat to just barely blend. While the dough is still streaky, remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the paddle clean.

Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and finish mixing the dough by using a gentle kneading motion, working until the dough is just blended. Do not overwork the dough.

Form the dough into two disks and cover tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 6-7 days) or until firm. (Dough can also be frozen for up to a month).

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the granulated sugar on a large plate.

Using a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon, make mounds of dough. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Using your palm, gently flatten each ball to about 2 inches in diameter. Roll each cookie in the granulated sugar to coat completely and place them, about 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheets.

When all the cookies are formed, place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until just barely brown around the edges (they should still be pale on top).

Remove from the oven and, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool.

Store, airtight, at room temperature for up to a week.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe source: "Milk & Cookies" by Tina Casaceli

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