Friday, February 14, 2014

L. O. V. E. Lemon Sugar Cookies :)

Happy Valentine's Day! Be loved, be blessed, be happy!

Anna and I have been super busy baking these days. In fact, Anna was the one who did all the mixing, rolling and cutting while I manned the oven and then helped with the decorating. It all has been a work of loooove... :)

First, Anna made a batch of these cookies for her talent show at church on Wednesday night. She didn't win a trophy from the judges, but she certainly won a lot of compliments on how delicious and pretty her cookies were. She also won my admiration, as she is definitely turning into an awesome baker! She single-handedly rolled and cut out ALL these cookies without ANY of my help! And they looked uniform in size and thickness which resulted in beautifully baked sugar cookie hearts! She chose red and pink for the icing and made it all by herself too! Don't they look fabulous?

She also made a batch of these cookies to share with her class yesterday but...... school was closed because of bad weather- again!- and she was quite bummed after all the work she put into them...

Then, she made a HUGE batch of old fashioned sour cream sugar cookies for her sister, Lizzie, to take to her school today. (I will blog about these cookies in a separate post- stay tuned!) The recipe produced more than 100 cookies!!! Again, she made the dough, and then rolled and cut ALL the cookies on her own. She was pretty tired by the end- I was actually surprised she managed to do it all but she didn't give up! All of this, only to find out a couple of hours later that Lizzie's school was cancelled for the day too!!! The good news is that the shelf life of sugar cookies is pretty long, so I am hoping that they will still taste fine by next week for a belated Valentine's Day party in school. I will have to look into freezing them too as another possibility. :)

But, without further ado, here is the Lemon Sugar Cookies we made and the icing that we used for their decoration...

Lemon Sugar Cookies:

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold & cut into chunks
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.

Roll on a floured surface to about 1/4" thick and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. (You may want to freeze the cut out cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking- they will hold their shape better). Bake for 10 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Ice with your favorite icing. Since I am not too crazy about the taste of royal icing, I used the following recipe to which I added some lemon juice to carry out the lemon theme, but only vanilla extract would be fine too.

Lemon Frosting:

  • 2-2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 Tbsp milk
  • Coloring, if desired

Mix all ingredients well and add a little more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency for spreading and/or piping.Have fun decorating!

Recipe for cookies adapted from: bakeat350
Recipe for frosting adapted from: melskitchencafe

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