Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lemon Sugar Cookies by Tom



Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Sugar Cookies 

What is not to like about a cookie that is both a sugar cookie and a lemon cookie all in one.  Two of my favorite taste combinations in a simple but flavorful cookie. 

In perusing Barbara's new "Dorie's Cookies" cookbook, this was the first cookie that I highlighted to make.  And, although it took me a couple of weeks before I actually got around to making them, I was not disappointed.  I made enough to include in our "cookie packages" for this year's gifts to our neighbors. 

---Tom

Lemon Sugar Cookies
(from Dorie's Cookies cookbook)

Makes approx. 50 cookies (she says 60)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 or 2 lemons to obtain 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or regular salt)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 drop lemon extract (optional) (my addition)
Granulated sugar, for dredging


Position the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium size bowl.

Finely grate the zest of one lemon.  Squeeze 1/4 cup of lemon juice using one or both of the lemons.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and the mixer off, put the sugar and lemon zest in the large bowl.  Use your fingertips to mash and rub the sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar is moist and fragrant.  Next add the butter and salt to the bowl and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.  This will take about two minutes.

Beat in the egg, the vanilla extract, the optional lemon extract and the lemon juice until well combined.

Turn off the mixer and add half of the dry ingredients.  Mix on low speed until they are almost completely incorporated together.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the mixer off, and add the remaining dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed until fully incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

In a separate small bowl, pour in the granulated sugar.  You will use this to coat the cookie dough.

Using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon, scoop out even portions of the dough and using your fingers make round dough balls.  Drop the dough ball into the granulated sugar and roll it around to coat the balls.  Place on a cookie sheet leaving about 2" between each dough ball.  I was able to place between 12-15 cookies on each baking sheet.  These cookies will spread when baking, so it is important to have some spacing between them.

Bake the cookies for 8-14 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through.  If you bake them for 8-10 minutes, they will be very soft and quite pale.  If you bake them for 12-14 minutes, they will be browned on the edges and the bottoms will be lightly browned as well.  They will be crispier but still chewy in the center.  I opted for about 11-12 minutes.

After you remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool pretty completely on the cookie sheet before you transfer them to a cooling rack.  If you try to transfer them while still pretty warm, they will fall apart.  Never good unless you like to serve broken cookies.

Repeat with the remaining dough always using cool baking sheets.  Takes a little longer, but worth it.

There it is!  Lemon Sugar Cookies.  Easy to make and better to eat.

---Tom

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