Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lemon Cookies

Picture this: A couple in their fifties, with a medium-sized white fluffy dog, are walking down the street making small talk. They come across a home when they notice a lemon tree with branches hanging over the fence. The man hands his wife the dog's leash and the plastic grocery bags for her unmentionables. While she and the ever ferocious dog stand guard, he jumps up a few feet into the air and grabs a large branch, pulling down. Instead of picking the lemons off of the branch, he shakes it until the lemons fall to the ground. After picking them up, he, his wife, and the dog make a run for it, toting a large bag of lemons. (Update: the scene of the crime)

That is how I came to  make lemon cookies this morning. My mother claimed they were in the public domain, but I'm too lazy to look up my city's fallen fruit laws. Either way, I doubt the neighbor will miss the lemons, as there were already tons sitting on the sidewalk going bad. 

Unfortunately, the kitchen was not my friend today. Not at all. This recipe, and consequently the photo, turned out in a slightly disastrous, albeit delicious, manner. I'm talking cookies baking into one another and refusing to come off of the baking sheet. Then, of course, they cracked and broke, which made them impossible to photograph nicely. Most of those cookies up there don't have pretty backs. Plus, it's a gloomy day without nice lighting. I tried to recreate some lighting inside, but I don't have filters. At least I found some of the nice dishes. Follow below to see what happened, and to get the recipe with the tweaks to make yours successful. 

Ingredients (The Improved Version)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup  granulated sugar
1 egg
1 stick room temperature unsalted butter

How is this recipe different from the one I used? First, the original recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, but I replaced 1 cup with almond meal. Normally this would be fine, but I also increased the lemon juice to 4 tablespoons from 2 because I like lemon. What I've done here is lower the amount of almond meal, increase the amount of flour, slightly lower the amount of lemon juice, and increase the amount of lemon zest. You got that? This combination provides the lemony goodness I so desire, the benefits of almond versus flour, and has enough flour to compensate for the extra liquid. This means they will not do this in the oven:

Caterpillar cookies.

Do you see how they spread into one another? Yeah, not cool. When your cookies spread out a lot, they get quite thin. This makes them very hard to remove from the baking sheet. So, do yourselves a favor and use parchment paper! You can peel the cookies off and they'll stay all nice and pretty. They will not turn into the crumbly messes that mine did. I refuse to share that shame with you.

If you choose to embark on this cookie journey, which you should because they are deliciously lemony and crispy, do the following.

1. In a bowl, mix flours, salt, baking soda and lemon zest together.

2. In your mixer, cream butter and sugar. Then add egg, vanilla and lemon juice. Slowly mix in the other ingredients.

3. Preheat your oven to 350F. 

4. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. You could even spray your parchment paper for precaution. Make teaspoon size cookies with at least 2 inches between them. The smaller cookies make them much easier to remove from the parchment paper and better for dipping in tea. 

5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool before you attempt to peel them off the paper.


Anonymous said...

hey, that's my house!

Baking Barrister said...

is not ... whoever you are.

Turmericnspice said...

Love your header...what fruit is it??

Baking Barrister said...

It's a Rambutan. It's a fruit commonly found in SE Asia. The white fleshy stuff sits around a pit. It's sort of sweet, with a bit of tartness, with a lychee-like texture. I became addicted to them while recently in the region. They serve them EVERYWHERE.

Turmericnspice said... an all time fav...I wish we cld get to eat this fruit...looks awesome...and sounds yum!! Thank you for the info...!!:)

laurensybil said...

I could really use about seven of these right now.

s. said...

Lauren...I could always use about seven of them, but alas, I'm working on the whole healthy eating and weight concept most days. Le sigh...

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