Tuesday, July 20, 2010
One of my favorite cookies there is the simple Lemon Pout. A soft, chewy sugar cookie with an undeniable lemon zing, perfectly offset by the crunch of sparkling sugar. I finally convinced myself into buying a microplane zester just so I could make these cookies. The recipe I found yields the most perfectly soft and chewy cookies. But beware: "store them in an airtight container to keep them nice and soft" is not a suggestion, it is a must. I left a few of the best looking cookies on a paper plate and covered them in plastic wrap so I could save them for picture taking later and within a few hours they lost their delicate texture. Nothing a quick zap in the microwave won't fix, but not ideal nonetheless.
Another note, I didn't have any lemon extract on hand (but after this incident, I will soon), so I took a cue from here and substituted four tablespoons of lemon juice. The result? Sadly not at all lemony. More like sugar cookies with a subtle hint of zest. Good, but just not tempting enough to cram down my mouth. I will, for certain, try this recipe again as soon as I get my hands on some lemon extract. Until then, for all you lemon lovers...don't settle for a substitute!
On a lighter, purely aesthetic note: next time I would definitely opt for rolling these cookies in sparkling sugar. Again, I only had granulated on hand, which lent nothing to the texture. Well, there was turbinado in the pantry, but I didn't want to risk discoloring the cookies with caramel-colored flecks. Just another reason to try it again, I'm missing out on that delicate crunch!
Lemon Sugar Cookies (adapted from Crepes of Wrath)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup granulated or raw sugar for rolling cookies (I used raw sugar, which I think was an awesome choice)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or tin foil and spray lightly with Pam.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Rub together the zest and granulated sugar until the sugar is a pale yellow color. This helps to infuse all of the oils in the zest into the sugar and gives your cookies an even more lemony flavor. Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
Beat in egg, vanilla extract, and lemon extract.
Gradually blend in the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly golden and set.
Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks. As soon as the cookies have cooled, store them in an airtight container to keep them nice and soft. Makes around 20 cookies.