Wednesday, April 20, 2011
These delicate lemon cookies just scream Springtime to me. They were perfectly soft, with a little built-in crunch bites courtesy of crushed lemon drop candies. I mailed a box of them to one of my sisters today. She's days away from delivering her third baby. On top of those final miserable days of pregnancy, she's chasing after her energetic 3 and 6 year old boys and teaching 3rd grade full-time! Talk about having her hands full! I thought that a box of these cheerful lemon cookies (lemon has been her major craving throughout the whole pregnancy), with a good book tucked into the bottom, might be just the thing to make her day. I'm banking on the fact that she doesn't have time to read this, so hopefully she'll be surprised!
Before I boxed em' up, I had a few too. The weather here has been so gloomy this week and these were like sweet little rays of sunshine!
Before I started mixing up the cookies, I prepared a couple of the ingredients. First, the lemon drops.
You have to crush them. I put mine into a plastic zip-top bag and pounded away at them with my meat mallet. You'll still get some lemon drop powder that sifts out through the holes made in the baggie by the jagged edges of the broken lemon drops, but this is the least messy way I could think of to smash the candies.
The recipe called for finely crushed lemon drops. I did leave some small chunks in the mix, which made for awesome bursts of lemon in the cookies. So, don't completely pulverize the lemon drops! Crush enough lemon drops for 1/2 cup. This came out to about half of the package.
The other bit of prep work that I did was to grate the lemon peel. I know that I bragged about my new Pampered Chef Microplane Grater in the Orange and Raspberry Muffin post, but it truly is the best tool I have found for grating citrus peel. Love it!
The recipe calls for a teaspoon, but I think that I used closer to a tablespoon.
Alright, now for the cookies. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add in an egg, heavy cream, and the lemon peel.
Combine flour, crushed lemon drops, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the dough.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough onto cookie sheets. I used my hands to roll them into balls for perfectly rounded cookies. Then bake for 8-10 minutes until they start to brown a bit on the bottom. You're going for a soft cookie here, so watch them carefully so that they don't overbake.
Let sit for a minute or two before removing the cookies to a cooling rack. You don't want to let them cool on the baking sheet for too long or the lemon drops in the cookies with start to harden and they will stick.
A little decorator's sugar on top of these would give a nice extra crunch. I might try that. I think that these would also make excellent sandwich cookies. Next time I'm going to come up with a lemon frosting filling. Watch out!
Lemon Drop Cookies from Taste of Home
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon peel
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely crushed lemon drops
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
•In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat
in the egg, cream and peel. Combine the flour, lemon drops, baking
powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
•Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 3 in. apart onto greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly
browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Yield:
about 3-1/2 dozen.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 120 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 97 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.