On the phone with a friend recently, I noticed he seemed a little melancholy. I decided it would be a nice gesture to bake him some cookies for his upcoming birthday and possibly brighten his week.
Knowing he loves anything lemon flavored, I scoured the internet for lemon cookies. Up until now, the only lemon cookies I’d ever seen were the ones that came in a box. You know, the Lemon Coolers with a powdered sugar layer on top that made a mess everywhere.
When I saw Food & Wine’s Lemony Butter Cookies had a 5-star rating, I jumped in.
Lemon Coolers aren’t the only things missing from the store shelves
This recipe calls for three things I don’t regularly keep in my pantry: lemon zest, juice and confectioners sugar.
It turns out, one of these items not regularly kept at my local grocery store either.
After swiftly grabbing two lemons, I went down the baking aisle and searched… and searched. I’m not kidding when I admit, I got down on the floor to look at the bottom shelf. It wasn’t there.
So, I swapped out the sugar for a juicer, (why I didn’t already have one of these, I’ll never know) and headed for store No. 2.
Once I finally secured the sugar, it was time to tackle this tart treat.
A tbsp of zest
There are only a few steps to creating this concoction, so I was stoked for an easy evening.
After turning on the oven and mixing the sugar and butter, it was time for the key ingredient: lemons.
Do you know how long it takes to zest a tablespoon of lemon zest? A friggin’ long time. My arms were tired when I was finally done with this cumbersome chore.
With the lemon zest and juice added, I dropped in the flour and salt and mixed. For some reason this blend looked like ground turkey. The elements in my mixing bowl were light off-white curds.
I started pressing the material together, and suddenly I had a full-blown dough ball.
Pulling off pinch after pinch of the ball, I created one-inch orbs that covered my two baking sheets. The ground turkey suddenly looked like cute little lemon drops.
Following the instructions, I then flattened each one into small discs.
Turns out – I pinched my dough a little smaller than the recipe calls for, so I ended up with 60 of these treats.
When I realized how many cookies were coming out of the oven, I was very concerned about the glaze planned to top them.
With the rest of the lemon juice and zest, the blend barely covered the bottom of my mixing bowl.
Somehow – there was enough (I should never question Food & Wine), and I was even able to double up on a few of the confections.
Miscalculation = treat for me!
I’d planned to give my friend a mixture of chocolate chip and lemon cookies, and thanks to my miscalculation, I was able to give him 36 (the same as his age) and I still had enough to treat myself!
Apparently with the holiday approaching, my friend found himself in a sugar storm. A number of his friends gave him cookies for the holidays. When I asked him later what he thought of the batch I’d sent him, he simply said, “Those lemon cookies were my favorite.”
I knew it!
These tart treats were so good, I plan to make them again for Christmas. But, my next batch will have a twist: I’m adding a tie-dye glaze for the holiday!