I love cookies, especially as a treat for lunch boxes. I especially love sugar cookies-- you know, the ones that you roll and cut and decorate with frosting. But they take a lot of work, and I save that for the holidays.
There are many recipes in the cookbook that I plan to make, but this is the first one. I liked the idea of adding lemon zest and juice, and the recipe looked very simple, so I got started making these. A note about my philosophy on baking:
I would rather eat a smaller portion of baked goods made with real butter, than trying to save a few calories using margarine and/or Splenda. I don't like the results of using either of these ingredients. If I'm going to eat a dessert, I want the real deal! I simply make a choice not to eat too much at one time. As far as baking for diabetics-- my son has Type I diabetes so I have invested a lot of time taking nutrition classes. Using "fake" sugar, in my opinion (as learned by diabetes experts I know) isn't the answer. Truly, diabetics need to watch their carbs. My son can eat sweets (in moderation, of course) as long as he counts his carbs, exercises and takes the right amount of insulin to compensate for it. I only wanted to share this information, because I read countless people asking how to adjust baked goods for a diabetic. It is "old school" to try and eliminate sugar. It's about carbs! Most importantly-- find a nutritionist who is very familiar with diabetes and follow their advice.Sorry-- end of soap box.
Back to the cookie recipe... and on the subject of sugar... I was especially glad that I have a bag of sparkling white sugar, that the recipe calls for.
I bought mine at King Arthur Flour, along with a few other fun kitchen goodies that I will be playing with in the next few weeks. If you don't have this product, you can use granulated sugar.
The dry ingredients are simple-- flour, baking soda, and kosher salt are sifted. In a mixing bowl, white and brown sugar and lemon zest.
Before I bake, I always bring the butter (and I prefer to use unsalted butter) and eggs to room temperature. TIP: you can also submerge the eggs in very warm water, as a short cut. Using my faithful Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, I mixed the sugars and the fresh lemon zest and then I creamed the butter until fluffy.
Next, the eggs are added one at a time, the lemon juice and then the dry ingredients are added a little at a time.
This is my newest Kitchen Aid gadget-- a beater blade, recommended by Dorie Greenspan a few months ago, on her blogsite. What I like about this beater blade design is that it really scrapes the batter off the sides of the bowl a lot more efficiently. I bought mine through Amazon.com.
The recipe says that it yields 18 large cookies. I used an ice cream scoop for the first batch..
However, I decided I wanted smaller cookies or I'd have to buy a bigger lunch box! I switched over to my smaller scoop size.
TIP: I used a silicone spatula and wet it with water, so that the dough wouldn't stick. That also made flattening the cookies easier, and then I sprinkled the sugar on top. Otherwise, the recipe says to brush each cookie with water to make additional sugar stick.
After 15 minutes of cooling, I gave one a taste. Oh! A little crispy on the outside, and chewy in the middle-- the sparkling sugar adds an extra crunch. The cookies aren't super sweet, with a very subtle taste of lemon-- but the lemon isn't overpowering at all. Yep, these are delicious!
I think it would be a fun twist to make this recipe with almond extract (another personal favorite of mine) and even some ground almonds.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. These lasted two days, so we wouldn't know!
As always, the recipe is at the bottom of this page. If you are receiving my blog, via Feed Burner, you will need to visit my blog to see and print the recipe.
I'm so glad that it's the weekend and I can catch up on what the rest of you have been making!