Friday, February 3, 2012

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Citrus Shortbread Cookies - made January 29, 2012, adapted from Desserts to Die For by Marcel Desaulniers (book #185)

This baking book by Marcel Desaulniers (as with all of my posts, click on the book title to go its amazon page, get more info and/or purchase) is full of lots of fancy, impressive-looking desserts.  The pictures alone are guaranteed food porn.  The book isn't really for newbies unless you're a risk taker who doesn't mind taking the plunge on multi-step, multi-layer recipes or have some baking experience and want to tackle something to awe your friends.  I am somewhat in the middle of the spectrum.  While I bake a lot, I rarely have long stretches of time to take on a single, complicated baking production.  And even if the end result is eye-catchingly impressive, I'm more interested in the taste and likely only want a small piece before I'm moving on to the next project.  So that's my long lead in to say that, while this book is filled with all kinds of fancy, I chose one of the simplest recipes in it to make.  The original recipe called for both orange and lemon zests but I don't like to mix my flavors so I made it a pure lemon shortbread cookie.  Also because I didn't have any oranges on hand, ha. It also said to use orange-flavored liqueur but since I wasn't going the orange route, I substituted lemon oil instead.

This could not be simpler to make and the dough was easy to work with, pliable without being too sticky.  I rolled it into a squarish log, wrapped it in wax paper and refrigerated it overnight before slicing and baking the next morning.  I baked it a couple of minutes longer than the recipe called for before I was satisfied with the golden brown color.  I knew that with this type of cookie, it's best not to underbake it because you want it baked enough to have the snap and crisp texture of a good shortbread cookie.  I'm glad I did because this turned out really well.  It was almost as good as my favorite butter cookie from Bakewise by Shirley Corriher.  It's a nicely-flavored lemon shortbread cookie, perfect for afternoon teas or just a dessert snack reminiscent of spring and summer flavors.
¼ pound unsalted butter
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

1.   Preheat the oven to 325⁰F. 
2.   Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle.  Beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat on high for 3 minutes, until the batter is light (but not fluffy).  Add the lemon zest and the lemon oil.  Beat on high for 30 seconds.  Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the flour and salt, and mix for 1 minute.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough, until thoroughly combined.
3.   Wrap dough in plastic wrap.  Roll the dough on a flat surface to form a 6-inch-long and 1 ½-inch in diameter cylinder.  Place the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
4.   Remove the dough from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap.  Cut the dough into 12 individual ½-inch-thick slices.  Divide the slices onto 2 baking sheets.  Place the baking sheets onto the center rack in the preheated oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.  Halfway through the baking time, rotate each baking sheet 180 degrees.  Remove the cookies from the oven and cool to room temperature on the baking sheets, about 20 minutes.  The cooled cookies may be stored in a tightly sealed plastic container for several days at room temperature, or for several weeks in the freezer.

Linked to Sweet Treats Thursday

1 comment:

  1. Really nice work! I love to bake, I'll make sure to try that recipe some time! Keep on baking!