Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Different Kind of Lemon Doodles

Lemon Doodles - made December 14, 2013 from Chef in Training
Add this to the "I have a lot of lemons and more on the way to use up" list of recipes I was experimenting with since my initial lemon harvest (I plucked 4 more off my lemon tree this past weekend).  I had made a cookie called Lemon Doodles before but it was different from this one. This was more like a lemon sugar cookie or a lemon version of a snickerdoodle but with lemon zest instead of cinnamon to go with the sugar for the coating.  But what really pulled me towards this recipe is you use browned butter.  I've declared my love for browned butter many times already.  But browned butter paired with fresh lemon zest?  We might be talking a whole 'nother level of deliciousness.
And we would be talking sense because this made for a good flavor combination.  The lemon does tend to take over the flavor profile of the cookie but a discerning palate can still taste the browned butter. If you're the type to snitch cookie dough, you might have to pace yourself not to eat it all before any of it is baked. I don't eat cookie dough but this was one of those doughs where I could just stick my nose in the mixing bowl, inhale, and be happy.
The edges are crunchy and the middles are chewy. It really is like a lemon snickerdoodle but without the cinnamon. And as with snickerdoodles, don't overbake these.  They don't spread much so they'll stay puffy but to get that chewy texture, they need to be slightly underbaked.  I deviated from the directions and baked them at a lower temperature but for longer than the 7 minutes specified in the recipe.  At 7 minutes, the cookies were raw little dough balls just barely beginning to brown and still at the "I'm melting" stage rather than baked.
The main reason I didn't bake them at such a high temperature as the original directions said is I know 425 degrees is too hot in my oven and the cookies would likely burn on the outside while still remaining raw inside, especially with the sugar coating which is what aids in faster browning. Feel free to experiment what works best in your oven but keep an eye on these if you're going to play around with oven temps.
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup granulated sugar
zest of 3 lemons
  1. To make coating for cookie dough: Mash zest and sugar together with a fork to create lemon sugar.
  2. To make cookies: Start by browning butter. Melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a skillet over medium heat, stir continually until butter starts to foam and is light golden brown. Immediately remove from heat and add remaining 1/2 stick of butter to pan and set aside to cool.
  3. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 425 degrees. (I baked mine at 375 degrees.)
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar and lemon zest and mix on low speed until well combined.
  5. Add brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix dry ingredients together on lowest speed just until combined.
  6. Add cooled butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix again just until combined.
  7. Scoop out two tablespoons of dough and form into a ball. Roll balls in lemon sugar mixture to coat and place on cookie sheet. Flatten the cookie dough balls slightly by using the back of a measuring cup.
  8. Bake for about 7 minutes and let cool (I baked mine for 10-12 minutes). They are best slightly underdone. When they come out of the oven, the middle should fall in just a little and the cookie should crackle as it settles.

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