Saturday, January 25, 2014

Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Lemon Filling

Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Lemon Filling - made dough January 17, 2014 from The Food Charlatan
I took 24 days off from baking. I know it's been that long since the last time I baked was on Christmas Day, I left for my European trip Christmas night and this is one of the first things I've baked since I got back. The hiatus was planned and deliberate, to give myself and everyone around me a break from sugar. But break time is over. Not only am I going through baking withdrawals (not sugar withdrawals, no problem with those) but occasions I normally bake for are cropping up and piling up.
First was my uncle's belated birthday lunch last weekend, hosted by my cousin at a local restaurant. Even though we brought a gift, I have to bring something homemade, not just for my aunt and uncle but also for my cousin and her family, including her two boys. I went with these lemon sandwich cookies as they seemed like just the thing to use up lemons and appeal to palates that don't eat a lot of sweets or chocolate (my aunt and uncle, not the boys).
I made the dough balls small and froze them first. They didn't spread very much so I ended up with chunkier cookies when they were sandwiched together. I recommend either not chilling these first or else flattening them into disks rather than dough balls before freezing them. Although the directions say to roll them in powdered sugar before baking, you can skip that step if you'd rather shave off a few calories. I don't think the powdered sugar added anything to the cookie in terms of taste or texture. Mostly it just baked into the cookie and left odd patches of sugar. But I did like these cookies though. They were like a soft lemon sugar cookie and the filling was just the right touch to give them a little extra zing. As always with filling or frosting, I didn't adhere to the exact recipe. Instead I started with half of all the ingredients, creamed them together and added the rest in increments until the filling was the taste and consistency I wanted.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar, optional for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line light colored baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients except for the powdered sugar slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. 
  3. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar, if desired. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte (not melty or shiny). Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
zest from one large lemon
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, then the juice and the zest. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.

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