Thursday, April 24, 2014

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Glazed Lemon Cookies - made April 19, 2014 from Barefeet in the Kitchen
I've been so busy at work that most of my baking has been confined to weekends. I do some stuff on weeknights but only if I have the energy or inclination. Easter decided to sneak up on me this year and although I'd done the Easter Jewel Cookies just to have an excuse to buy my annual bag of Cadbury mini eggs, it still really didn't hit me that Easter had arrived until it was Good Friday. But I was working that day so it wasn't until Saturday that I finally paid some attention to the fact that the next day was Easter Sunday.
Now that my nieces are no longer little girls running around in Easter dresses searching for Easter eggs and the Easter bunny, we don't really do a big Easter celebration anymore. At least not the non-religious kind. We go to church like we always do and go to lunch afterwards like we do every week. This year, at church, we've had new attendees, including a family with four little girls. It's been so long since we've had kids in Sunday School, that it's refreshing to see little faces at church again. And they're remarkably well behaved little girls when they join the main church for the beginning and ending hymns, always nice to see.
Since I can use any excuse to bake, I decided to make up cookie bags for the kids (with leftovers for the adults, ha). I already had cookie dough from the Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Cookies and the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. To provide a variety, I also made Paradise Chocolate Cookies (post coming later) and these Lemon Glazed Cookies. My lemon tree is still running amok with lemons and I also still had lemons I'd picked earlier from both my tree and my mom's tree. They would soon be in danger of drying out in my fridge so I ended up zesting and juicing all of them, saving the juice for future use and using up a good portion of zest in the cookie dough.
Mine didn't come out as nicely uniform as the ones from Barefeet in the Kitchen and they were more domed in the center. If you want them to be of more uniform shape and thickness, I suggest making even-sized dough balls (a cookie scoop helps) and flattening them into thick discs before freezing them. I kept them as dough balls so when I baked them from frozen dough, they spread at the edges but stayed round in the middle. They were still pretty tasty regardless of what they looked like. But you can go the disc route if looks matter as much as taste. The cookie itself wasn't too lemony; the tart lemon-ness comes from the glaze. I liked the pairing because the glaze kept the cookie from being too sweet and the cookie kept the glaze from being too tart. If you want a thicker glaze, more like a frosting, you have to cut back on the lemon juice. But if you don't want to sacrifice lemon flavor in the glaze, add lemon zest. Since I wanted to put the cookies in cellophane bags, I had to have a glaze that set so I used a little more powdered sugar so the glaze wouldn't be too runny. It worked pretty well and I was able to put all 4 kinds of cookies in each goodie bag without making a mess.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
4-5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingers until fragrant.
  3. Cream the butter and lemon-sugar mixture together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Slow add in flour mixture on low speed until combined.
  4. Form into golf-ball size dough balls and chill until firm, several hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  6. Space cookie dough balls evenly on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are just set and barely golden brown around the edges. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
  7. Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Dip each cookie top into the lemon glaze. Let icing set.

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