Saturday, April 9, 2016

Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies

Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies - made dough March 6, 2016, adapted from Averie Cooks
It’s extremely rare – as in has never happened before – that I tell you I tried a recipe from Averie Cooks and….I didn’t like it. I typically love, not just like, but love most of her recipes. There have been a handful where mine haven’t turned out as well as hers looked but most of them have been amazing. Unfortunately, not this time and I blame it all on lemon extract.

I actually liked everything else about this recipe: it was easy to make, the dough was great, the cookies didn’t spread and remained chubby (you know I like the chubby) and the texture was perfectly soft and chewy as the title advertises. I also added lemon chips for a little extra lemon flavor. But I hated the taste of the lemon extract. Seriously. Just hated it. I don’t like most extracts anyway, with the notable exception of vanilla extract which I love. Any other extract just has too much of a metallic tang. Almond extract is a no-go. Much as I love coconut, I hate coconut extract. I’ve used lemon extract before and been fine but this is the first time I’ve used it in such a relatively large quantity and it ruined the cookie for me.

When I say ruined, I mean, I threw the taste test cookie away after eating half of it. That’s right – tossed it. I thought later maybe I was being a mite too persnickety (like I haven’t been accused of that before) so I baked off the rest of the cookies, intending to give them away along with a couple of other kinds of cookies I’d made for a lunch. Then I tried the cookie again. This time I got through 2/3 of the cookie then I couldn’t do it. I tried but I just couldn’t. I can’t give away something I can’t even finish myself. That’s not how I roll.

I do want to try making these cookies again though since I liked everything else about it but next time I’m either going to leave the lemon extract out completely or just it down to a max of a teaspoon, maybe half a teaspoon. I’m fine if they’re not super lemony if it means I can get rid of that metallic lemon taste.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon extract (beware this is a lot of extract and what I didn't like about it - try cutting to 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 tablespoon honey
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup lemon chips, optional
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, sugars, egg and lemon extract and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, light, fluffy and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add lemon zest and honey and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Add lemon juice. Beat until just combined.
  4. Using a large cookie scoop, portion into golf-ball-size dough balls, cover and chill or freeze for several hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly space frozen dough balls on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges have setand middles no longer look raw. Do not overbake. Cool completely before serving.

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