Thursday, 16 March 2017
Here in Ontario it's March Break. Unlike many of our friends we are not going to tropical locales or heading to the slopes to swoosh down the hill eagerly awaiting a hot bevvie at the bottom. Instead we're doing a 'hang out at home for a week' kind of vacation. And by 'vacation' I mean that while my kids don't have school, four of the five of us are working throughout the week. Yaaaaay-no. Vacation it is not.
But we do get more family time in between the working. To spend time with my 13-year-old daughter (and to make something yummy) she and I made some cookies. I don't have a sweet tooth but my daughter more than makes up for it. She is usually eager to create a treat in the kitchen but with two teenager brothers who are constantly ravenous for anything edible (think of bears after hibernation 24/7) my daughter becomes rather, shall we say, overprotective and quite vigilant that her culinary creations be enjoyed and not inhaled. I try to explain that her brothers are just showing her how good her baking is but she is not swayed by this argument and doles out her precious treats in a more reasonable fashion (ie. without the feeding frenzy feel).
I get it, I do. You spend time making these treats only to have your siblings come, not unlike a swarm of locusts, leaving mere crumbs in their wake. That's not cool. The boys give her praise for her baking but their constant 'just one more' mentality ensures that she becomes like Gollum with his ring, ready to protect her 'preciouses' at all cost.
And she has reason to be protective because she has the Baking Gene!! The other day we made Frosted Lemon Cookies and they were delicious. Made with fresh lemon zest these cookies are reminiscent of short bread cookies with a hint of lemon. The flavour oomph comes from the lemony frosting on top. Deeelish! Needless to say, these cookies lasted just over a day in our house. 36 cookies, gone in a flash. That's the sign of a good baker ... and teenage boys.
: 3 dozen
2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
4-5 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In another small bowl, combine white sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, mix it together. The fragrant oils from the lemon zest will be quickly absorbed into the sugar until it resembles more the clumpy consistency of brown sugar.
In your stand mixer (or by hand), combine room temperature butter with the lemon/sugar mixture. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture on low speed (or by hand) until blended. Using a melon baller or tablespoon, drop dough onto the prepared pans, leaving about 2-inches between the cookies. We rounded our balls of dough and then pressed them with the palms of our hands to slightly flatten them.
Tip: As you get towards the end of your dough it may become quite crumbly. Just hold it in your enclosed hand and allow the heat from your hands to soften the butter in the dough.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies get slightly golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and let cookies sit on the baking pan for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies from baking pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine sifted icing sugar and lemon juice. You want it to be runny enough to spread onto each cookie but not so runny that it'll run right off the cookie. I ended up using 5 tsp of lemon juice for our cookies.
Either dip your cookies or, like us, use the back of a small spoon and put a bit on the cookie and spread it towards the edges. It will smooth itself out quickly and the frosting will become more hard. Garnish with wee bits of lemon zest, if desired.
Inspired by: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/glazed-lemon-cookies/print/