Monday, April 28, 2008

Glazed Lavish Lemon Cookies

Did I mention in my last post that I bought a lot of lemons this weekend? After making lemon muffins with lemon glaze, and now lemon cookies with lemon glaze, I still have four lemons hanging around, so there will likely be another lemon recipe later this week. But hey, you know what? It's Spring (Maryland has the rain to prove it) and lemons are very Spring-y.

I considered making a glazed lemon cookie recipe that I found on another blog that came from Cooks Illustrated, but in the end I went with these cookies from the "Big Boys" section of my Carole Walter Cookies book. I didn't really stop to consider what section of the book I pulled the recipe from, or the portion of the dough as I was making them, so I was a bit surprised to see the size of the cookies when I pulled them from the oven: these cookies are huge. Giant. Monsters.

They bake up big and round and flat and chewy with a nice, prominent, yet sweet, lemon flavor, mmmm... I am a fan of these cookies. I actually thought they would bake up a bit poofier since there is cake flour in the recipe, and I was a bit worried about the texture (I don't like crispy cookies) -- but the texture was perfect.

I made my own glaze recipe as usual, but that's really the only thing I changed. If I make them again I might consider making smaller cookies, because these are almost to the point of ridiculous, but if you like the idea of impressing people with giant cookies -- this is definitely a recipe to consider.

Adapted from Carole Walter's Great Cookies
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 cup strained cake flour, spooned in and leveled
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Glaze (my recipe -- I just barely had enough to glaze a dozen cookies so you may want to double this.)
3 tbsps melted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 tsps lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Strain the all-purpose flour, cake flour, the cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together 3 times (okay, I used the Alton Brown method of dumping it all in the food processor and pulsing it for a while...) Set aside.

Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the butter with the lemon zest on medium low speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream, mixing again for 1 to 2 minutes. Blend in the egg yolks, mix for 45 to 60 seconds, then pour in the lemon juice and the vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.

Working with one half of the dough at a time, place it on a floured surface. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a disk, coating it with a light dusting of flour. Using a dough scraper or a sharp knife, divide the dough into eight pie-shaped wedges. Flour your hands again and shape each wedge into a ball. (Note: this is soft dough and should not be overworked.) Place the balls on cookie sheets 3 inches apart (6 balls per sheet) and using the heel of your hand, gently flatten into 3 to 3 1/2 inch disks. Repeat with the remaining dough to form eight more disks.

Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes (book says 18 t 20 -- mine came out at 15) or until the edges are golden brown. To ensure even browning, rotate the sheets halfway through. Remove the cookies from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then carefully loosen with a large spatula. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks set over wax paper.

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a bowl, then add the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Stir until smooth. Glaze the cookies while they are still warm.


Anonymous said...

I have never heard "strain the flour" before.

biscuitpusher said...

you know, now that I think of it, I didn't really stop to consider what she meant by "strain" the flour. I just assumed (and I could be wrong) that she meant sift...

Madam Chow said...

I have all of Carole Walter's cookbooks, and they're fantastic. I'll bookmark this cookie recipe!

LyB said...

Wow, those are some huge cookies! They look delicious, but I love, love lemon so I might be biased. :)