Lemon Sugar Cookies

I get the urge to bake about as much as I get the urge to cook. I found this little recipe in a Food Network Kitchens cookbook and thought it would be fast and easy. Well, it is, sort of, but it does require a little time and some extra steps I wasn't expecting and I am still not quite sure I understand.

These came out a little weird looking. Tasting great! But weird shaped. I guess all of my new attempts at things don't come out quite what I had envisioned. Perhaps you'll see why when you read through..

Like most cookies, creaming butter and sugar, but we'll get to that in a minute. First, there's a little additional prep. Start by zesting lemons until you get 3T. I only had 1 lemon and got about 1T, so substituted equal parts lemon juice (2T) for the rest without really knowing what I was going to use it for. It worked out in the end, but I'd use the zest if you can.

The next step is to mix half the sugar with 2T of lemon zest. Oops. The juice with the sugar worked in the end. I think the zest would have been more interesting though and perhaps hurt my sensitive teeth a little less.

We're getting to the butter and sugar, but first let's sift our salt and flour together so it's ready when we need it.

One more step, I promise. We've got to separate out some eggs. We need 2 yolks and 1 white (you can use both whites if you want, we're just going to use it to brush on the cookies later). For those of you who don't know how to do this, here's a quick video on how to use the shells the separate the yolks from the whites. No, that's not me in the video - lol.

Now we're making cookie dough. Butter and sugar creaming time. Add 2T of powdered sugar into this too.

Add the yolks, vanilla extract, and the remaining 1T of lemon zest.

Beat in the flour mixture a little at a time...

The next step is where it gets different..

I needed to roll the dough out into 1 1/2 inch logs. This was very tricky because the dough is to moist and sticky making it difficult to work with. Luckily, I have a practiced hand with biscotti, so I used the same method using parchment paper with a little cooking spray to shape these.

They came out kind of terrible, but I didn't want to mess with it or overwork the dough.

Cover your dough logs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When the logs come out, they've firmed up. Brush them with the egg white (on all sides) and then roll them with the sugar/zest mixture. Or in my case, I brushed on the egg white and then brushed on my sugar/lemon juice mixture.

Cut them into 1 inch pieces...
So, here's where the directions confuse me. Look at the shape of these things. Not a nice round cookie is it? Nor will it be. It also says to cut 1 inch pieces to get 24 cookies. If I cut 1 inch pieces I would have had like 60 cookies. I think what I'd like to try next time is rolling all of the dough into a single log, refrigerate, and then slice discs off of the log to lay the flat on the pan for about 18 nice round, flat cookies.

These look like a bit-o-honey or those crappy peanut butter taffy things that come in orange and black wrappers that you hated getting in your Halloween candy.

Freeze these for 10 minutes before chucking them in the oven...

I had to bake these a little extra I think because of the thickness and they came out a little cakey, like a pecan sandy if you like those.

Around the edges the egg white and sugar crystallized giving a little sweet, lemony boost to the overall flavor. They must have been pretty good because the whole batch was gone in a couple of days.

So, a fun little recipe to play with, and I always like lemon when the weather starts getting warmer. This is a great recipe for someone who is ready to take some more intermediate steps to baking a recipe than just making traditional sugar cookies. I'll make these again and they'll turn out even better. :)

Lemon Sugar Cookies
 1 C sugar
3 T finely grated lemon zest
2 C AP Flour
1/4 tsp salt
1C (2 sticks) butter, softened
2T powdered (confectioner's) sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1. Process 1/2 C of the sugar with 2T lemon zest in a food processor. Whisk the flour with the salt in a medium bowl.

2. Beat butter with other 1/2 C sugar until fluffy. Beat in yolks, vanilla, and 1T lemon zest. Slowly beat in flour. Roll by hand into several 1 inch wide logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Brush a log of dough with some of the egg white then lay it in the lemon sugar. Life sides of paper and roll the dough back in forth to coat it with the sugar. Repeat with other logs. Cut logs into 1 inch cookies and lay them on the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 10 minutes.

4. Bake until edges are golden and edges are set, about 25 min.

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