When life quarantines you with lemons, you make glazed lemon cookies right?

Disclaimer: I love anything lemon. The smell, the look, the flavor, all of it. But….. there is a distinct difference in the real lemon zest, just squeezed juice and the fake crap you buy in a bottle. Don’t be fooled, nothing is as good (or even comes close) to actual lemon and lemon juice. Don’t sabotage yourself or your food by falling for the lie, it is all crap…..

These lemon cookies are not too sweet and not too lemony, I think they are pretty close to perfection just as they are. I know I am always preaching “make it your own” but I don’t know many variations that would improve upon this particular cookie and, if you find some, please do let me know! HEre is what you will need:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  •  Zest of 3 large lemons (see note)
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (if you do not have powdered sugar, just put regular sugar in a food processor and grind the crap out of it)

[Note: be very careful when zesting the lemon. There is an under layer on the lemon that is called the “pith” and it is very bitter, this is the white layer you see when you begin to zest. One quick pass with the micro plane or zester will do the trick, don’t go over the same spot twice. Zest 2 for the first part of the recipe (the batter) and save one to zest for the glaze]

Place butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, lemon juice and zest of two lemons in a bowl; cream together until light and fluffy. Dump the remaining ingredients in the bowl (Except for the remaining zest and powdered sugar) and mix until just blended. Remember you never want to over beat your cookie batter, it is a gluten thing that makes them tough. This is a very tender cookie which is part of its charm….

Place one cup of powdered sugar in a bowl or rimmed plate. Using a small cookie scoop (or a larger kitchen spoon, not the big plastic ones but the larger of the two spoons you have with which to eat), scoop out enough dough to fill the scoop/spoon with a little “mound” on the top. Roll the dough into a nice ball and drop in the powdered sugar. I grab the ball again and roll it around in my hand so the sugar coats the whole cookie. Don’t use two hands and roll together, just kind of roll it around with the one hand, the sugar will then just coat the whole cookie.

Place on a cookie sheet with parchment (or Reynolds non-stick aluminum foil) and bake at 350 for ~10 minutes; don’t forget to wait for 10 minutes after your oven indicates it is preheated to start baking (this is a good tip for anything you put in the oven).

Make a glaze while the cookies are baking.  Put one cup of powdered sugar in a bowl with the zest and enough lemon juice to make a glaze, this is a heard thing to measure the amount in which you will need but just add a little, stir, add a little more until it feels like the right consistence. You do not want it to be too loose nor too thick, I brush it on if that helps determine the consistency you are looking for. 

Let the cookies cool for maybe 15 minutes and brush with the glaze, it will need to “dry” for maybe 5 minutes. Test one cookie with the glaze to adjust the consistency as you see fit. Oh and, also, I often have either too much or too little glaze, it is a mystery to me how to know exactly how much to use so plan on making more or throwing out some; I am, after all, not an expert.  

Enjoy, I hope they are as good to you as they were to me!

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Sweet Treat for you to Eats and Some things you need to know….

So, these cookies are the flat and crispy on the outside kind so don’t expect the dense cake like cookie here; these are the male-y crispy sweet goodness kind of cookies.

First things first, you must start with room temperature everything. Take your butter* and eggs from the fridge at least an hour before you begin to cook.

Pro Tip: If you are short on time, you can unwrap the butter and place it on a plate with a glass bowl on top which speeds up the softening process.

When creating the dough for any cookie it is vital to follow the order indicated which usually indicates mixing the dry in a separate bowl and combining with the wet after that is combined. There is generally a reason for this however explaining the science of that is boring so I will skip right past that. Here are a few things to consider when making any cookie:

  • If the recipe doesn’t indicate specifically the type of flour, look for baking powder or baking soda. If the recipe lists that as an ingredient, use All Purpose Flour (AP) and if it doesn’t, look for another recipe because nothing good comes out of self-rising flour.
  • If the recipe calls for “extra large” eggs, I always beat one extra egg and add half. If the recipe is a detailed to indicate the size eggs to use, don’t alter anything until you try it first, this is a seriously thought out process so don’t discount that value.
  • You don’t ever need to add the eggs “one at a time”, just make sure you beat them really well. Generally you are adding the eggs to other wet ingredients so you can’t hurt the batter; if it tells you to add the eggs to dry ingredients for a cookie, move on and don’t make those bricks.
  • Vanilla is a beautiful addition to any baked good, feel free to be liberal when adding this but never add less. Never.
  • Baking power and baking soda are NOT the same thing. Please don’t ever make that mistake
  • Never use salted butter (in anything except that beautiful gold brick of goodness Calle Kerrygold to slater on toast). You want to control the amount of salt in all dishes.
  • Take that round paper can of Morton Salt and use it to put out fires only, use the box of Morton Kosher Salt when including in recipes. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes are simply perfection when sprinkling on cookies or fudge.
  • It is always a good idea to chill dough before you bake cookies, peanut butter, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies benefit the most from this.
  • You cannot turn a simple sugar cookie recipe into a “cut out cookie” recipe, it will not hold up.
  • You can add nuts, candies, toffee, oats, etc. to any cookie recipe, just don’t overdo it. Always remember to toast your nuts please, you will thank me later.
  • Invest in either vanilla beans or Madagascar vanilla, it makes all of the difference. If you are going to use that “imitation vanilla extract” crap, just buy chips ahoy. The beans aren’t necessary and maybe not worth the effort unless you are making ice cream so go with the Madagascar variety, you can get a giant bottle at Costco.
  • You can make the “balls” and freeze them then bake one (or 5) at a time. Just put them on a pan in the freezer so they don’t touch until they are frozen solid then move to a more space friendly container. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes depending on your oven. Just watch them for doneness and make note for future baking.

Here is what you will need:

2 cups flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 – 1 tbsp kosher salt

Dash of cinnamon

2 sticks of butter (softened)

1 1/4 cup brown sugar (I like dark)

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate (I like to purchase a chunk and put in chunks and shavings but chips work nicely also). For the love of all things good, please do not use Milk Chocolate. Please….

Mix together the dry ingredients, you can use a whisk, sifter or fork; just make sure it is combined. Okay, if I am being honest, you can add them all in the same bowl as the wet without combining first but it is a good practice to mix them separately.

Note: I have a stand mixer but I always use my hand mixer for this because you can mix gather dough too much (quite easily actually) which results in a funky texture. Just use your hand mixer or a wooden spoon, nothing fancy needed here.

Cream the butter and sugars together until they look a little “fluffy” (read: it is creamy without any noticeable lumps of butter) then add the eggs And vanilla making sure you beat them well as no cookie every survived that gross stringy egg white that didn’t get incorporated enough.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat until halfway incorporated then toss in the chocolate (and nuts or candies or anything you wish to add here), continue to mix until just combined. Chill for a couple of hours (one hour minimum but overnight is great).

One thing I recommend you invest in here is a cookie scoop, it really helps make sure all cookies are the same size (it is not about aesthetics, it is about cooking time). Scoop out the cookies on a large lined baking sheet (I highly recommend the Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Foil for this) making sure there is room for them to “spread” without touching and bake in a 325 degree oven for ~15 minutes. I always bake on the second lowest rack to take advantage of the slightly higher heat which appears to assist with the crispy-ness.

Ovens are different so the time is specific to your oven specifically. They should look a little underdone when you pull them out, watch them closely.

I suggest, also, sprinkling with a touch of the Maldon Sea Salt before baking. Give it that extra something special. Enjoy!!!

As an extra bonus for you, here are some of the things I like to add to cookies, add one, add all. You can omit the chocolate and add anything else, they are your cookies so make it your Fro-Yo:

  • Bacon (um, a million times yes!)
  • Plain M&Ms
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Nuts, any (toasted please)
  • Oats (toasted please)
  • Banana Chips
  • Toffee
  • Caramel Bits
  • Coconut
  • Raisins
  • Whatever you have in your pantry, just. Make sure the moisture content is very (very) low.