City Desk

Half-Baked

An occasional series whereby Jule admits she is neither Julia, nor Joy.

This time, I bring you Lemon Sugar Cookie Poofs. Why "poofs"? Well, they didn't spread like I expected them to; they just kind of poofed. I baked them last night and brought them to a friend whose house is grieving a horrible loss. My go-to funeral food is actually a giant pan of potatoes au gratin, but my friend, she likes lemony things and is a baker, so I tried these out and brought them warm. Here's one thing I know: Cookies can't make everything better, just some things, but they can at least let your friends know you care.

Recipe and more after the jump.

Lemon Sugar Cookie Poofs

1 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract (if you have it, if not no worries)
zest of one lemon, or two if you REALLY love lemon
juice of one lemon
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 1/2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
turbinado sugar for sprinking along with dried lemon peel (if you have it)

Preheat, 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar and take your time with it. Use a hand-mixer! It's good for your forearms! Add the egg and yolk, vanilla, almond extract (if using), and lemon juice and mix some more. Sift your flour, salt, and baking soda and add dry ingredients in three batches to the butter mixture, mixing by hand with a spatula or spoon (see forearms comment above).

Drop a normal amount of cookie batter (these are not made to be huge) on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten a touch with your finger or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (the brown, natural-type crystals are worth buying and fabulous on top of all sorts of baked goods) and dried lemon peel, if using (I was gifted some from Penzey's, the super fabulous spice store, but don't worry if you don't have it). Bake until they smell nice and are not too brown on the bottom (original recipe says 10 to 12 minutes. I say it's more like 6 to 8. Depends on your oven, but don't overbake because they'll be hard and dry. The original recipe also left out baking soda, which I do not recommend).

Let me know if you try these. Also, I'm taking suggestions for fun cookies and other baked goods you'd like to see in this feature.

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  • Anna Shoup-Shooter

    Jule these cookies were almost gone by the time you two left. Here's a public thank you for thinking of us and remembering that I love all things lemon. The overwhelming kindness of our friends has helped us so much.

    Alice was a beginning but enthusiastic baker and she would have loved them too. Now we have the recipe :) I'll add it to the cookbook we're making with all her favorites.

  • Anna Shoup-Shooter

    I did _not_ put that emoticon in there, btw. That was a colon + end parentheses. I work for a profesh Web site, please don't tell my boss.

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