Friday, April 15, 2011

Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies

Easter is right around the corner, but I am opting out of the traditional colored eggs and chocolate candy. That food sounds too heavy for a hot day. Instead, I will be munching on these lemony morsels while drinking some fresh lemonade.

These cookies are a great choice for any barbecue or any family get together. They are easy to transport and easily served.  The zest of the lemon is prevalent in the cookie as well as the cream, but it is not tart like a lemon cooler cookie. This recipe makes about 24 cookies and the dough has to rest in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight prior to baking.

Lemon Cream Sandwich Cookies
courtesy of Bon Appetit/Jan 2009

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup or 2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbs grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs lemon peel
2 cups powdered sugar

To make the cookies, put the lemon zest and lemon juice in a sauce pan and boil for four minutes or until only 2 tablespoons remain.  Remove from heat and pour liquid into heatproof bowl to cool.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together salt, baking soda and flour.  This bowl will also be set aside.

Place butter in a large bowl and cream with an electric mixer until fluffy and smooth.  Continue to beat and add sugar, blending all ingredients together. Then,one by one, beat each egg and yolk into the batter until completely blended.  Each addition should take about 30 seconds.  Add the boiled lemon mixture to the batter and beat again for another 30 seconds.

Form the dough by adding all the sifted ingredients into the batter and mix with a wooden spoon.  Once no dry streaks remain, cover and place dough in fridge.  Dough will need to chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

After the chilling stage, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Prepare a smooth surface for the dough by sprinkling with flour.  Also, lightly dust your rolling pin with flour and take out a 2 inch biscuit or cookie cutter.  Then preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Remove bowl of dough from fridge and split dough in half. Place one piece on the floured surface and return the other to the fridge. Roll dough out to about a 3/8 inch thickness.  Using your cutter, cut out cookies and place on cookie sheet.  12 cookies fit on a standard size sheet.

Put cookies in oven and bake for about 12 minutes.  They are done when the edges are toasted.  Remove pan and let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.  Repeat the forming and baking process for the remaining piece of dough.

Once all the cookies are baked, team them up for the sandwiches.  Even though you used a cookie cutter, they all will come out a little different. The tops and bottoms should be closely matched in size.

To make the filling, mash together the lemon zest with the salt until a paste is formed. Put paste in a medium size bowl and add butter.  Using an electric mixer, beat the three ingredients together until it reaches a creamy consistency.  Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and beat for 1 minute.  Continue to add the sugar in 1/2 cup intervals, beating after each addition.

Place 2 teaspoons of the filling on the flat side of each bottom cookie chosen for the sandwiches.  Once all the filling is distributed evenly on the bottom cookies, place the other matching cookie on top, flat side down.  Evenly press the cookie pieces together to form each sandwich.