Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lemon Refrigerator Cookies

Lemon Refrigerator Cookies

I took lots of pics of these with my phone.

Yesterday I was experimenting again with my Colorful Sugar Cookie recipe, trying to get a cute new design. As I was working, I got the idea to make them into lemon sugar cookies by adding some lemon zest and lemon extract. I think part of this is due to the fact that the Iowa State Fair is coming up in a few weeks, and I'm toying with the idea of breaking my two-year boycott and entering the fray again. So I'm in that mode, trying to figure out how I can win. I don't know if these will win any ribbons--the whole judging thing is pretty subjective--but I know that I really like these. I'm going to have to freeze the remaining dough or I just might eat them all. 
These cookies are buttery, lemony, and just sweet enough. Simple and straightforward carbs. Yum. I may try making sandwich cookies out of them tomorrow, but for now, I really like them just the way they are. 
If you don't care about creating a cute design in these cookies, you don't have to go through the trouble of coloring and shaping the dough. I mean, I would still shape them into logs or something, refrigerate, and slice, but it's kind of a hassle to color and shape. I mostly do it for the challenge and for pics for my blog here.

Lemon Refrigerator Cookies

     *Note: If you don't want to color the dough and try to make a design, just shape the mixed dough into one or two logs, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate for at least one hour before baking.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Yellow gel food color
  • Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest.
  • Add vanilla, lemon extract, and egg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture.  Mix completely, but take care not to over mix.
  • Divide dough in half. In a separate bowl, add about 1/2 teaspoon yellow gel food color and mix until it's a bright yellow. You may need to add more to get a bright enough color.
  • Divide the uncolored dough in half, place one half between two sheets of parchment, and try to roll into an approximate 12x8 inch rectangle. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Do the same with the other half of dough. Then place dough sheets on baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill.
  • Divide yellow dough in half, and roll one half into a rectangle between two sheets of parchment, just like you did with the two pieces of uncolored dough. Place on top of the other dough sheets in the refrigerator.
  • Divide the remaining yellow dough into sixths and roll each into a log about 5-6 inches long. Place on parchment or wax paper and refrigerate with the rest of the dough for about 30 minutes. 
  • After 30 minutes, roll each of the six yellow logs out into a 12 inch rope. Refrigerate.
  • Take one of the sheets of uncolored dough and cut lengthwise into six roughly equal strips. Place one yellow rope into the center of each uncolored strip and wrap uncolored dough around the yellow as far as you can, but it probably won't wrap all the way surrounding the yellow. That's okay.
  • Refrigerate those wrapped ropes for about 20-30 minutes.
  • Place the remaining uncolored sheet of dough on top of the yellow dough sheet. Then arrange the 6 ropes into a larger log with the uncolored dough in the center--exposed yellow dough to the outside. 
  • Gently tighten up the contact among the ropes to create one log. 
  • Then roll up the bi-colored log within the two layers of dough beneath. Gently squeeze and smooth the resulting log. I use the parchment paper as a barrier between my hands and the dough, but I need to adjust the paper here and there. As you gently squeeze the log, also try to roll and pull it to make it almost as long as the parchment. Try to make is a smooth log. Wrap up the parchment and wrap again with plastic wrap or place in a covered container that will hold it (I have a half sheet pan with a plastic lid for this).
  • Refrigerate log for about an hour before trying to slice and bake.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • When ready to bake, slice dough into 1/4 inch thick circles.* Place dough circles on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between each cookie, and bake at 325°F for approximately 13-15 minutes, or until edges are browned.
  • Remove to wire rack to cool.  Then store in an airtight container.  These cookies remain good for about a week.  They're one of the few cookies I don't have to eat within one or two days.
Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies

*For smaller cookies, cut each slice into fourths and bake for 9-12 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because I was happy with the look of the cookies,
I decided to cut them smaller to increase the
randomness of the design.

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