These are a light, crispy and very lemony cookie that I tried for the first time last night from Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook. It's one of my favorite cookbooks. The first time I laid my hands on a copy and saw that it had a pictorial index by texture categories, I knew I had to have it. Some of the recipes are a tad fussy, as is customary with Martha recipes, but I have always gotten good results. This one has a definitely unique way of putting the batter together, and the batter turned out so light and soft I thought it'd be difficult to form them, but it really wasn't. I think they'd be absolutely perfect for a tea party, and if you really want to go all out, make the cookies smaller, whip up a batch of lemon curd or pastry cream, and turn them into delicate sandwich cookies. Divine! The original recipe adds poppy seeds, which I am not overly fond of, but I do think these would benefit from a contrasting flavor. Once my herbs wake back up from the dormancy of winter I intend to try some with finely minced rosemary or lavender
Tangy Lemon Cookies
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. coarse salt
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 large egg
2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 T. poppy seeds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degreees. Bring lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook until reduced by half. Add 1/2 cup (1 stick ) of butter and stir until melted, then remove from heat.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Put remaining 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup sugar into a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Add egg and reserved lemon butter and mix until pale, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla and 2 t. lemon zest, then reduce the speed to low and add in the flour mixture and poppy seeds if desired.
(At this point, I refrigerated the dough for a few minutes because I was busy with other things, and I think it made the dough a little easier to handle.) Stir together remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Scoop up dough into 1 1/4 balls and roll balls in lemon sugar mixture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and press each with the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar mixture until 1/4 inch thick.
Bake until just browned around the edges, 12-13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through the baking time. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Yield - about 3 dozen