Adding Lemon Shortbread Cookies to some of my favorite holiday cookie recipes.
My, my...it's been a while. As I start to write this article, Adele's song "Hello" keeps running through my head. "Hello from the other side!" That's the way I feel. The past few years have been busy and I have put my food blog on the back burner. Jeff and I have been cooking up a storm, but we haven't been documenting what we have been doing. I "instagram" it, I "facebook" it, but it never gets to the blog.
I decided that I am going to make 2016 my turnaround year. Why? Well, I started Friends Food Family 6 years ago. I did it to keep track of all my recipes and also teach small businesses how to create better SEO (search engine optimization) through blogging. It was part of my job with the MA Small Business Development Center. Today, I want to continue because Jeff and I are doing so many exciting things with cooking and baking and gardening and canning and the list goes on and on. I want you to be part of our process.
I thought I would start the New Year with a cookie I made at Christmas. I wanted to find some new cookies to add to my traditional 12 Cookies of Christmas. Over the past 5 years, I have always written about new cookies I was trying during the Christmas season. What I realized was my family and friends really like the original group of cookies I have been making for over 30 years, with a few new ones sprinkled in. There is nothing festive about them, they are just "really good cookies" and sometimes, it's these cookies they are looking to consume. I will give you all the links to our favorites and the one thing I can guarantee...there won't be any left over. And, just because the holidays are over, it doesn't mean you can't make them during the year!
- Andria's Chocolate Chip Cookies - This is a staple. Now matter how many different cookie recipes I try, this is the response from my kids, "Mom, these new cookies are great, but I really LOVE your regular chocolate chip cookies." Can't get anything better than that. Also, they are the cookies I bring to most events and people can't get enough of them.
- Nannie's Oatmeal Cookies - A good old-fashioned oatmeal cookie made with brown sugar, lots of oatmeal, some Wheaties (yes, the cereal Wheaties), chocolate chips and raisins. My parents love these cookies, probably because my mother's mother (Alice) made them all the time.
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies - I call these my "guys cookies". Men tend to eat them faster than women and the minute I say "white chocolate macadamia nut" everyone jumps to grab one, or three, before they are gone.
- Dipped Ginger Snaps - These are fairly new (4-5 years) but have become a delicious favorite. I dip these crunchy ginger snaps in a vanilla bark which adds a twist to a traditional holiday cookie.
- Mocha Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies - I started making them a few years ago and a number of people requested them at Christmas. They are an interesting cookie that is rolled in sugar. They have a combination of espresso, cinnamon and bittersweet chocolate. Perfect with coffee or hot chocolate.
- Peanut Butter Blossoms - Delicious peanut butter cookies with a Hershey Kiss on the top. Enough said.
- Danielle B's Special Thumbprints - This is a chocolate chip shortbread cookie that has a Hershey Kiss on top. You may not recognize it as a kiss because we push it down as it melts.
- Jelly Thumbprints - An old recipe from my 8th grade home economics class. Made with a brown sugar base, this recipe has made people smile for 30+ years.
- Cranberry Almond Biscotti - One of the first biscotti recipes I ever made. People love these. They are crispy and chewy, a perfect combination.
- Angie's Ricotta Cookies - This cake-like cookie is made with ricotta cheese and covered with a lemony icing and colorful nonpareils. A festive cookie for the holidays.
- 7 Layer Bars - Butter, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, condensed milk and walnuts. They are very sweet but when you cut them into bite-sized squares they are just enough...to disappear.
- Chocolate and Vanilla Dipped Pizzelles - I didn't get to make them this year, but I am making them next week for a party. Always a wonderful treat at the holidays.
So, back to my Lemon Shortbread Cookies. The reason I chose these cookies was because I was trying to think back on some great cookies I had eaten through 2015. All I could remember was these amazing lemon shortbread squares my cousin, Andria, made for a graduation party we attended. They were delicious. They were soft and melted in your mouth. I had a tough time finding a recipe similar to it when I came across these Lemon Shortbread Cookies from Ann Drake at On Sutton Place. They looked easy with 7 simple ingredients and sometimes simple is better. The recipe came together quickly and I could roll the dough immediately. The cookies were light and buttery with a sweet lemon icing. They were not my cousin's cookies, but they were delicious just the same.
As I added these new cookies to the Christmas cookie platters, people really enjoyed them. At one point, I was hiding a large portion of them because Jeff, along with a few others wanted their own private batch. It always make me happy when I have fans of certain cookies. It guarantees that the recipe will make it to the blog!
Ta-DA! Here it is!
There are some great recipes coming in the next few weeks. After counting all the recipe books we own, we decided to start cooking a number of recipes each week from one cookbook. With almost 200 cookbooks, we have quite a few recipes to make!
Looking forward to an AMAZING 2016. Enjoy!
Lemon Shortbread Cookies from On Sutton Way
- 1 cup of butter, softened
- 1 cup of confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of freshly grated lemon peel
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 -2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 cups of confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon peel with a hand mixer on medium speed. Beat for 2 minutes until light and creamy.
- Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until the mixture becomes grainy.
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the mixture should begin to come together. Add the second tablespoon if the mixture is still dry. (I ended up using 2 tablespoons.)
- Place the dough on a floured surface and knead into a ball.
- Cut the dough in half and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness. If hey get sticky, add a bit of flour. Use a cookie cutter to create designs. I used a 2-1/2 inch circle.
- Place on a cookie sheet and cook for 6 - 8 minutes. The cookies will look dry but try not to brown them. They do not get any larger than the shape you cut.
- Roll out second half of the dough and repeat.
- Let the cookies cool on racks.
- Using a small bowl, mix together the lemon icing.
- Ice the cookies with a spoon. You can drizzle the icing or dip the cookies.
- Once the icing has dried, they can be served or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
This recipe makes (about) 4 dozen cookies.