Happy Holidays, everyone! It’s been a crazy month or two over here, and I apologize for my absence. Sometimes you just need to take a step back from everything and focus on the important things. Now that we’ve ridden one wave of crises after another, things are (knock on wood) starting to slow down for us and we can finally focus on projects again. I’ll write more about everything that’s been going on with us later; this post has one purpose and that is cookies!
The GREAT FOOD BLOGGER COOKIE SWAP brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious. The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of scrumptious cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself (or, you know, share. If you want. No judgement either way.) Post your cookie recipe on your blog. See everyone else’s cookie recipes. Salivate. Get lots of great ideas for next year’s cookie swap. Rinse and repeat.
This year we are again excited to be partnering with COOKIES FOR KIDS’ CANCER, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. By participating in this cookie swap you are not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause. - The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap
If you are a food blogger and you’re interested in participating next year, you can sign up here for future notifications. Now that you know what it is (and what #fbcookieswap means), let’s talk about the cookies I sent out. I was inspired by my December 2013 issue of Bon Appétit, which featured painted sugar cookies with royal icing. They used a plain sugar cookie, royal icing, and luster/pearl dust to make those beauties. If you didn’t click the link to the article, you should.
Now, sugar cookies are fine and good if you’re looking for a basic cookie, and I’m sure Bon Appétit’s recipe is wonderful, but that’s just not what I wanted. I wanted something brighter, something tart, something zest. I decided to make a lemon sugar cookie to go with the sugary royal icing, thinking it would make a winning combination. (It did.) Just top with royal icing and then follow these instructions to create your luster dust paint.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
(adapted from this recipe at Bon Appétit, December 2013)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- the zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 325°. Whisk salt, baking powder, and 3 cups flour in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until well combined (butter does not need to be fluffy), about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla paste; beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix just to combine. Form dough into two ¾”-thick disks; wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours.
Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper until about ¼” thick, dusting with flour as needed (if dough gets soft or sticky, chill on parchment until firm). Cut out shapes with cookie cutters; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12–16 minutes, depending on size. Transfer to wire racks and let cool. Repeat with scraps and remaining dough.
Decorate cooled cookies as desired.