It's a funny saying. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or as my Facebook friends suggested, lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, lemon drop martinis and lemonade and vodka! I had an enormous load of lemons dropped into my perfect little life. In the big picture, the real world, the life and death of daily life, is it all that bad? Well, not now. I have had all my emotions and am moving on. And I made lemon cookies.
I had to bake for inventory, everyone brings something to eat. So of course I brought some sugar cookies and decided to get rid of some of the lemons. First the sugar cookies. I used my regular cookie recipe which bakes up pretty hard. Then I tried a different icing. It's called Meringue Powder Buttercream and I found it on Karen's Cookies. After watching her videos on decorating cookies, I decided I needed to try her go-to icing. It tastes very creamy, and the color saturation was much better than with regular royal icing, perhaps because there is fat in it? No idea. It never gets rock hard like royal icing, and it also kept the cookies rather soft. It won't work for my baking, stacking, mailing, but for a plate of sugar cookies, why not?
Now to those dang lemons. I really wanted a cookie that I could bake up in little cookies because I knew there'd be lots of stuff to eat at inventory. Consulting my favorite book, Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax, I found John Thorne's Lemon Icebox Crumbles. They were ridiculously easy to make, and have an amazing lemon punch to them. But I didn't get that crumbly flaky cookie texture. Did I over mix? Add too much lemon juice? Not sure, but this is a keeper for me. I am going to try a few tricks with it. Next time I will make them in the food processor, which does a quick job of this type of cookie. I added the red sugar so they would look good with my red, orange and pink Valentine cookies.
Lemon Icebox Crumbles
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
grated zest from 2 lemons
¾ cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
Lemon juice or cold water, if needed
Combine butter, flour and lemon zest with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Add sugar and egg yolks. With floured fingers, work the mixture into a smooth dough. Add juice or water for dough to adhere better if needed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350° and on Silpat lined cookie sheets, roll 1 inch balls and flatten slightly with a fork. Bake about 12-15 minutes until pale and gold. Cool completely.
So, moving on. Some new things to adjust to. Everything happens for a reason, strength through adversity, God has plan, I have heard them all. They are easier said than believed, but sometimes you have no choice but to have a little faith. Here goes.