All right, darlings. This post semi-surprised me, too. I knew I wanted recipes on here in some fashion, but I hadn’t quite made up my mind how. These lemon cookies, though… They demanded to be shared!
I’ve got some doozies lined up, but with the timing and the busy-ness and the short trip M and I took the Dallas over the weekend (Hockey! First In’N’Out! Puppies!) and the everything that was rushed this past week, those will just have to go in the queue.
(HA. Like I actually have a QUEUE. They will continue to ferment in the dark recesses of my scary brain palace.)
So. I LOVE cooking. I LOVE baking. I love it all. I would live in my kitchen if 1) the floor wasn’t uncomfortable and 2) if my pantry was painted correctly. Alas.
I honestly can’t remember when I started cooking. Early, maybe? I feel like it was early? I was nothing if not precocious so it was probably early. I like to think that I make good food, too. I’m biased, obviously, but I’m pretty sure I remember my mom offering me ridiculous bribes, if only I’d make her one of my quesadillas.
I think something special happens in the kitchen and around the table. It’s so soothing to put something together with your own hands, to gather your people around your table and feed them and enjoy the company. Other, smarter people have said this far better than I ever will, but suffice it to say that the bonds formed in the kitchen and over the table are remarkable.
I also love good cookbooks. I read cookbooks as if they are novels, perusing all pages in one sitting, reading through each recipe and learning the tricks of each author, tucking away that knowledge for later. Loooooong before Pinterest and iPhones, those wizards that have ways to get any recipe you could ever want, I would actually read cookbooks when I needed inspiration for potlucks or bake sales or theme parties.
When I moved to college, I no longer had access to my mother’s cookbook collection and I was devastated. In the dark ages, that long, blogless wasteland that is the 20th century, finding a recipe online was a gamble, a gamble a poor college kid* hated taking. Food is money, yo. Thanks, but no.
*I’m only slightly less poor now and this still REALLY bothers me.
One summer, the father of the family I worked for wanted me to take all of his late mother’s hand-written recipes and digitize them. IT WAS THE BEST THING. We preserved the beautiful, but fragile, handmade book for sentimentality, and I created files and a book full of recipes that could withstand the splatters and flour explosions of the kitchen.
“Shan,” I thought to myself, “do this with all the things. ALL OF THEM.”
So I DID.
Man, I’m awesome. I think the best thoughts.
That’s right, I made my own Pinterest, before Pinterest was out being all Pinteresty. While printing the recipes for my boss, I made copies for myself and then went through my mother’s recipe collection and the many (MANY MANY MANY) food magazines I had saved and stacked up, but could never fully access. I tore up the magazines, made copies of our families beloved recipes, and typed up the hand-written treasures of my family. And my friends’ families. And my friends’ friends’ families. And my…. well. You get it.
SO MANY RECIPES I GATHERED.
My AMAZING recipe books… that I hardly ever use anymore because of the internet and smartphones…
WHATEVER THEY ARE STILL AMAZING. I do use them when I need a SPECIFIC family recipe that I know is reliable.
(Which family? No clue, dude. So many people pitched in their family’s old food memories for this thing. It was amazing.)
I still buy cookbooks and cuddle up to read them because that’s just never not going to be fun.
(Those cute, tiny English teatime books are some of my favourite things I brought back from my time at Oxford! And I found those “vintage” Southern Living cookbooks from M’s and my birth year for engagement/wedding purposes.)
I love learning and planning and making food goals, because I am…me. Not this year, but SOME year… I will master macarons. French macarons are my Everest. My white whale? My War and Peace? Whichever. I will do it it. Someday.
On to the recipes! I shall give you cookies that, sadly, are not macarons but that ARE full of delicious flavour. Are you a fan of delicious flavour?** Well then, HERE.
Last week, M had a Boy’s Night/Game Night/Get Out of The House So Shan Can Watch TVD Night, so I decided to make dessert for the boys and spent the day in the kitchen to try a new cookie recipe and make some old favourites.
(I accidentally made “cake-like” brownies. I was traumatized and M liked them and we may have to look into couples counseling for Chewing and Brownies.)
I tried a lemon cookie recipe, sent half with M to the boys and then the other half with him to work on Monday. (I LOVE THAT. With so many growing, hungry men around, I never need to worry about my desserts going bad or eating the whole thing myself. I can put away some fruit pizza LIKE A BOSS, but I can only do so much. I always make great desserts, eat my bit, and send the rest with Husband wherever he’s going. It’s great. Craving: solved, calories: low.)
Alright, alright. Geez.
Apparently, though I did not personally witness any of this- (SADLY, as I love compliments and happy partakers of my food. I’m like Tinkerbell. Maybe I’m an introvert that needs applause to live? Just Kidding.
Not kidding. DON’T LOOK AT ME IT’S A HARD LINE TO WALK.)
APPARENTLY, everyone who tried the lemon cookies were gobsmacked by the awesomeness of this lemon cookie. Straight-up speechless. The cookies are speech-thieves?
When speech returned, Husband told me that every single person who tried the cookie said some variant of “I don’t even LIKE lemon things but I cannot stop eating these. Cannot. Stop.”
His boss, his boss’ wife, his game night buddies, his friends, some random UPS dude… they all went crazy for these cookies. This is a crowd-pleasin’ cookie, y’all.
Make them. Soon.
You will not be sorry.
I could’ve just linked to the lemon recipe and/or posted a picture of my coffee cookie, I know, but I change too much in the recipes to not write down what I did. Sorry. It took me years to discover what I was doing wrong with my cookie dough, how to make both chewy and crispy cookies in one batch, but most of all, how to shake loose and use the recipe as a guide and not a rulebook.
- I don’t grease my baking sheets. Sorry, again. If your cookie sticks to the pan, something went wrong long before the cookie cooled.
- ALWAYS CHILL YOUR DOUGH. If I can, I make all doughs the day before. A refrigerator overnight is best, but in a pinch, freezing the dough for an hour or two isn’t bad.
- I don’t sift my salt/baking powder/soda anything with my flour. My flour always explodes and I lose precious leavening that way.
- If you’ve never made chocolate crinkle cookies… you need to. They are amazing. (But not if you’re a cake-like brownie lover *shudder*)
- I doubled both recipes below, but I posted the single recipes because you don’t always need 100 cookies for 15 hungry men.
- I do not like coffee dessert recipes…but I love these coffee cookies. The coffee flavour isn’t overwhelming, it’s just right.
- Husband swears up, down, and sideways that the coffee chip cookie tastes like peanut butter chocolate cookies. I think he is crazy. You decide. Or we can all ask the Brownie Therapist.
Lemon Crinkle Cookies (Original recipe found here at Lauren’s Latest)
½ cups soft butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ish teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 heaping teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 heaping tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
1-½ scant cup flour
½ ish cups powdered sugar
Makes 28ish cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease your pans, if you like.
- Set aside powered sugar, somewhere that you can’t accidentally grab it, thinking it’s the flour and ruin your dough. What? That’s NEVER happened to you?? Liar.
- Cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. (I read somewhere that 7 minutes is the ideal time for this step of cookies. I have no idea if this is true, but it stuck with me.)
- Add vanilla and egg, stir lightly until just combined
- Add your lemon zest and lemon juice, combine thoroughly
- Sift dry ingredients together, however it pleases you, then add it in batches slowly to liquid mixture
- Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined. Don’t put the powdered sugar into the bowl. I told you to set it aside, yes? Okay. Good. Your dough should be sticky, but not pourable.
- CHILL YOUR DOUGH. NOT JOKING PEOPLE.
- Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Form a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and coat it in powdered sugar.
- Keep doing this until the phone rings or a song comes on your playlist that you can’t stand for KITCHEN SONGS. Flail helplessly because your fingers are coated in powered sugar and Apple’s new headphones are EXPENSIVE, FOR THE LOVE.
- Make all the cookies you want, but might I humbly suggest pre-rolling the remains of any dough you don’t use/need and sticking those babies in the freezer for an AMAZINGLY DELIGHTFUL INSTA-COOKIE RAINY DAY??? You won’t be sorry. If you do that, don’t coat the dough in the powdered sugar. Roll your cookie balls, stick’em in a baggie and keep’em in the freezer for the best day ever.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown and the cookies are no longer shiny. (I did 9 minutes for really chewy cookies and 12 minutes for a firmer cookie)
- Allow the cookies to cool undisturbed for about 3 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely before storing.
*I made one my batches with cream of tarter instead of baking powder. It was perfect, a lemon cookie with the bite of a snickerdoodle, but I haven’t figured out the exact ratio for that, so I didn’t include it. It’s a good little something something extra, if you know what you’re doing. The cookie is juuuuuust as good without, though.
*Eventually, I’m getting limes, grapefruit, oranges, and blood oranges to use with this recipe (instead of or even with the lemons) I basically want to test it with any citrus I can find. YES. Lime is up first!
Coffee Chip Cookies (Old recipe I adapted from some southern cookbook that I can’t remember)
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 heaping teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 heaping teaspoon salt
1 ½ HEAPING teaspoons instant coffee (More or less, to your own taste. I ere on the side of more)
1 small bag of MINI chocolate chips*
* if doubling the recipe, use one normal size bag… unless you want the extra chocolate of two small bags. I don’t know your life. You do you. I use whatever amount of mini chips I have on hand, be it more or less. Whichever you choose, DO NOT USE REGULAR SIZE CHIPS. Just don’t. I beg you. It’s not even the same cookie with the normal chips.
makes 24 ish cookies
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease your pans, if you’re a weirdo that does things normally
- Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (Seven minutes!!)
- Add the egg and vanilla
- Sift the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture slowly, in batches
- Stir in the instant coffee until thoroughly combined
- Add the MINI chocolate chips to the bowl and stir until combined
- CHILL YOUR DARN DOUGH
- Roll dough into balls, a heaping tablespoon worth of dough for each one
- The freezer option is GREAT for these, too. I crave these with my coffee occasionally, but never want a whole batch, so I started keeping pre-rolled balls in the freezer.
- Bake for 11 minutes until very lightly browned on top
- I do 10 minutes for amazing soft and chewy cookies when i’m making these for crowds, but when they are for me, I bake them for 12/14 minutes. Mind you, this makes the cookies CRISPY, but that way they are perfect for dunking in coffee.
- Allow the cookies to cool undisturbed for about 3 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely before storing.
THAT’S ALL, FOLKS. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and I hope you all look AMAZING in green!
**BONUS POINTS for the person who gets this!