Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lemon Sugar "Snap" Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies that were rolled and patted before baking.

These cookies, from the Hay Day Country Market Cookbook and made for the WCC, are very good: buttery with a bright citrus flavor. The bottoms are bit crisp – a gentle crunch – with the insides featuring a softer and chewier texture.

Having said that, they’ve driven me fucking nuts.

I misread the recipe, so the first batch was missing ½ cup of flour. The result was a mess (literally: a mess) of very large, very thin, and very greasy cookies.

Still, I ate one (well, one and a half) before the grease got to me. The flavor, however, was good and so I started again.

This led to more problems. Despite the amount of butter in the batter (1 stick) the cookies didn’t spread very much, resulting in craggy looking cookies. (They’re dropped from a spoon and they maintain that rough appearance.) I guess in and of itself that’s not a big deal, but the cookies could have been better looking. (Later, I rolled each bit of dough into a ball and then gently patted it into a disk before baking. The aesthetics were much nicer.)

These are supposed to be snap cookies, suggesting a very crunchy cookie. Unfortunately, that's not what I came out with. The recipe specifies baking just until the cookies are "very lightly colored around the edges, about 12 - 15 mins." Let me tell you: baking them for that time with either result in a pale, soft, non-snappy cookie (what I got), or a browned, crunchy one.

I can't see how this recipe yeilds a pale colored, snappy cookie. My results were good -- I'd be happy to bring them to a picnic -- but they're not like the recipe describes. Arrrrgh.

If you’ve made these or plan to make them, let me know how yours turned/turn out.

Lemon Sugar "Snap" Cookies
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ c super fine sugar
1 egg yolk
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 Tbsp. pure lemon extract
3/4 cup. flour
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, lemon zest and lemon extract, and mix well.
Add flour and salt and blend on low speed until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and blend to form a smooth, thick batter.

Scoop heaping teaspoons of the dough, roll it into a small ball and pat it into a disk befor placing on the baking sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake, rotating the sheets once, until the cookies are very lightly colored around the edges about 12- 15 mins.

Allow cookies to cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields approx 24 cookies (I got about 20).

Grade: A (but major demerits for being a pain in the ass)

Can you tell which cookie is missing flour?


Alicat said...

woah what a pain in the butt! :o) I hate when recipes are like that..esh. I may rethink using that cookbook in the future. :)

Thank you so much for participating girlie cakes! ;)

Acme Instant Food said...

The cookie on the left resembles those "lace" cookies you find in Sweedish bakeries, which I consume in very large quantities in a very short amount of time. Hhmmm...I'm hungry now.

emily said...

I hate it when a recipe flops.Sucks.

Laura Rebecca said...

Ali: I made Hay Day's peasant bread and it turned out really well -- I'm hoping this cookie thing was just a fluke. (Though the flavor IS good.)

David: There's a recipe on this very site for lace cookies... dipped in chocolate, they're one of my favorites.

Emily, "suck" is definately the word. I have no idea how that batter would yield a snap cookie.

Lis said...

Ugh.. I feel your pain. If I had a dime for each time I read a recipe wrong or the recipe just did not turn out like the description, I could hire Ina Garten to cook for me! :D

daveblake said...

Have you been using an insulated cookie sheet? Try a conventional flat one. You need quick convection for these puppies.

katie said...

against all rationale, i've decided to try this recipe! i have a question first, however: do these cookies rise/flatten (like chocolate chip cookies) at all as they bake? or are they more like a gingerbread, which mostly maintains the shape you put them in before they're baked? thanks!

Laura Rebecca said...

Katie, they are delicious cookies (especially when you don't forget key ingredients) they just didn't "snap" for me.

If I recall correctly, they rise & flatten a bit, but you should definately A) roll the dough into a ball & pat it into a disk before placing it on the baking sheet and B) space the cookies 2 inches apart.

Let me know how the recipe turns out for you -- good luck & happy baking!

Anonymous said...

Oh no! I hate to read that these didn't turn out for you and I'm puzzled as to why they didn't. This is one of the most frequently requested recipes that I make and they always turn out perfectly. I do make sure to mix the dough really well at the end, though I'm not sure that would have that much of an impact. I also use a silpat instead of parchment or buttering a cookie sheet. I don't roll them and flatten them, just drop them from the teaspoon, though I do manipulate them a bit so that they are more round. Hope others have better luck with them - they are quite delicious.