Monday, April 23, 2012

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I was looking on Pinterest and a friend pinned the cookie contest winning Lemon Crinkle Cookies. It won the cookie recipe contest held by LDS Living Magazine. They looked simple and I couldn't wait to try them. My recipe is almost identical to the original - I just added a little more lemon zest and juice, and I refrigerated the dough before baking.

This what one reviewer on the LDS Living website had to say about these cookies:

   "I've made these cookies for the 3rd or 4th time today. These are absolutely THE best lemon cookies I have ever made before. . . . absolutely, incredibly divine. I am INSANELY picky about my cookies...but THESE are worth the time to make these from scratch....they're also worth the calories. HANDS DOWN 5 stars. Hands down. BRAVO!"

It makes you want to make them right? Me too!
So here's what I did:

I put 1 stick of salted butter and 1 cup of sugar into a bowl. (Usually people use unsalted butter when baking, but I think the salted butter is important in this cookie. It helps to bring out the lemon flavor better.)

I mixed it until it was smooth and fluffy.

Then I added some vanilla

and and egg, and mixed again.

Then I zested 1 lemon, making sure to only get the yellow - not the white.

And I juiced the lemon too (straining it, so as to not get any seeds in the batter).

I added 1/4 tsp of salt (If you choose to use unsalted butter, add another 1/4 tsp, for a total of 1/2 tsp)

1/4 tsp of baking powder

and 1/8 tsp baking soda.

I added 1 1/2 cups of flour,

and mixed it until combined.

I tried to scoop out a tsp full of batter, but it was too soft. So I put the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes and tried again.

I put 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on a plate, 

and rolled the large tsp sized cookies in it.

I got the oven hot to 350F, and lined a baking sheet with a silicone liner (parchment paper would work too, or you could spray the cookie sheet with no-stick spray). I was able to put 15 on my large cookie sheet at once.

I baked them @ 350F for 8 minutes. When they are done, the top will look matte (not shiny at all).

The bottoms will be golden brown.

In an effort to control the size of my waistline, I always freeze some of my cookie batter, so that I'm not tempted to eat the 3-4 dozen cookies that a whole batch of batter would make. Just scoop out and roll the cookies, but instead of putting them on a cookie sheet to bake, just put them on a plate. Now put the plate in the freezer.
When the dough balls are rock solid, put them in a labeled zip top freezer bag and keep for the next time you want lemon cookies. The beauty about this is that you can bake as many as you would like. If you only want to bake a couple in the toaster oven you can do that, or you can bake up a whole dozen or two if you want. (You would bake them 1 minute more from frozen - so bake them 9 minutes, instead of 8.) Genius!
I have 35 cookies in this quart sized bag (the recipe made 50 cookies).

Here's the recipe:

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon (1 to 1 1/2 tsp)
juice of one lemon (1 1/2 Tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 - 1/3 cup powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and egg, zest, juice and salt. Mix well. Add baking powder, baking soda and flour. Mix until combined. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Scoop large teaspoon sized balls out and roll in powdered sugar. Place on a greased or lined baking sheet and bake @ 350F for 8 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Makes 4 dozen.

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