Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Tale of Two Cookies

I love to bake.  I usually say "I can't cook, but I love to bake!"  To be clear, I probably can cook.  It's just a pain to cook by myself.  I've tried it and it's a lot of work for 10 minutes of eating.  I think baking is more fun, tastes better (in my opinion) and usually provides me with something I can easily share with others, which I like.

In the past week, I've successfully attempted 2 different cookie recipes using lemon.  I didn't necessarily plan for this to happen, so I thought I'd share the outcome, for the one person a month who randomly stumbles across this secret blog.  (Update 10/29/12 - Hey, guess what!  There actually is about one person a month who lands here by googling "Nordstrom Lemon Ricotta Cookie"!  If that's you, you'll want to scroll down a bit, because it's the second recipe listed.  Also, let me know how yours turn out!)

First up - Gluten and Dairy Free Lemon Drop Cookies

I had a game night last week to break in Dixit Odyssey.  Christine is gluten free and I like to try and have fun new gluten free option at our gatherings.  I was googling....I think it was something like "gluten free drop cookie" and found this recipe for Lemon Drop Cookies.  Perfect!  The first thing that attracted me to this recipe was that it used Gluten Free Bisquick.  This meant I did not have to go find all sorts of fancy gluten free flours.

About half way into my excitement I realized "Oh, right!  Christine is also dairy free - whoops!"  This is how my first experiment with vegan butter came into existence.  Looooong story short, I think the cookies were a success.  I didn't like them at first.  The texture was drier and crumblier than I preferred/expected - I think that clouded my judgment.  Everyone else, including Christine, seemed to like them.  They're incredibly light and the icing is delicious.  If you try the recipe, don't skimp on the icing!  An added bonus is that they look really pretty!  Take a look:

I really appreciated the video that the blogger included with the recipe, especially since I'm not used to using gluten free flour - having a visual of what my dough was SUPPOSED to look like was helpful.  Not that it looked that different from regular cookie dough...but still!  It was nice to know I was on the right track.

This weekend I made another new [to me] recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cookies.

The Cafe at work sells Lemon Ricotta cookies and they are seriously addictive.  The cookie is like more cake like in texture.  I think that's why I like them so much.  The texture sort of reminds me of a black & white cookie (which I love) although I think black & whites are a *little* drier.  I've actually been trying to find a good recipe for black & whites, because it occurred to me day that I COULD just make them, instead of bemoaning the fact that you can only get them in New York (...and apparently Utah.  Lindsay brought one back from SLC for me.)  After singing the praises for this lemon cookie at work, I realized I could try to make *them* too!  (I'm a real quick study.)

Jared offered to be my baking buddy and we set to work last night making this recipe.  We head to the grocery store to buy lemons....and there was one left.  Seriously.  Apparently if lemons are discounted by 10 cents, they fly off the shelves.  It could've also had something to do with the fact that it was 11:30pm.

We ended up buying a 2lb bag of organic lemons, and it's a good thing we did, because we needed 3 tablespoons of zest, and that one sad little lemon couldn't have handled that.  We learned that one medium sized lemon yields approximately 1 tablespoon of zest.  See, you learn new things every day!

I was so pleased with how these cookies turned out - I was giddy and giggly - I kid you not!  I was so ridiculously happy.  Some things of note:
  • They are really flat, and I think they even deflate a little bit once you take them out of the oven.  They're still delicious, and it doesn't really bother me, but I may try to see if there's any "solution" for that later.  
  • They are the antithesis of a dry cookie, and are likely to fall apart if you don't handle them gently.  It's just a side effect of their yumminess.
  • There are many recipes out there for lemon ricotta cookies.  I went with this one because the blog claimed that they were the Nordstrom Cafe recipe.  I don't know if it's from the cookbook, but the taste is an exceptionally close match (the ones in the Cafe are just 5 times bigger).
  • Many of the recipes out there use a glaze (similar to the glaze on the gluten free cookies).  A lemon glaze is all kinds of delicious, but I recommend using this recipe for more a frosting.  It goes well with the cake like texture of the cookie.

Gorgeous! (and dangerous!)

What a lemony week!!! Now I have all of these left over lemons, so I'm sure I'll be attempting one or two other lemon treats before the next week is out.

Happy Baking!


Diamond said...

It's obvious you didn't want anyone to read what you had to say because you can't
make out what is written on this page of flowers.
Wat this suppose to be or not to be ?

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