June 2, 2010

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

For May’s independent study baking project, I baked lemon cream sandwich cookies. The recipe came from Citizen Cake in San Francisco. I love sandwich cookies: lemon cream, Oreos, Nutter Butters…So I thought this might be a fun thing to do. Also, lemon season is ending soon, so this was a nice way to get a quick lemon recipe in. The cookies were pretty easy to make. You have to plan ahead a bit because you need time to refrigerate both the dough and the filling. I used a decorative cookie cutter which made the cookies look prettier. Note to self: “The fancier the cutter, the prettier the cookie.” The recipe called for lemon zest – I was careful to only zest the yellow part of the peel to avoid the bitter taste. The cookies were yummy the first day and even better the second. They make a great lunch box cookie, for those of us packing lunches! The recipe:

Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Citizen Cake, San Francisco
For Cookies
½ Tbsp. grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 large egg yolk
¼ tsp. baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour

For Filling:
3 Tbsp grated lemon zest
¼ tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted (after measuring)

A 2-inch round cookie cutter

Make Cookies: Boil lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1 Tbsp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Beat together butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer at 5 minutes. Add yolk and egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon reduction. At low speed mix in baking soda and lour until just combined. Form dough into a 6-inch disk. Chill, wrapped, until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in middle and upper positons. Butter 2 larage baking sheets. Rool out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin to a 13-inch (1/8-inch-thick) round. Cut out cookies, rerolling dough once. Bake 1 inch apart until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Make Lemon Filling: Mince zest with salt. Beat butter with a electric mixer until light and fluffy, then beat in zest paste. Reduce speed to low, then mix in sugar until well combined.

Assemble cookies: Spread filling (about a rounded Tbsp) on half of the cookies and sandwich with remaining cookies. Press slightlly, then smooth edges with a butter knife or small spatula. Chill until filling sets, about 30 minutes.

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