Saturday, 9 March 2013

Lemon Burst Cookies

The weather here in Markinch has been so miserable the past few days.  It's hard to believe that last weekend was so wonderfully sunny that I was able to get all the laundry washed and dried because I could hang it outside.  Now it's dark and grey and raining.  Very much stay-indoors-and-hide weather.  I really love sunshine though so wanted something to brighten up my day.  And what better than some lemony yellow cookies?

Lemon burst cookies were something I found ages ago that I really liked the look of.  Problem was that every recipe I encountered for them used boxed cake mix and, as you may know by now, I don't like using boxed mix.  I want to do everything from scratch.  So they've been put to one side until I could find a recipe that didn't 'cheat', since I haven't yet figured out exactly what would make up a box cake mix.  Then a couple of days ago, on one of my daily trawls of Pinterest, I found a pin of the cookies that labelled it 'from scratch'.  And they were!  It was indeed a blog post by someone who had been in the same situation as me but had actually managed to find what we had been looking for.  Well, as soon as I saw it I knew I would have to make them at the next possible opportunity, which was yesterday.

It is quite an easy recipe to follow, though I did make a couple of alterations.  Firstly, I didn't have any lemons in the house, so I just increased the amount of lemon extract used.  I also added some yellow food colouring to brighten the biscuits up a bit.  I did end up with a sticky dough though.  Partly due to the increase in liquid extract added, but mainly I think because of the eggs.  As I mentioned in previous posts, egg sizes vary between here in the UK and in the US, where this recipe is from.  2 large eggs in the US is more like 2 mediums over here.  I only have large though (extra large in the US).  So I put in two of those, even though I'm well aware of the size difference.  But I don't buy medium so what else was I going to do?  I guess I could have changed it to one egg...or measured it in a jug...but I didn't.  I compensated a little by adding two tablespoons of icing sugar to the batter and really the final result was fine.  I could still roll the dough and they still looked like I expected them to.  So no harm done.

The final result was really good!  These are a soft cookie, which I was expecting given they're originally made with cake mix.  But the lemon running through it is just such a nice pick me up.  And they are sweet too.  Everyone I've given one to so far has really liked them and quickly taken another. I'll definitely be making these again.

Recipe - adapted from Crunchy Creamy Sweet 
Makes about 24
  • 260g/9oz plain flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 115g/4oz butter
  • 225g/8oz granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon extract
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, plus 65g/2.3oz for rolling
  • Yellow food colouring (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line 2 - 4 baking trays with parchment.  (It really depends on the size of your oven.  Mine is quite small so I could only get 6 biscuits on each tray.)
  2. Put the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl and mix together.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate, larger bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix in after each addition.
  5. Mix in the lemon extract, food colouring and 2 tbsp icing sugar.
  6. Add the flour mix and beat until just combined.  The result will be a sticky dough.
  7. Put the 65g/2.3oz icing sugar into a bowl.
  8. Put some of the icing sugar on your hands and then roll the dough into balls about 5cm/2inches in diameter and then roll in the icing sugar so they have a thick coat.
  9. Put the balls on the prepared trays, spaced 5cm/2inches apart as they spread when cooking.
  10. Bake for 12-14 minutes.  The cookies should have spread, puffed up in the centre and the edges and bottom should just be starting to turn golden brown.
  11. Remove and allow to sit on the tray for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.  If you want, you can sprinkle extra icing sugar on top.

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