I suppose I should introduce myself. Hi, this isn’t Kgaines. This is Evelyn, the person who’s been masquerading as her ever since China decided that butterscotch sticky buns were a threat to national security. I’m her California counterpart, and her partner-in-crime (more like a middle man) in keeping this blog alive. When I’m not busy undermining China’s obsession with censorship, I like long walks on the beach. Oh, and cooking.
I found this recipe for lemonade cookies in a cookbook called Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim. So it turns out a dessert isn’t “light” when you bake a batch of cookies and eat all of them by yourself. Every. Last. Cookie. Well, you live and you learn and the next time you make them you bring them to work!
I was a little paranoid that no one else would like them, so I brought along a batch of tried-and-true snickerdoodles just in case. And I insisted that everyone that took a cookie took one of each, and tried both because sometimes I am just a mean little person like that. Then I made each person tell me which was his or her favorite. I’ll save the verdict for after the recipe.
from Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim
yields 36 cookies (I recommend doubling this recipe, because for me it made less than 2 dozen)
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 large egg white
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment or foil
1. Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheat to 350 degrees.
2. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together.
3. Beat sugar and butter together on medium speed for about a minute. Beat in egg white and lemon zest.
4. On low speed beat in half the flour mixture, then lemon juice, and then remaining flour mixture.
5. Use a large spatula to give the batter a final mixing.
6. Drop batter with a teaspoon about an inch apart on prepared pans.
7. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 mintes, until light golden on bottom but still very pale on top. Change position of pans, from top to bottom and back to front, about halfway thorugh baking.
8. Slide paper from pans to racks to cool the cookies
The end result looks deceptively like a plain sugar cookie, which made me worry they would be discriminated against. I take food discrimination very seriously, especially when it comes to cookies. But just one bite, and every single person claimed to like them better than the snickerdoodles. The cookies are irresistibly soft and chewy, with a bright lemon flavor that shines through. They are intensely flavorful, but in a light and refreshing way. Just like a tall glass of lemonade, beaded with drops of water on a hot summer day.
Even if you aren’t in sunny California, you can bake up this little batch of summer to bite into. Just make sure to try your first bite with someone else in the room, because these cookies are dangerously good.