Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lemon Shortbread Easter Cookies

More than half of March has gone by and little did I realize that Easter is just 2 weeks away! I hate to admit this but I am sucked into celebrating Easter more because of the fact that it is Spring and I won't see winter again for the next 6 months rather than being staunch on my Catholic religion and observing good deeds and avoiding bad beings!  But still, I am not a bad person, perhaps a little crafty in mind and thoughts when thrown into awkward situations and I call that survivor's skills. 

Anyways, I got these fun small cookie cutters set last month and I just had to have them!  At that time, I have no idea what to do with them but I always go buying cute things like these to keep in my pantry till the super idea comes to my mind!

My weakness with shortbread cookies is perhaps synonymous with everyone else who loves this rich and short buttery goodie! It  is definitely the smell of the butter that entices the sense of smell and the crumbly shortness of the texture that makes everyone to take more than one cookie everytime it is available. It is just the ultimate cookie that packs the punches in both taste and calories. I would love to add more flavorings to the original recipe and today, I started with luscious and fragrant lemon. This citrus fruit always add a taste of freshness to everything and for my spring, I love that idea!

These cookies are very simple to make but must be rolled out to a uniform thickness of at least 1/4 inches thick to allow me to indent the shapes of the mini cookie cutters on the larger diamond shape cut out cookie dough. I added 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice and grated rind of 1 whole lemon to the dough. Constant light sprinkle of flour is required as you constantly go along rolling the dough and cutting the shapes. Although I love decorated cookies, I would think the sugar icing would overshadow the buttery taste of these cookies and perhaps make me sin tremendously bad on my current weight lose program! And so I just decorated the cookies with mini royal icing flowers that I still have plenty in my pantry. I love the simplicity of these little flowers and goes very well with the simple design of these cookies. I stir 1/4 cup of icing sugar in 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice and used it to stick the flowers to the cookies. There are alot of new stuffs in the market these days like this green wafer strips that I used as the 'nest' for the cookies. Absolutely edible and nice that I don't have to pipe any sugar icing at all.

Recipe :
Ingredients :

10-1/2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup of fine sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1-1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp Rice Flour
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt
Poppy seeds for decoration

Method :
1) Beat the butter and sugar till creamy.
2)Add in 3 tbsp of the lemon juice and grated lemon zest and mix.
3)Sieve the all purpose flour with the rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4)Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Use your hands to blend the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
5)Preheat oven to 325F. Dust the working surface, rolling pin and cookie cutters with some all purpose flour. Take half of the dough and roll out to at least 1/4 inch thickness ( can be 1/3 inch thick). Use your cookie cutter to cut out the shapes and place on a large baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Continue till you finish up with all the cookie dough (makes more than 2 dozens). Insert poppy seeds for decoration if using.
6) Bake at the middle rack in the oven for 35 to 40 mins. Don't let cookies brown too much. Remove and cool on cookie rack.

Makes : 24 to 28 cookies


Bento Box said...

Gorgeous! What a lovely idea!

Pam said...

Oh, they are very cute. The look and sound delicious!