Thursday, December 13, 2007
LITTLE LEMON HEARTS
These are interesting little cookies. The recipe is from McCall's Cookie Collection, 1965. There is no picture, and the recipe is not annotated in any way, so I was left on my own to figure out a puzzling recipe. First of all, there is very little flour in this recipe, and I am wondering if the amount listed is an error, because there was no way I could get a workable dough with the amounts given. When I got to the point of rolling out the dough, I found I had two options: first, throw the dough out and forget the cookies; or second, rework the dough adding more flour. If I had chosen option 1, I would have lost all the ingredients; choosing option two seemed a better idea since the only thing I would lose is time if the cookies didn't turn out. I thought the cookies would be tough from being reworked, but they weren't. There is no fat in these cookies, so they're not a tender butter cookie. Instead they are a crispy nut cookie with a wonderful lemon flavor. I opted not to glaze them with the lemon glaze. Instead I rolled them in 10X sugar. They're a nice little bite-sized lemon nut cookie that will blend nicely on my Christmas cookie tray. I am printing the recipe as it appears in the cookbook, with my notes. The yield will depend entirely on how large your cookie cutter is and how thin you roll the dough.
INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 cups toasted ground pecans or hazlenuts (I used pecans)
1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour (I used at least 2/3 cup, maybe more)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
3 egg yolks (I used large eggs)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Glaze: 1 cup sifted 10X sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
DIRECTIONS: In work bowl of food processor, pulse the toasted nuts until they are finely ground. Do not overprocess or they will turn to nut butter. Add the flour, baking powder and lemon peel and pulse till combined. Set aside.
In medium mixing bowl at high speed, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, beating until mixture is smooth and well blended, about 5 minutes. At low speed, add lemon juice, beating just till combined. With wooden spoon or spatula, stir in nut mixture; mix to combine well. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Next day, preheat oven to 325 F. Generously grease and flour cookie sheets. (I lined with parchment paper, no greasing or flouring needed.) On lightly sugared surface, roll out dough 1/4 inch thick. (I used flour instead of sugar. If dough is too sticky, add more flour and work it in until you are able to roll it out without the dough sticking to the bottom.) With 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes, or just til cookies are puffed and set. (10-12 minutes is a better guide. By 12 minutes, my cookies were overbaked.) Meanwhile, make glaze: In small bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice and food coloring; stir til smooth. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool partially. Spread tops of warm cookies with glaze. Decorate, if desired, with cinnamon candies; cool completely. (I did not use the glaze; instead I rolled the cookies in 10 X sugar.) Makes about 4-1/2 dozen.