It’s the last night of my Bay Area visit about a month ago and I’m sitting in my dear friend, J’s, living room. We’re catching up on everything from family to men to travel to dogs. Essentially our conversation quickly spans all of life’s major topics including, of course, cookies. What? Cookies don’t qualify as a major life topic? I beg to differ.
I’m not going to pretend to be surprised that our conversation that night steered toward some kind of food topic. Most of my conversations do, as anyone who’s ever held one with me can confirm. So, I think I’m just going to go straight for the good stuff with this post because the cookies I’m here to tell you about deserve every word they can get.
When J told me about these cookies I knew they’d make their way here. She quickly sold me with a description of buttery shortbread cookies topped with fresh lemon glaze. Um, yes please! J’s friends and her family love them, her boyfriend and his family love them, and while some prefer the shortbread and others prefer more glaze and still others prefer less glaze, they’re a solid “must make,” J says.
And I promise you these are worth every second it takes to make them. The zesty, sweet lemon glaze provides the perfect topping for these buttery, somehow soft and crunchy shortbread rounds. And together they make one heck of a little melt-in-your-mouth cookie. Now we all owe J for these!
You see, I don’t know about you, but I always prefer to make recipes that have made their way to me via a personal recommendation. And you bet this includes my favorite food blogs because let’s be honest, after you spend months or even years reading someone’s stories you begin to feel like each and every recipe they give you is a personal recommendation. My stuffed-to-the-brim white recipe binder includes everything from handwritten recipe cards, to smudged print outs of my favorite bloggers’ recipes, to recipes cut off the back of boxes.
When you begin the adventure of tackling a new recipe, or making one of your favorites, do you ever pause to think about where you got it or who gave it to you? Was it a friend? A grandmother? A father? I hope you do. After all, even though there exists countless recipes, and even countless recipes for the same dish, those recipes that you hold dear mean something for a reason. Food is the great connector, and I’m convinced that food tastes better when those connections are known and cherished.
Glazed Lemon Cookies
From J, via Real Simple
Yield: 36-48 cookies
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more if necessary
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
2. Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 350° F. Slice the logs into 3/8-inch-thick pieces and space them 1 1/2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze. Add more lemon juice if necessary. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let the cookies set for about 15 minutes.
5. Once the glaze is set and dry you can stack the cookies on each other for storing. That is, if they last that long!