With the chilly and windy weather outside in the Bay Area, along with the festive holiday season, it is a perfect time to make cookies. Our fireplace is in full swing, along with a bit of heat from pre-heating the oven and holiday music is playing in the background. Baking cookies during the holiday season is one of my favorite things.
The scent of fresh baked cookies lofts throughout the house and certainly puts a smile on my hubby's face. I think it is a favorite thing for him during the holiday season. While I was browsing through the December issue of Bon Appetite, the Lemony Slice and Bakes resonated with me right away. First, I adore anything with lemon and second the silver shimmering sugar with the drizzle of white frosting just screamed holiday. These were on the list to make immediately. Williams-Sonoma has a wonderful selection of decorating items for cookies and cakes.
The wonderful benefit of these cookies is that you make the dough a day ahead, form into a round log and let chill. The next day, you simple slice and bake and decorate. I must warn you – these are highly addictive. It is almost impossible to eat just one.
Lemony Slice and Bake Cookie
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3 T finely grated lemon zest
1 t. vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
3 T (or more) fresh lemon juice
Sanding sugar (optional)
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks; beat just to blend. Reduce speed to low; add flour and salt and beat, occasionally scraping down sides, just to blend. Divide dough in half; roll each half into a 10"-long log about 1 3/4" in diameter. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap 1 dough log. Using a sharp, lightly floured knife, cut log into 1/4"-thick rounds. Transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1" apart. In the middle of each cookie, add a bit of the silver shimmer sugar. Best to put on when baking to ensure it sticks to the cookie.
Bake until cookies are firm and golden brown around edges, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough log, using cooled baking sheets and new parchment paper.
Whisk sugar and 2 tablespoons juice in a small bowl, adding more juice by 1/2-teaspoonfuls if too thick. Use a piping bag and drizzle icing over cookies. Let stand until icing sets, about 10 minutes
Makes about 50 cookies
* Slightly adapted from Bon Appetite