I have been meaning to share this recipe with y’all for the last week, in hopes that you could make them before Christmas. But here we are, December 26th, and I am just getting around to it. I think it’s in our nature to apologize for things when we shouldn’t, so I won’t, but I will tell you why. Unfortunately, my migraines have gotten worse lately. I’d been making progress but after we had to put our beloved dog, Walter, down, they got much worse. Migraines are heavily influenced by stress in your life, and I’ve sure had a lot of it. So though I had good intentions to get y’all this recipe in time for Christmas, it just didn’t come to fruition. However, I don’t believe that a holiday that celebrates the birth of a random baby coming and going should preclude us from making sugar cookies, especially these ones.
I adore these cookies, even though I hate literally all other sugar cookies (WHY DO WE ADD ALMOND EXTRACT???). These cookies are crunchy on the outside but melt in your mouth as soon as you bite into them. The bright lemon zest balances the sweetness and like all good things, they are chock full of butter. So below is the recipe, which I adapted from Scandinavian Baking. The adaptation here is less about changing the recipe, which I didn’t, and more about making it accessible for someone like me. There are a lot of amazing recipes out there that are not easy for disabled people to make, especially if you live with chronic pain. So, all the recipes I share will be adapted for that specifically, so if you don’t have the equipment I mention you can make similarly to how you’d make a shortbread recipe. The original recipe calls for several minutes of hand mixing and I don’t have the strength to do that. However, after much trial and error I was able to develop a different method of dough prep that doesn’t cause me pain and tastes exactly like the original method of prep, hurrah! I hope y’all enjoy this, please let me know if you make it! And if you’re interested in more delicious Scandinavian recipes, I highly recommend this cookbook.
250 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 cups – see notes)
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for top
200 grams cold unsalted butter (about 7/8 of a cup – see notes), cut into pieces
The zest of one lemon, grated using a microplane
1 egg, lightly beaten
– Place flour, sugar, and lemon zest into a food processor, pulsing it a few times to mix.
– Next place cut up butter inside food processor and run on high to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a uniform mealy texture, about 1-2 minutes.
– Once the desired texture is reached, dump the mixture into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and run on medium speed until the mixture comes together and looks like cookie dough (smooth and firm), about 2-3 minutes.
– Remove from bowl and pat into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1 hour or overnight if you’re preparing the dough in advance.
– A half hour before you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F / 190 degrees C.
– Once well chilled, remove dough from fridge and place between two sheets of wax paper. Roll dough out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.
– Using a bench scraper or sturdy knife, cut off edges to create a more uniform rectangle, and set scraps aside.
– Brush the top of your dough with the beaten egg and then dredge in sugar, covering the entirety of the dough. Place your wax paper back onto the dough and using your rolling pin GENTLY press the sugar into the dough.
– Cut dough into approximately 1 inch x 3/4 inch pieces and place on a lined baking sheet. You can line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. You don’t need much room for the cookies as they’ll barely grow so you can fit many cookies onto one baking sheet.
– Remember those scraps? Press them together and follow above steps to make more cookies!
– Place cookies in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
– Let cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, place in an airtight container and these babies will last for about a month!
Notes: This is a recipe that really needs to be weighed out, with so few ingredients there isn’t much room for error. If you don’t have a kitchen scale (they can be bought for ~$30 pretty much anywhere) you’ll have to measure the butter very accurately according to the measurements on the sticks you have. As for the flour, it’s best to fluff the flour with a fork and then gently spoon the flour into the measuring cup to make sure you’re not accidentally putting too much flour into the recipe due to the flour settling in your container.