Monday, September 27, 2010

Epicure: Lemon Sandwich Cookies

I am a fan of most things lemon. Lemon cake, lemonade, even lemon pancakes. So when I spotted these pretty little lemon sandwich cookies on Martha Stewart's site, I immediately added them to the recipe rolodex.

They were extremely easy to make, however a bit time consuming [the cookie dough has to chill for about an hour]. These heavenly cookies were the perfect marriage of lemony-buttery goodness with a kick of sophistication. You can make these as regular lemon cookies, or your can add a generous dollop of sweet, creamy lemon filling for sandwich cookies. - If you're one for hosting dinner parties, double the recipe; these make divine after-dinner delectables! 

Lemon Sandwich Cookies [adapted from Martha Stewart]
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add flour (dough will still be stiff); finish mixing with a wooden spoon.
2. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, pat into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap, and chill until firm, about 1 hour (and up to 3 days).
3. Unwrap dough; place on a lightly floured piece of parchment or waxed paper. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough about 1/8 inch thick (if dough cracks, let it warm up slightly).
4. Cut out cookies with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter (reroll scraps once, chilling of too soft). Place 1 inch apart on two baking sheets; sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until barely beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
5. Form sandwiches: Place about 1 teaspoon creamy lemon filling between two cookies, sugared sides facing out; squeeze gently.
Creamy Lemon Filling
1 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and zest until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup confectioners' sugar, mixing until smooth. Mix in remaining sugar as necessary to create a firm but spreadable filling.

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