Saturday, February 11, 2012
Lemon Shortbread Heart Cookies
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I promise not to overdo it, but I'd be forced to surrender my blogger badge if I failed to pay homage to Valentine's Day with at least a recipe or two. I love shortbread cookies and was delighted to find one that is shatteringly crisp and lemon scented. These are adult cookies that are perfect for a holiday tea. The cookies can, of course, be frosted, but a thin sprinkling of sugar works just as well. If you think the hearts are too hokey, a plain cookie cutter can be used. These cookies are very easy to make, but they can be tricky to roll and cut. Be sure to follow the directions in the recipe and keep the dough chilled. I carry it a bit further and actually cut the cookies on the pans used to bake them. I've found they better keep their shape if they are not moved once cut. I must also admit that I use really good butter to make these and other shortbread cookies. It's worth the cost to use the best product when there are so few ingredients in a recipe. Those of you who love lemon sweets and treats will really be pleased with these cookies and I promise to have something for those on the chocolate side of the fence before Cupid rears his curly head. Here's the recipe for the first of the Valentine's Day treats.
Lemon Shortbread Heart Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons (packed) finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
Generous pinch of coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons (about) sugar
Additional powdered sugar (optional)
1) Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1/4 cup powdered sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Add flour and coarse salt and beat just until blended. Transfer dough to large piece of plastic wrap and press into disk. Cover dough with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Place wrapped dough on another baking sheet and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
2) Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Transfer wrapped dough to work surface; remove top sheet of plastic. Using a 2 to 2-1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out cookies and place on 1 parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1 to 1-1/2 inches apart. Reroll dough scraps to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out additional cookies; place on second parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle top of cookies lightly with sugar (about 2 teaspoons). Chill 10 minutes.
3) Bake cookies until light brown on bottom and just barely golden around edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of cookies, if desired. These can be made 3 days ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature. Yield: 12 to 16 cookies.
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