Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Best Cookies Ever!

I'm not even sure I can accurately describe how much my family loves these cookies. I'll just say that I made 3 dozen cookies on Monday and by Wednesday they were gone! These lovely little treats are made up of a soft lemon-scented sugar cookie coated with the best strawberry icing you've ever tasted! My sister passed this recipe on to me a few months ago from the The All-American Dessert Book and I have made them about 10 times since and they get better and better every time I make them.

Big Soft Sugar Cookies With Strawberry Icing

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 (10 2/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup solid white shortening
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup sour cream

To Make the Cookies:

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl,
combine the sugar, butter and shortening. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until well blended and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, then the corn syrup, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon extract until smoothly incorporated. Beat in half of dry ingredients, scraping down the sides as needed. On low speed, beat in the sour cream, then beat or stir in the remaining dry ingredients just until the mixture is well blended and smooth. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. On a ungreased cookie sheet, use a cookie scoop to form balls of dough. This dough can be very sticky even after it's been chilled, so if you use your hand, work quickly. The recipe says it makes about 2 dozen, but with a cookie scoop, I get a little more than 3 dozen. Lightly dust your palm or a juice glass with flour and flatten each ball of dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Remember, you're going to be icing these so you need the top to be relatively flat. Bake for 10-14 minutes until the edges are just barely browned and the tops just spring back when lightly pressed. Be careful not to overbrown the cookies, the tops should still be fairly pale. Let cookies stand on sheet one minute to firm up and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Set the cooling racks over parchment or wax paper to ice the cookies.

Strawberry Icing

1 1/4 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter, so soft it's almost melted
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup (do not omit or substitute)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Water, if needed

This is easiest done in a food processor but you can also coarsely chop the berries by hand and also mash them by hand. In a food processor combine the berries, lemon zest and 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Process until berries are completely pureed. (Or you can mash them by hand with a fork, let them sit for 5 minutes and then mash again) Using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, press as much of the strawberry puree mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl, discard the seeds. Whisk in the butter, corn syrup and vanilla into the berry mixture. Stir in 3 3/4 cups more powdered sugar until well blended and smooth (if you're smarter than I am, you'll sieve the sugar first to avoid lumps) . Ice the cookies with a small spatula or table knife (I had more luck with a small spoon), and for the best looks, swirl the icing in the middle and let the icing flow outward toward the edges. Thin the icing with water if it stiffens as you work. Let the cookies stand until the icing sets, at least 2 hours.


Emily said...

Mmm I'm all about strawberry icing on a cookie. Looks great!

Jeff said...

Strawberries and cookies...sold. Although my favorite are from the local cookie shop that include ton of sugar toppings, other random stuff like m&m, chocolate chunks, white chocolate, etc. Great now I may have to stop on my way home....