I never learn. Every year, the little dutch irises in our front yard surprise me. One day they are inconspicuous green shoots, and the next, a fanfare of glowing purple. So when they came up this Wednesday, I was surprised, as usual, and went out to take their picture. This is when I got yet another surprise. There were honeybees hovering in and around the flowers. I wondered how the honeybees knew to visit the flowers on March 16–had they received an invitation? Next day, the bees were gone–apparently the party was over!
Here is a recipe for light, lemony cookies called Lemon Puffs. The recipe comes from Big, Soft, Chewy Cookies by Jill Van Cleave. Somehow they seem perfect for these early spring days. There is only one caveat to know about: they must be glazed, especially with the tart lemony glaze given here. The cookie itself is a bit bland and soft, and is not super sweet. It springs to life when paired with the sweet/tart glaze.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
grated rind of one lemon
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a big bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and blend thoroughly until the batter is fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt. Add to the creamed mixture; then add the lemon juice and grated rind, blending until smooth. The dough will be smooth and soft, but not sticky. Using a small cookie scoop, form dough and drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about two inches apart. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes.
Mix 2 cups confectioners sugar with 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon). Spoon glaze over cookies while they are still a bit warm. As they cool, the glaze will harden and be slightly transparent.
Baking notes: The cookies are done when the bottoms are golden. The tops may still be pale. You can bake these a bit longer (17 minutes) and they will be crunchy. Either way they are good! And just to confirm, the baking powder is one tablespoon–it’s what puts the puff in the cookie! Don’t be tempted to use lemon extract in this recipe–the lemon juice flavors and tenderizes the cookie, as well as adding liquid.
Peace to you. Fran