I have been accused many times of being a cookie monster. Without any exaggeration, I can quite easily consume a dozen or so cookies in one sitting. I can see my family and friends nodding their heads right now. Honestly, cookies are so deceiving. They’re presented as cute little entities that are about 3 bite sizes or less. After eating 6 or so, I tell myself, “It’s fine Betty. Cookies are small.” And so I continue eating until someone stops me. Usually it’s my 10 year old daughter demanding I save some for her.
With the holiday season approaching, I don’t hold myself back at all. This is the time to indulge, enjoy and share. Normally I bake about 4 different types of cookies right about now and bake 3 dozen of each. I have rotating baking trays out on my front porch cooling with Roxie my trusty yellow Labrador on the lookout for any pesky and hungry squirrels or birds. She barks as soon as something comes remotely close. Even a blowing leaf.
As requested from my family, this holiday season, I’ve made double the usual quantity of sugar cookies with lemon icing. These cookies I warn you, are so simple in ingredients and to prepare but are highly addictive. The lemon icing gives this simple but delicious cookie a subtle tang and zing. I tend to bake at least 6 dozen by the time Christmas arrives. The theme I’ve selected here is woodland creatures to match our Christmas tree and mantel. You can sprinkle and decorate them with anything. Here I’ve sprinkled variations of thyme, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, white chocolate and gold leafing. They’re not in your traditional Christmas tones but still exude a charming festiveness that will be sure to warm any “cookie monster’s” heart.
- 1 1/2 Cups unsalted softened butter
- 2 Cups white sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 Cups AP flour
- 2 Teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 Cups confectioners sugar
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- (2 tablespoons lemon rind - optional...I didn't use for this recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
- In large bowl sift AP flour, salt and baking powder, mix and set aside.
- In stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar till the sugar is incorporated into the butter.
- Add one egg at a time. Scrape sides and bottom every so often
- Then add vanilla
- Add the dry mixture with the wet, then form a ball and double wrap with plastic.
- Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours or ideally overnight
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Roll the dough on lightly floured surface til its about 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut cookies out with cookie cutters.
- Bake on cookie trays with parchment paper or silicone mats for 6-8 minutes
- Make sure they are completely cool before icing.
- Beat the confectioners sugar, lemon.
- Then add the corn syrup until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Add corn syrup, a bit at a time to mixture if the icing is too thick.
- Divide into bowls and add colouring.
- Dip the cookies, or brush on the icing wiping the excess off with your fingers or a tooth pick.
- Let dry for at least a couple hours for it to harden
- Yields 50-70 cookies more or less depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
- Sprinkle with any sprinkles, seeds, sugars. I used poppy seeds, sesame seeds, turbinado sugar, thyme and gold leafing to dress these cookies.
- Cookie dough can freeze for up to 3 months. Place in fridge to thaw overnight.
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