This recipe is from my Cookies Unlimited Class. This recipe should yield about 100 small thin cookies (but it depends on how thin you make them). I would use 2 large lemons for zesting so you get a real zing from the lemon. It is very important that you make sure to refrigerate the dough long enough. This is a nice, plain cookie; very light and perfect for dessert alongside something chocolate. I am also a sucker for anything lemony. They are also a light, perfect summer cookie and they can be frozen , then take out when you need a light perfect cookie.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
10 tablespoons (or 1 1/4 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar (plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of cookies)
Finely grated zest of 2 large lemons (make sure you use all the zest!)
4 tablespoons strained lemon juice (use zested lemons)
3 egg yolks (save the whites for brushing the cookies)
*you will need 3 or 4 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans lined with parchment, or you will have to wait ’til cookies cool off and reuse them
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix well.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until well mixed (about a minute), then beat in the lemon zest.
Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Lower mixer speed and beat in half the flour mixture, then all the lemon juice. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture, beat till well mixed. (Don’t overbeat; just till mixed well.)
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape and squeeze it into 2 long rolls about 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter (they may be a bit longer).
Cover rolls of dough and refrigerate. Chill the dough until very firm. You can freeze dough for up to a few weeks if you prefer for up to several weeks. Or just use 1 roll and save the other, but remember dough must be very firm.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, sets racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, beat the reserved egg whites with a fork. Cut each log into approximately 48 cookies (approx. 6 slices per inch) and make sure to rotate the roll of dough often so it doesn’t flatten from the weight of the knife.
Arrange the cookies on the prepared pans about an inch apart in all directions. Brush the surface of each cookie with the egg white, then sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of sugar. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, but check them after 10 minutes. They may need more time but check at 10 and gauge from there. It was hard for me to tell the timing because in class everyone kept opening the oven doors! The cookies will spread slightly and have a very pale golden color when finished.
Slide the papers from the pans and cool on racks.
After the cookies have cooled, store them in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.