Saturday, February 4, 2012

LEMON BUTTER COOKIES

1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using a heavy-duty mixer, beat the butter with the lemon zest at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar, beating well.

Combine the flour and salt together and gradually add to the above mixture, beating until blended.  Shape the dough into a disc.

Roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured smooth surface.  Cut with cookie cutters and place cookies a half inch apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Bake cookies at 325 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned.  Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.  Decorate as desired using the Royal Icing and Colorful Glaze (both recipes follow).

ROYAL ICING:
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp meringue powder
1/4 cup cold water
Food coloring paste, colors of your choice

Beat the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and cold water at high speed with electric mixer (use whisk attachment if you have one) until glossy and stiff peaks form.  Put in food coloring to tint to color desired (Remember food coloring goes a long way!); beat until blended in.  Place a damp tea towel directly over the surface of the icing to prevent a crust from forming while you use.

COLORFUL GLAZE:
1 pkg (1-lb) powdered sugar
6 tbsp water
food coloring paste

Stir the water into the powdered sugar and add food coloring as desired.  Stir mixture until well blended.  Use to frost the cookies.

Note:  The glaze is best for frosting and the royal icing is best for the piping and decorating.

Yield: 2 to 4 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use.

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