Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookie Swap: Grandma's Italian Lemon Cookies

I was so excited to be selected to participate in this year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I've done a Soup Swap before, put on by Jenny, but not an official cookie swap!

This summer I realized I had my Gram's Lemon Cookie recipe. I had overlooked it because I always loved her Chocolate cookies more, but thought I'd give it a go. It turned out to be magical. The lemony goodness brought me back to a time when our family would gather for dinner at Mom's and eat Gram's cookies for dessert as we played Scrabble (ok, we ate them as appetizers too).

My Mom and Gram are both gone now and are deeply, deeply missed, so to have these memories come rushing back was a treat beyond the "treat".

For the cookie swap, I wanted to try a twist, so after reading that cardamom paired well with lemon, I tried a batch with cardamom. I was pleasantly surprised! The cardamom was subtle but enhanced the flavor.  So I sent 6 traditional and 6 Cardamom Lemon Cookies to Fran at Fran's Faves, Lacey at Small Town Cookie, and Adrianne at Bake Not Burn.

The cookies fit nicely in recycled Birchbox boxes. I wrapped the bottom with plastic wrap to keep the cookies fresh and wrapped the top with wrapping paper to make it look festive.

I also had a big red bow and was including some Sweet & Cute sugar cubes... but had a bit of a fiasco with shipping, trying to stay within budget. I found myself removing ribbons and sugar cubes and cramming to fit the small Priority Mail boxes. So I'm sure packages were not the epitome of cookie swap beauty I had envisioned, but hopefully stayed in tact and tasted good!

I also received some awesome cookies from Mercedes at Satisfy My Sweet Tooth, Amanda at Culinary Quirks, and Rosie (also my Gram's name!!) at ForkPenMouth. They were all adorable and delicious! Thank you Ladies!
Here is my Gram's recipe. It is the opposite of exact, but I'm lucky she at least could provide me something to go by, because after making them for 50+ years, she did not follow a recipe!

Grandma Rosie's Italian Lemon Cookies
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp lemon extract
~ 1 1/4 cup flour

optional: 1 tsp cardamom (Tina's touch)

confectionary sugar, lemon extract, water (should be a bit runny and pretty lemony)

Gram gave me no instructions other than "Roll then shape into circles"...  so I just whisk together the oil, sugar, and milk, then whisk in each of the next ingredients: egg, baking powder, extract, then add in the flour and stir with a rubber spatula, adding more flour as needed until it makes a thick, not too sticky dough. I almost always have to add more flour than the recipe call for.

Roll into ~1" balls and bake at 350ยบ for about 10 minutes, let cool for a couple minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

Once cookies are cool, glaze and add sprinkles if desired - they add a nice crunch.

Once the cookies are dry, eat them, quickly. If not, store them in an airtight container. I save the parchment paper full of glaze runoff and, while eating them standing over the stove, I drag my cookie through to add EXTRA glaze.  It's both a sad and beautiful thing.

It has been a lot of fun to be part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and I look forward to doing it again next year!


Mary-Irene said...

Hey are any of those awesome cookie boxes making their way down to Wyckoff, NJ? PS, my Joey asked about the Lemon Sugar Cubes yesterday, saying again how much he loved them!

Lacey said...

These lemon cookies were delicious! I am adding this recipe to my list of favorites.

Tina said...

Send me your address MIM!

Tina said...

Thank you so much Lacey! I'm so glad you enjoyed them (despite the horrific packaging job!) My Gram would be very happy to know that her cookies and recipe are liked and shared! She believed food brought happiness, I agree!

ljc said...

I like the new design!

Unknown said...

Hi I made these cookies for nieces Baby Shower. They were great very easy to make 5 days later they still taste fresh and good. I too have a Nonna's receipe but this one is better the cookies are tender . Thanks

Tina said...

@Beatrice - so glad the recipe worked out! Did you add the cardamom?

Anonymous said...

Good one!
Well done with the write-up and I am so glad that I came across it.
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