I am not one to share my food, especially if it is sweet. Well, truthfully I don’t like to share my food ever! Not sure why. You know when you go to a restaurant and everyone orders differently, offering others a taste of what they ordered? You won’t catch me offering up bites off of my plate. This is not the case with these giant cookies. I actually broke one in half and shared it with my man, Dan. Maybe it wasn’t quite half….I’m just not good at sharing my food.
However, these lemony, slightly crisp on the outside and soft inside cookies are the perfect cookie for sharing! When I was a little girl I didn’t get the opportunity to visit my great-grandmother, Oma, on my mother’s side often but on the occasions I did, I remember her sugar cookies were the size of a saucer. The jar was big and wide-mouthed and they sat on a counter within sight of my wandering brown eyes. The recipe, gone, sadly but the memory still there. I’ve always wondered if her cookies really were the size of saucers or was it just a little girls perception. I’ll never know for sure, but these cookies conjure up a vision similar to the one I carry of my Oma’s cookies.
Bees are busy. The apiary reminds me of JFK on a holiday weekend. They are on a mission now. To bring in pollen and nectar, raise new bees, and grown the hive. I see honey in my future! 2 weeks ago I removed a swarm from the bottom of a trampoline and brought them up to the Helmsley Palace bee yard. I carefully put them in a brightly colored hive box and provided a jar of sugar syrup. I went back a few days later and placed a fresh jar of syrup to help them recover from swarming. I went back this week to check them and they had swarmed again. Little buggers, all I did was fatten them up so they could carry on with their own plans. See, that’s the thing with bees. They have a system, a plan, and its worked for a very long time. Of the swarms collected only about 30% stay with the bee keeper. This hive is not going to fall into that category. I’m ok with that. Never thought I would be, but I am. I don’t really have control over the bees. Stay tuned for more bee adventures as bee season is upon us.
Bake a batch of these cookies and prepare to share – they are the size of a saucer.
2 cups sugar, divided use
Zest of 2 large lemons, divided use
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1) To make lemon sugar: Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon lemon zest in the bowl of a mini-food processor. Pulse until lemon zest is incorporated into sugar. Pour into a small bowl and stir to break up any clumps. Set aside.
2) To make cookie dough: Combine flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with reserved 1-1/2 cups sugar. Blend in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon extract, lemon juice and reserved lemon zest. Add flour mixture, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition, until all flour is incorporated.
Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
3) To bake cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into balls using 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Roll in reserved lemon sugar. Bake in batches of six cookies per 18 x 13-inch baking sheets. Place balls of sugar-coated dough on cookie sheets. Press down with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup until cookie is about 1/2-inch thick. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes. Remove tray from oven. Let cookie sit on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Yield: 24 saucer-sized cookies.