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Lemon Sandwich Christmas Cookies

December 13th, 2008 · 69 Comments

lemon christmas cookies

I made these glittery cookies from Gourmet for a cookie party at work. The recipe is a little weird – it uses cornstarch for some of the flour, powdered sugar instead of regular and not a single egg. But hey, I wanted something different and these didn’t disappoint. The texture was perfectly light and crumbly and the lemon filling had a great zing to it. But the best part was the crunchy sugared outside. They look like Christmas ornaments!

lemon cookiesAlthough good the day I baked them, I thought the texture and lemon flavor were even better a few days later. Also, you can use any color sugar you want (Gourmet used yellow and pink). I didn’t think the white ones were as impressive looking as the red, so I might try red and green or some other combination next time.

I should also warn you that these are not a simple whip-up-after-work cookie.  They take a while, with lots of scooping and rolling in sugar and cooling, etc. Don’t make them if you’re in a hurry, but if you’re in a holiday spirit and don’t mind spending some time in the kitchen, they’re worth the extra effort.

lemon cookies

Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Gourmet

Cookies:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
White or colored sanding sugars (fine-grained colored decorating sugar)

Filling:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

Equipment: silpat baking mat or parchment paper and a heavy-duty sealable bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt.

Beat together butter and confectioners sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in zest and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture just until a soft dough forms.

Put sanding sugars in different bowls. Roll a scant teaspoon of dough into a ball and drop into sugar, turning to coat. Reshape if necessary and transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing balls 3/4 inch apart, until baking sheet is filled.

Bake until tops are slightly cracked but still pale (bottoms will be pale golden), 12 to 15 minutes. Slide cookies on parchment paper or silpat mat onto a wire rack.

Form and bake more cookies on second baking sheet.

Make filling and sandwich cookies:
Beat together all filling ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Transfer to sealable bag and snip off a corner.

Turn over half of cookies and pipe about 1/2 teaspoon (or more) filling on flat side of each. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently.

Gourmet says cookies keep best in a metal cookie tin at room temperature 4 days. I don’t have a tin, so I had them in zip-lock bags and it worked fine.

Tags: baking · dessert · recipes · weekend project

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