Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lemon Jumbles

April showers bring May flowers.

Hello friends. Has things gotten a little crazy these days or is it just me. I'm sitting here typing this post and all I can think about is my bed hasn't been made in two days. Instead of putting the clean laundry in drawers, they've been left folded and neatly stacked into piles on our downstairs sofa. Tabletops look muted underneath thick coats of dust, and the upstairs bathroom looks a lot like a public restroom. YUCK! Still, with all the craziness, I did manage to find the time to bake cookies. I do have my priorities in check.

Lemon Jumbles -- never heard of them. I opened up The All American Cookie Book and there they were. I'm glad I found them because they are refreshingly good and oh so suitable for spring. These cookies have a rustic look about them, and would go nicely in a basket filled with wild flowers. And with all the rain we've had, we should all have plenty of flowers to pick from our gardens -- or our neighbors gardens {insert smiley face here}.

2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350*.
Grease several baking sheets or coat with nonstick spray or use a non-stick baking mat.

In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In another large bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, sugar, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and almond extract.until light and well blended. Beat or stir in flour mixture until well incorporated.

Gather up the dough and shape it into a ball. Cut it into quarters. Shape each quarter into a flat disc. Score each dish into quarters, then cut into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge between your palms or a work surface to form an evenly thick 4 1/2"-5" long rope. Bring the ends of each rope together and press firmly to create a ring. Place on baking sheets, spacing 1 1/4" apart.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for 8-12 minutes or just faintly browned at the edges. Reverse the sheet from front to back to ensure even browning.

Using a spatula, immediately transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

GLAZE: in a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, butter 2-3 tsps lemon juice, corn syrup almond extract(if using.and food coloring.till smooth and well blended. Thin the mixture with enough additional lemon juice to produce a thin glaze. Set the racks with cookies over wax paper to catch drips. Dip top of each cookie into the glaze and shake off the excess. Let stand until the glaze completely sets.about 1 hour.

For an extra special look.once the cookies are glazed, add a little food coloring to leftover icing to intensify the hue, slightly -- then pipe or drizzle zigzagged lines across the cookie tops for an easy but effective contrasting garnish.

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