Sugared Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Day Seven of our 12 Days of Cookies Extravaganza brings a bit of sunshine on a day that surprisingly absent of it, which makes it a very pleasant day to be baking.  I’d like to say that Bing is crooning holiday songs on the Bose and there’s a fire crackling in the family room, but I’ll have to wait at least a week for that.

My 16-year-old chose these delicately lemon-flavored “glittering” cookies from the stack I’d bookmarked because he thought they’d be a nice change from the others I’ve been making. At first, I wasn’t thrilled because citrus-flavored baked goods make me think of Spring or Summer, but I’m glad I listened to him, because these are quite the lovely treat.

One of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies from December of 2008, I’d say this is the best recipe I’ve tried so far.  They aren’t fussy to make even though they appear to be headed for a bridal shower or elegant afternoon tea.  In one or two bites, you’re treated to an exterior crunch of sugar, a flaky cookie, and a light butter cream that only hints of lemon.

Absolutely perfect.

Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies

This is just one of Gourmet‘s Favorite Cookies: 1941-2008.
Although we’ve retested the recipes, in the interest of authenticity
we’ve left them unchanged: The instructions below are still exactly as
they were originally printed.

For the cookie dough…

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

    For the 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

      Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  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 tsp 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. Transfer cookies on parchment to a rack to
      cool completely.

      Form and bake more cookies on second baking sheet.

      To make the filling and assemble the 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 tsp filling on flat side of each. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing gently.


      My Usual Notes:

      • I cut this recipe in half.  I weighed the flour and reduced the weight by half (1-1/3 c. flour = 6 oz., so half would be 3 oz. give or take 1/8 oz.
      • I used demerara sugar to roll the dough balls in.  The sugar adheres easily to the dough.
      • I baked these for 10 minutes instead of the recommended 12-15 minutes.  At about 8 minutes, I noticed a little crusty rim forming around each cookie, so I turned the oven down 10 degrees for the remaining 2 minutes.  Because I’ve had a couple of recipes “spread” I wasn’t taking any chances!
      • When cookies are right from the oven, carefully insert a very thin spatula under each and place on a rack to cool.
      • I carefully brushed off the crusty rim of each cookie before piping the filling.
      • If you wanted to make these more festive, you could use a colored sanding sugar, or color the filling.
      • Make sure cookies are completely cool before filling and then refrigerate after filling.
      • A half recipe made 10 cookie sandwiches about the size of a nice walnut.  If the original recipe states that 50 are possible, then I’d recommend making the dough balls about 1/2 tsp. even though it states “a scant teaspoon full.”  In that case, I’d definitely watch the cooking time.
      • Although these are tasty cold, I’d recommend letting them sit out about 10 minutes before serving.

      Don’t forget to visit the rest of our cookie crew testing Gourmet’s favorite cookies:  Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, Sandy of At the Baker’s Bench, Courtney of Coco Cooks, Judy of No Fear Entertaining, and Jerry of Cooking by the Seat of My Pants.  I know they’ve got something delicious just waiting for you!