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Chewy Lemon Cookies…The Vote is Cast, Chewy is Best!

Cookies…ahhh…the mere word conjures up feelings of comfort. Depending on which part of the world you’re visiting, cookies may be referred to as biscuits. Lots of confusion because biscuits could mean scones in the UK and scones are considered cupcakes in South Africa, and depending on where…ah, my apologies I digress. So where did “cookies” originate? According to food historians, Cookies came to America in the early English settlement (the 17th century), although the name “koekje” arrived with the Dutch. This became Anglicized to “cookie” or cooky. Among the popular early American cookies were the macaroon, gingerbread cookies, and of course combinations of various types. I personally love any kind of buttery chewy cookie.

Last month, I gave a cooking class at the Maple Leaf Gardens PC Cooking School. We were profiling a Loblaw’s President Choice Manhattan Fish Chowder. When I teach head office recipes, I am often asked to provide another of my own. What goes well with fish, I asked myself… lemon was the answer.

The cookies didn’t really go alongside with the chowder, but they sure were a hit as a dessert. Apparently the original recipe won some kind of award for the best cookie out of millions. Which is interesting as there are millions of wonderful cookie recipes out there. Of course I tweak to my style. I used organic unrefined ingredients. They were perfection.

These cookies are so very simple and quick to make. Few ingredients, few tools, and the result are very addictive. Lemony tang, chewy texture, not too sweet, and a nice size. What more can you ask for from a cookie? I asked the crowd…”hey…what do you prefer, chewy or crisp cookies?” A resounding roar confirmed that chewy is best!!! Here’s the recipe…

Chewy Lemon Cookies 2 to 3 dozen (double for more)

1/2 cup butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 whole egg 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt 1/4 teaspoons baking powder ⅛ teaspoons baking soda 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets.

  2. In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

  3. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice.

  4. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined.

  5. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.

  6. Drop by heaping tablespoons. Press lightly with palm of your hand.

  7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte.

  8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, optional.

Tip: use a silpat silicone sheet or greased parchment.

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