Mom asked me to do her a favor and make her some sort of baked confection for her church group tonight–and that’s my favorite kind of favor to do. She also asked me to clean up all my stuff that is strewn haphazardly about the house, but I decided to go with the baking first. More rewarding. And much more delicious.
Looking through the cabinets and fridges for interesting ingredients, I decided to use up the last lemon half leftover from our sangria-making. I also wanted to make cookies, since I haven’t made any in a while. Lemon+sugar cookie+cardamom=thin and crispy sweet wafer with lemony tang and a satisfying spice.
Lemon Cardamom Sugar Cookies (original recipe here, makes about 30 cookies)
- 1/2 C shortening
- 2 T softened butter
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 t lemon extract
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 1-2 T lemon zest (I only had about one, but I would have used two!)
- 1/4 C lemon juice
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- 1/2 C whole-wheat flour
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the shortening and butter together until smooth, then add the sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
Mix in the extracts, lemon zest, and juice, and combine. Next, toss in the baking power, baking soda, salt, and cardamom and blend. Add in the flour and mix only until blended; don’t over mix.
Scoop out 1 T of dough at a time and roll into a ball. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet and press gently down to flatten.
Bake on the middle rack for about 10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove and let cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet, then move them onto a wire cooling rack. Once they’ve cooled completely, dust them with powdered sugar (I also dusted with a tiny bit of ground cardamom as well).
Aren’t they pretty?
If these aren’t the perfect tea cookies, I don’t know what is (well, other than my rooibos tea cookies, obviously). Just somethin’ about a light and crispy cookie has me dying to break out a giant bucket of tea (yes, I prefer to drink my tea from extra-large mugs), even if it is 80 degrees outside.
I usually avoid the lemony-flavored things on the bake sale table, because I hate the taste of shortening in a cookie, I really hate the taste of fake lemon flavor, and when there’s chocolate and peanut butter around…well. I have my loyalties, ya know? And even those this cookie recipe has both shortening and lemon extract in it, I think the butter, crispy edges, lemon zest, and cardamom completely make up for it. I would never guess that this would be on my top ten cookie list, but I think it might have made it.
I just ate three of them.
I’m going to salsa night tonight with Sarah, and I’m pretty excited–and then tomorrow morning, it’s back to Long Island. Sad and happy at the same time. Enjoy some cookies and take advantage of the sunshine!