I havent spent much time in the kitchen lately. I went on a trip to DC, had several out of town friends visit, restaurant weeks, just plain laziness after work, etc. There’s no real excuse, I just havent made the time in the last two weeks and it didnt feel right. Cooking has become very therapeutic for me, it helps me unwind while I dance to my ipod and whip up batter for cookies. At the end I have something real in my hands to look at and enjoy (and/or photograph) and I know exactly what went into it.
The end result is never as important to me as the process. For example these cookies. I love baking and making sweets in general; however, I dont enjoy eating them all that much. I’m really more of a salty/savory kinda girl. When I have a craving its usually for chips or fried food that has more than a days worth of my recommended sodium intake. But there is something special about baking, maybe the smell, that I cant get enough of.
In the spirit of reducing my waste and wanting to bake, my secret ingredient this week was buttermilk. I cant quite remember why I bought it in the first place, but I remember the story goes along the lines of not being able to buy a pint – they only had half gallons. Epicurious had this recipe for buttermilk cookies that rates 3.5/4 forks (usually a decent sign that the recipe is good) so I thought that I’d try them out. These “cookies” are more like mini cakes in that they are light and fluffy. They dont quite have the dense/chewy consistency that cookies do. Nonetheless, they are delicious. I halved the recipe for the most part, but kept some of the ingredients the same ratios (vanilla and lemon rind) to give it extra flavor. You can play around with the glaze as well – maybe add some zest as a final finish before the glaze has set.
Lemon Buttermilk Cookies
adapted from Gourmet
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk (shake it!)
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tbs buttermilk (shake!)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and oil baking sheets
2. Whisk together dry ingredients – flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Once mixture becomes pale and fluffy add egg, beating well after the addition, then beat in vanilla.
4. Mix in small amounts of flour mixture and buttermilk into the butter/sugar alternately in batches at low speed, until smooth.
5. Drop level tablespoons of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart onto baking sheets.
6. Bake until cookies are puffed and edges are golden, approximately 12 to 15 minutes per batch.
In a small bowl, whisk together all glaze ingredients. Dunk tops of warm cookies into the mixture and set aside on cooling rack. Let stand until cookies are completely cooled and glaze is set.