Monday was a big (ish) day – it was the first time I baked for my colleagues. I will admit that I do pride myself on being a half-decent baker, so I really wanted to make a good impression! I thought for ages about what to make, bearing in mind one colleague’s nut allergy and another’s aversion to raisins, and also the fact that it’s pretty hot in England at the moment.
Then I remembered that we’d recently had some rather disappointing lemon biscuits in the office, which had led to an impassioned discussion about how a good lemon biscuit should be. It needed to have a crunch, but most of all, it needed to be completely and utterly, blow your socks off, lemony. There is little worse than a less than lemony baked good. It’s particularly insipid. (Can you tell I feel strongly about this…?)
So I settled on creating the most lemony of lemon biscuits to raise spirits on a Monday morning. I found these on Bake then Eat after rather a long time trawling the blogosphere for something that sounded like it could work, and after a few tweaks I ended up with rather a lot of perfect lemon biscuits. They are a little like shortbread in their texture – with a crunch, but also with a crumble. And best of all, they are incredibly lemony (even more lemony than the original recipe, I was insatiable). The elderflower cordial in the icing was a last minute thing, but it gave the icing a glorious tang – it’s completely optional, and you can just use more lemon juice in its place.
- 250 grams butter
- 140 grams Icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- Grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 375-400 grams plain flour
- 70 grams icing sugar
- Enough lemon juice to make a dripping consistency
- A decent dash of undiluted elderflower cordial (optional)
– Beat the butter until it is light and fluffy, using a stand mixer or handheld whisk.
– Add in the icing sugar and mix until well combined.
– Beat in the vanilla extract and the egg yolk until the mixture is pale and creamy.
– Add the zest and the juice of two lemons, and use a wooden spoon to distribute evenly.
– Fold in 375g of the flour to bring it all together. This will firm up a little while chilling, but at this point mine was still very wet, so I gradually added about 25g more flour until I had a biscuit dough consistency.
– Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
– Preheat your oven to 190C / 170 fan / gas mark 5 and take your dough out of the fridge. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
– Roll the dough out until it is about 5 mm thick, and cut out 2 inch (5 cm) rounds. Place them on your baking trays with a little space between them.
– Pop them in your oven. Mine took about 10 mins to be evenly cooked and beginning to brown very slightly, but I’d recommend watching very closely as they’ll get very brown very quickly
– Transfer to wire baking racks to cool.
– In a small bowl place your icing sugar, a little lemon juice and a dash of elderflower if using and mix all together. Add more lemon juice a little at a time to get the right drizzling consistency.
– Drizzle over your cooled cookies however you like.*
– Kept in an airtight tin these cookies will stay fresh for… well… 5 days so far and mine are still fine.
*Tip: I got the effect on mine by placing greased proof paper under my wire cooling racks and then drizzling from left to right across the whole row of biscuits. I kept going back and forth until I had an effect i liked, with the greased proof paper catching all of the drips!
Listening to Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, My baby just cares for me by Nina Simone, Fever by Ray Charles and Natalie Cole.
This original recipe is from Bake then Eat. I’ve made a few changes, mainly adding way more lemon juice/elderflower. All other content is © Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2015.