Sunday, December 29, 2013

buttermilk tea cookies with lemon glaze.

Lemon, buttermilk, and cornmeal are a match made in cookie heaven. 

(I'm at a loss of words today probably because my brain has turned to mush since I've done nothing but eat cookies for the last week.)  

These would make a fine addition to a New Year's Day brunch spread.  They are crunchy from the addition of cornmeal yet they remain soft and tender from the buttermilk.  It's as if a cookie and a piece of cake had a baby and this is what resulted (cookies and cake should get together more often).  I love them served with tea for a supremely awesome afternoon snack with friends but they are equally delicious with milk as most cookies are. 

Buttermilk Tea Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Makes about 24 cookies

For the cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 -1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (depending on how much lemon you like)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk

For the glaze

Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, or more as needed
1/4 cup poppy seeds or gold sanding sugar for sprinkling 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, and mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture and then ½ of the buttermilk. Scrape down the bowl. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining buttermilk.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the remaining flour mixture with a rubber spatula until it is fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, prepare the lemon glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, and confectioners’ sugar. The glaze should be as thick as glue. If the glaze is too thin, thicken it with additional confectioners’ sugar. Set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, place 1-tablespoon rounds of dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between cookies.

Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, until they are golden around the edges (they may take a minute longer depending upon your oven). Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet.

While the cookies are still warm, drizzle a small amount (about ½ teaspoon) of the lemon glaze over each cookie, and then sprinkle on 1⁄8 teaspoon of the poppy seeds or sprinkles. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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