Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Lemon Icebox Cookies

I love the idea of refrigerator, or icebox, cookies.  Making dough and then just baking as many cookies as you need at the time and storing the dough in the fridge or freezer to bake later, as you need them.

For mine I decided upon a lemon flavour, and tried something a little different when making the dough.  I had been reading about using hard boiled egg yolks when making dough, as a means of making a very tender cookie, or pastry, or cake.

Apparently passing a hard boiled egg yolk through a sieve and adding into the mixture when making the dough actually stops some of the gluten from forming, resulting in a more tender bake. 

So I decided to try this, though really as an experiment I should also have made some cookies without the hard boiled yolk to be able to measure any difference.

Nevertheless I made my cookies that way, and they turned out very well indeed.  A lovely, almost, melt in the mouth cookie with the lemon flavour and some caramel flavour from the demerara sugar.

The recipe is easy to follow and doesn't take up much time, apart from chilling.  So this is an ideal recipe to make, when you need a few cookies, as you can store the dough in the fridge for a few days and then bake more, or in the freezer for much longer.

I used plain flour and cornflour in combination, but if you are able to buy cake and pastry flour that works just fine too.
Lemon Icebox Cookies


Lemon Icebox Cookies - Video

Ingredients:
  • 200g plain flour
  • 25g cornflour (or 225g cake flour instead of these first two ingredients)
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white
  • 140g softened unsalted butter
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste(or vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 tsp salt(omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 50g demerara sugar
Method:
  1. In a stand mixer, with paddle attachment, beat the butter to a smooth mix.
  2. Add the icing sugar and beat into the butter until all is nice and fluffy.
  3. Pass the hard boiled egg yolk through a fine sieve to break it all up.
  4. Add the egg yolk, vanilla bean paste and lemon zest and mix all together.
  5. Add to the butter mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Mix the cornflour, salt and flour together and add into the butter mixture.
  7. Beat until just combined into a thick dough.
  8. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into sausages/logs about between 1 and 2 inches in diameter(I made mine about 1.5 inches in diameter and 16 inches long, but thinner is fine, there will just be smaller cookies).
  9. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, until the dough is nice and firm.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/325 F
  11. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper(if baking all the dough, or only one otherwise).
  12. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap.
  13. Lightly beat the egg white and brush it all over the cookie dough.
  14. Sprinkle the demerara sugar onto the used plastic wrap and roll the cookie dough in it, to coat the outside.
  15. Cut the dough into slices, about 1/4 inch in thickness.
  16. Place each slice on the baking tray, leaving a gap(about 1 inch if using 2 inch in diameter cookies).
  17. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the dough is cooked, the underside will be lightly browned.
  18. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a while on the baking trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


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