Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cookies Day Two Revisited - Short Bread Lemon Curd Sandwiches

Finally here it is the cookie I was intending to make yesterday. In this one the filling was the first thing I was thinking about and then I had to think about what kind of cookie would make a great compliment for it. I know that lemon is not exactly the king of filling one would generally think about during this time of year. I just thought that it would be excellent for bringing a little of that summer brightness and feeling that those of us who don't live in warm climate areas during this season, wish we could have. So here is the recipe for both the cookies and the lemon curd filling:

Shortbread Cookies
Yields about 6 Dozen

1 Cup (2 sticks) Salted Butter
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 C Flour

In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar with a mixer until the sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture looks light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well incorporated. Slowly add the flour in. Toward the end of mixing this dough you might need to stop your mixer (if it is a small handheld one. If you have a kitchen aid you don't need to worry about this) and knead the dough with the heel of your hand in order to ensure the flour is evenly incorporated throughout the dough. The dough will have a consistency almost like pie crust dough except a little heavier. Separate half the dough and roll into a cylinder about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Roll the cylinder into a sheet of saran/plastic wrap. Repeat this step with the remaining half. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour to allow the dough to firm.

While your dough is resting in the fridge you can set to the task of making your lemon curd. Here is the recipe adapted from the one I found in Macarons-Chick and Delicious French Treats by Annie Rigg:

Lemon Curd

3 Egg Yolks
1 TBSP Heavy Cream
1/3 Cup caster/superfine sugar
3 TBSP unsalted butter
Grated Zest and Juice from 1 Lemon

You can make the curd using either a double boiler or simply a heatproof bowl over a pot of slowly boiling water over medium low heat. Place your butter in the bowl and let it melt down. Slowly add in the sugar to ensure that it incorporates evenly into the butter and preventing it from creating lumps. Beat the egg yolks and heavy cream together and slowly add the mixture into the batter stirring frequently using a whisk (you want to temper your egg mixture in, otherwise you will wind up with a sweet scrambled egg mess).At this point you should have a nice thick sauce in your bowl. Add in the lemon zest and juiceand continue to stir frequently until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. In all the entire process should take you about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Now bake your cookies. Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out your dough cylinders and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place on baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Place in oven and bake from 15-20 minutes or until the edges start to brown.   I would like to mention that if you have an oven that does not heat evenly it is best to place your baking sheets on the rack that is furthest from the heat source in order to ensure that the cookies are baked evenly since these are a bit thicker and heavier than most other cookies.

Once your cookies are baked and cooled start making your sandwiches with the lemon curd use as much The recipe for the curd will fill about 36 sandwiches if you use a little over 1/2 teaspoon for each. Ofcourse if you want to be more generous with this filling (and who could blame you) you should probably double the recipe for the curd so that you can fill cookies to your hearts content. 

I hope you enjoy these.

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