December 12, 2012

Lemon Wreath Cookies & The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012!!

Have I ever told you that I freakin' LOVE Christmas?

Well, I do.
I love it so much it's almost a problem....
Almost.

But no one ever seems to complain when I pull out the ol' recipe book 

& tell them I need them to be guinea pigs for an upcoming cookie swap.
All of a sudden, not so much of a problem, is it?

This year's occasion for using my friends: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012!

The recipe: Lemon Wreath Cookies
The result: Christmas Cookie Tangy Lemon-y Yumminess :)


Last year I had a great experience taking part in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap
so when I got the email saying that it was that time of year again, I jumped at the chance!

It's pretty cray how big this swap has gotten since last year!
Imagine 575 food bloggers in 8 countries baking hundreds of different types of cookies & clogging up the post offices with delicious baked goods!
But that's not all...

This year, all 570 bloggers donated to Cookies for Kids' Cancer and were matched dollar for dollar by OXO (the company that makes those handy kitchen tools) resulting in a donation of $4,300 to aid in the fight against Kids' Cancer.
Who said baking was a frivolous past-time??


This year I sent cookies to:
Sharon at cheesypennies.blogspot.com
Carolyn at alldayidreamaboutfood.com &
Renee at tortillasandhoney.com
(Don't forget to check them out & see what they made for the swap!)




My 3 matches sent me the deliciously diverse cookies you see below!
Check out their recipes & blogs at the following links:
Amy Christie at thisheartofmineblog.com
Stacy Lundstedt at bakingbandit.wordpress.com
Valerie at pursuitofsweetness.com
Thanks Ladies!! 
You helped me nullify my diet 3 times :)



This year I challenged myself to make something that I had never made before but always wanted to try.
I set to scouring the endless collection of "to-do" recipes I have collected over the years & quickly overwhelmed myself.
10 minutes later, cut to me drinking a glass of red wine in my kitchen...& it hit me!
Who's the one person that not only completely fills me with fits of jealous rage but also insurmountable amounts of creativity?
Martha friggin' Stewart.
I'm a big enough woman to admit it...
Oprah has this same effect on me, but she doesn't make cookies, 
so I'll leave her out of this.
Anywho,
I went back to my "to-do" list & what do you know?
Sitting on top of the crazy pile I had made on the floor was this recipe for 
Lemon Wreath Cookies.
Kismet.

I loved everything about these cookies.

I loved the fact that they looked nothing like "cookies".
I loved that they looked like little Christmas wreath glazed donuts.
I loved that they had history being based on a traditional Italian cookie called "ciambella".
So I made them & anxiously awaited my taste-tester's response.
My guinea pigs approved....
I ate, like, a dozen....
Then I made them again just to make sure they were delicious.
Yup. Still pretty darn delicious....
Martha's gone and done it again...and I hate her a little more with every bite...

And there you have it:

Beautiful & Tart Lemon Wreath Cookies!
You can thank me later...I'll wait :)
Enjoy!!


I made some changes to the original recipe to better suit my taste, but it's up to you.
I added more lemon zest because, well, I like things pretty tangy. Plus, just look at this zest...how could you really say no to it?

Then, I rolled out the logs to make the cookie rings a little larger than normal.  I figured if I was only sending 12 then I had better make it worth it!  Also, don't worry if your ends don't come together perfectly.  They will once they bake!

See? 

Dip the cookies in the glaze once they have completely cooled or else they will melt the glaze right off...not that I did that or anything...um...yea...

Wait a couple of seconds for glaze to set, sprinkle with nonpareils, & let set for about 10 more minutes to make sure the glaze is completely dry...
And most importantly, Eat & Enjoy!!


Lemon Wreath Cookies
Original recipe based on Martha Stewart's recipe "Christine's Lemon Wreath Cookies"
Yield: 3 dozen


Ingredients:

Cookies:
3 cups All-purpose flour + more for dusting your counter
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon zest
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Glaze:
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
7 Tbsp lemon juice (approximately 3-4 lemons)
1/4 cup white nonpareils for sprinkling


Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. To make cookies, combine flour, baking powder, & salt in a bowl.
3. Place butter in mixer with paddle attachment. Add zest & beat for about 4 minutes until pale & fluffy.
4.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each egg.  
5.  Add vanilla & lemon juice & reduce speed to low.
6.  Slowly add flour mixture and mix until combined. Don't over mix!!
7.  Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll dough into a log about 4 inches long.  Bring ends together and lightly press them together to form a doughnut shape.  Repeat until all the dough is rolled out & shaped.
8.  Place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart as you finish them.  
9.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-18 minutes (depending on your oven) or until they turn a light golden yellow and the bottoms are lightly brown.  
10.  Transfer cookies to wire rack that have been placed over parchment paper to cool.  The parchment under the cookies will help catch the dripping glaze.
11.  To make the glaze:  Juice about 3-4 lemons (straining the juice to remove seeds and some pulp) and place in a bowl.  
12.  Slowly add powdered sugar while whisking to mix sugar into juice.  If you like a thicker glaze add more sugar.
13.  Dip cookies in glaze and place back on wire rack to allow to set and excess to drip off on underlying parchment paper.  
14.  Sprinkle with nonpareils and allow to completely dry before packing, eating, or storing.

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2 comments:

  1. Can these be frozen even with the glaze ?

    i'm excited to try them out!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried to freeze them with the glaze. I don't recommend it (based on trying to freeze other items with similar glazes) because the glaze tends to break down and become runny once it thaws. If you end up trying it with these cookies, let me know how it turns out :)

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