Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lemon Walnut Cookies

It's been a busy couple of weeks since school started.  Just trying to get back into the swing of things has been tough for my little guy (and his Mom too!).  Between pick-ups and drop-offs, homework, cleaning up around the house, blogging, painting a bathroom, weeding the garden and a million other things, free time has been hard to come by.  Cooking just for fun has fallen way down low on the priority list, which makes me a little sad, truth be told.

Like all 6 year olds, my son is always famished when he gets home from school.  I've been trying to have a tasty snack for him ready to grab and go.  I've made these cantaloupe popsicles and strawberry banana popsicles because it's been so darn hot.  And the perfect little cookie that I had been craving.  They're a takeoff of a Pepperidge Farm cookie that I used to be able to buy, but they discontinued a few years ago.  I missed that little lemon nut cookie- I could eat the whole bag of cookies in a day if I really tried (okay, so I didn't really have to try that hard).

I've never been able to find a recipe that gets even close to the flavors of the store bought ones, and not for lack of trying.  This one is close, however.  The flavors are right, but it's missing the crunch.  They do, however, have a nice tender, crumbly texture and a pleasant tang from the lemon.  I'll get it right someday, but for now these will do just fine.  Better than fine, really.

Lemon Walnut Cookies
Inspired by these cookies by Giada DeLaurentis
Makes 3 dozen

1 cup walnuts
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
3 tbs lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, corn meal and walnuts until the nuts are finely chopped.  Set aside

In the bowl of a mixer beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix.  Then add in the lemon juice, zest and vanilla.  beat until incorporated.  Approximately one cup at a time, add the flour mixture and beat until fully mixed in.  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone liner.  Scoop the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the cookie sheet.  With damp fingers, lightly flatten the cookies.  They don't spread, so you need to give them a bit of a head start on the shaping.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets about halfway through. The cookies will have just begun to brown on the bottom edges.  Don't let them brown on top or they will be very dry.

Place the warm cookies on a baking rack and dust with powdered sugar.  Let cool.

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