I'm very proud to have participated in this past weekend's Great American Bake Sale to benefit Share Our Strength. This amazing organization has the goal of eliminating childhood hunger in America by 2015. The Great American Bake Sale takes place across the country on the same day - all bake sales, all committed to helping families and communities.
Atlanta's Food Blogger Bake Sale was coordinated by Tami Hardeman of Running With Tweezers who just announced this afternoon that not only did the bake sale raise $3,000, but because it was the highest-grossing bake sale in the country, Duncan Hines will add another $10,000 to go to the Atlanta donation for Share Our Strength!
I want to send out special thank you's to Tami for coordinating this project and Wanda of The Teacher Cooks who graciously transported my cookies to the event.
It's been awhile since I participated in a bake sale and I had an inkling that this sale's emphasis on individual packaging would require a lot of time to label and assemble. I chose to make two of my favorite cookies - Ginger Cookies with Strawberry Jam and Glazed Lemon Cookies. I'm glad I listened to the inkle - baking a double batch of ginger cookies and a single batch of lemon cookies took about 3 hours. Packaging the cookies took another 3 hours. All the work was absolutely worth it.
|Ginger cookies with strawberry jam. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books|
Soft, spicy ginger cookies with strawberry jam are my go-to giveaway cookie. They're old-fashioned and a change-up from the usual variations on chocolate chip (not that there's anything wrong with chocolate chip cookies). I've been on a lemon kick lately so I added my adaptation of the Glazed Lemon Thins recipe in Susan Purdy's "The Family Baker." About lemons - my dessert output this year includes lemon pudding, lemon pound cake, lemon tea loaves. Truth be told, I've been on the lemon kick for awhile - the very first story I ever wrote for the blog, in January 2008, was for coconut macaroon tarts with lemon curd, a little bridal shower treat that I must find an excuse to make again. And there's homemade lemon ginger ice cream chilling in the freezer as I type.
|Glazed Lemon Cookies by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books|
Glazed Lemon Cookies
adapted from Susan Purdy's The Family Baker
Yield: about 40 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. For the cookies: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and well blended. Beat in the egg, lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Scrape down the bowl and beater and add flour, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch and baking soda, beating everything together until fully incorporated.
2. Dust a countertop with a small amount of flour and turn dough out. Knead lightly and shape into a log. I like a square cookie, so I square the edges. You can divide the dough into two logs, if that works better for your refrigerator. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. You can also double wrap the dough logs, place in a freezer container, label and freeze for up to 2 months. If using frozen dough, set out on counter while the oven preheats, to make the dough easier to slice.
3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Place cookie dough log on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice 1/4-inch slices. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 or until the cookies are a light golden brown on the edges. While cookies are baking, make glaze by combining lemon juice, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest. Use a spatula to gently remove the cookies from the baking sheet and place them on a wire rack set over wax paper or foil (to catch drips) to cool slightly. Use a brush to spread glaze on cookies while they're still warm. Let cookies dry and place them in airtight containers for storage. (As if. They'll be gone before you can turn around.) It's a good idea to put parchment paper or waxed paper between the layers of cookies.