I started reading blogs back when I was in graduate school – so, mid 2000s. Amusingly enough, most of what I read were food blogs, and I would drool over different things that were cooked and baked, and wish that I had enough time to make things for myself. Sometimes I would have time – like the Christmas break where I made about 12 dozen different cookies to take home since my mother wouldn’t have time to make any that year. I scrounged recipes I knew by heart, and those I found on the internet and was eager to try. One of those early blogs is one I still read – Baking Bites! The author (Nicole) is a pastry chef and food writer who reviews baking gear, new commercial cookie flavors and mixes, and posts her own recipes. The recipes she makes are classics with a twist, and they’re usually excellent.
When we were informed that the party for my Grandmother’s 100th birthday would not include a cake this year, but instead ask everyone to bring an appetizer, a side or a batch of cookies, I knew I wanted to try something new and fun. And since there had been a new recipe – meyer lemon snickerdoodles! – on the Baking Bites site earlier that day that intrigued me, I knew I wanted to try it out, and this would be a perfect occasion.
Snickerdoodles are a style of cookie that I love. Crisp and crunchy with a sugar on the outside, and (hopefully!) tender on the inside. Normally leaning towards cinnamon sugar flavor, this lemon twist seemed like a fun way to brighten up the cookie table with something a little lighter and fruitier than you normally see in the winter – heavier chocolates and fudge. It doesn’t hurt that the Boy loves lemon things, and that I love snickerdoodles.
And oh man – these were a HIT! They were the only cookie (possibly the only food???) that my 2 year old nephew ate during the entire party. Partly because E was with us, and kept saying they were her favorite, and my nephew will do whatever she says. E’s praise was so effusive that it got to the point where people asked how much I was paying her to say my cookies were her favorite. $0. That’s how much. They’re just good. And if you don’t believe me, I dare you to make a batch, and decide for yourself. Our grocery store didn’t have meyer lemons in, and I don’t think I used quite enough zest, but they were still lemony and delicious. So if I can be the cookie star with so little effort, so can you!
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup butter, soft
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda.
In a large bowl, cream together 1 1/2 cups sugar with butter and lemon zest until mixture is fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Blend flour mixture into sugar mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in remaining 1/2 cup sugar (place in a small bowl). Arrange cookies on baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between balls to allow for spreading.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until edges are firm to the touch, but not quite browned. Cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Keeps for several days in an airtight container after cooling…if they last that long!