As cold and gray november, giving his best to make us stay indoors, continues on, I get the distinct feeling that something to remind us of warmer, friendlier days is in order… A while back I found an unexplained Blueberry Cookie in my mailbox back in Tyria, sent to me by a Guild mate who, as I’ve found out by now, was going through the motions of unlocking and collecting any and all recipes for his Cooking Station. Now, there’s a bright, light, fluffy and yummy idea~!
Hijacking the next best oven I could find, I summoned my hubby-minion and got to work conjuring up a batch of my Blueberry-Lemon Cookies to bring a glimpse of summer back into our systems. The mission was a rousing success, the november doom and gloom fled our general vicinity as we opened the oven door! The aroma of freshly baked cookies with a hint of lemon has to be the ultimate weapon against icky weather and the icky moods said weather can cause…
So, this little gift from a guild member’s kitchen…
…made me come up with a tray of these pretties~!
The Blueberry-Lemon Cookies (20-25)
300g Plain Flour
200g Soft Butter
100g fine Caster Sugar
1-2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Lemon, Zest
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt
1) Preheat your oven to 180°C, and line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment.
2) Place the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and use a handheld electrical whisk to cream them up until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture turns into a pale yellow, glossy pile of fluff inside your bowl.
3) Gradually sift in the flour, baking powder and salt – turn the whisks to low for this and try not to sift the dusty stuff directly onto the turning whisks while intently eyeballing the proceedings in your bowl to dodge a looming Geisha makeover.
4) Once all of the dry ingredients are well incorporated, add the egg and the lemon zest, turn the speed up to medium-high and keep at it until the mixture turns into a soft and even dough.
5) Make sure not to overwork the dough, though. As soon as the ingredients are well blended into eachother – as soon as you don’t get that grainy feel coming through your whisks anymore and there are no lumps or dots of flour to be found – stop the whirr.
6) Divide the dough into aroundabout 20-25 similar sized portions and gently roll them into balls – again, try not to overwork the dough, squishing it or re-rolling the balls over and over – the cookies would turn tough and grainy… hey, is that where this idea came from?
7) Set the balls onto the trays, leaving 3-4cm in between – they’ll “melt” and spread out a bit.
8) Gently press a hollow into the middle of each ball with your thumb, about halfway or 2/3 of the way down.
9) Let the jam drip off a spoon into the prints until they’re filled up to 3/4 of their depth – don’t go overfilling them, otherwise the jam might seep out as the cookies spread if you’re using the sugar reduced kind – there’s not enough sugar in it to crystallize and thicken up in the heat before the “walls” of the wells shrink in on themselves. If you’re using “normal” jam, feel free to fill the prints up to just below the rims.
10) Place the tray on the middle rack of your oven and bake them for 12-15 mins until they are lightly golden. They’ll still be rather soft while they’re still warm, so give them a couple of mins to cool down and firm up before moving them off the tray onto a cooling rack.
We had such a blast with these cookies, inexperienced with the whole baking thing as we were, happily thumbprinting wells into the soft dough for the yummy jam! I think cookies like these are the perfect way to get into the whole shindig for cookie-newbies or a ridiculously easy quick-fix for the pro’s, equally rewarding for both. Just on a side note, somewhere along the line, hubby had that slightly disturbing mad-scientist grin on his face and started to fill a couple of the wells with Maple Syrup when he thought I wasn’t looking. I tried to tell him what would happen, but after a failed attempt I prepared my “I told you so” for quick use after the oven ding’ed cookie’o’clock. Do not, I repeat, do not use honey, maple syrup or something similarly runny to fill the cookies. It will boil over and burn – first the cookie, then the baking parchment below, then your fingers when you’re trying to pry them off of the tray… Fun times, though~!