Monday, March 14, 2011

cookie o' the month...



Without further ado (and because I'd muck it up with my words) I give you this month's cookie from the very talented Baker Beth. She has combined my two loves brilliantly.

Enjoy,
-angelo


In a recent e-mail conversation, my friend Doreen – who is brilliant –was offering ideas for upcoming angelo:HOME cookies and wrote: “Something lemon - for his love of Liz Lemon?”

I had finally decided on the March cookie, but that idea went right out window when I read Doreen’s words. A Liz Lemon-inspired cookie for Angelo a k a Astronaut Mike Dexter? Ding, ding, ding! We had a winner!

I wanted to make the cookie both as Liz and as lemon as possible. Liz counts Ina Garten among her three favorite things. (The other two are sweater weather and when Muppets present at award shows.) Unfortunately, Ina doesn’t have a lemon cookie recipe.
But Giada De Laurentiis does. And Ina and Giada both star on
Food Network. Close enough.

Still, a lemon Lemon cookie would not be enough to fulfill Angelo’s charge that I “write about baking in an original and unique way."

I needed to up the Lemon ante. And as if on cue, my brain recalled a recent tweet, and in that moment, I knew. I knew I would need to incorporate ... lettuce.

Not actual lettuce, but the suggestion of lettuce. The notion of lettuce. The confectionary equivalent of lettuce.

And my brain arrived at ... cornflakes, dipped in tinted frosting, a technique learned from my friend Karen Tack.

And so, I give you the Liz Lemon cookie, a conceptual cookie, but tasty, too. Because today is Angelo’s birthday and I know that there is no one he would rather spend it with than Liz. Even with lettuce in her hair.

So, join me, won’t you, and raise a cookie – any kind will do – in a toast to Angelo on his birthday: Here’s to you, my brilliantly creative, Liz Lemon-, cookie-loving friend. I wish you the happiest of birthdays and a year of good times ahead.

— Beth

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
(From Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network)

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 15-ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 T. lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about two tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake each sheet for 15 minutes, until the cookies are slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Beth Note: I used Giada’s recipe for the cookie but topped them with lemon buttercream frosting (recipe follows) for aesthetic purposes. I’d recommend trying the lemon glaze that Giada suggests with the cookie recipe.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
(From Better Homes and Gardens The Ultimate Cookie Book, Published by Meredith Books, 2007)

1/2 C. butter, softened
1 t. lemon zest
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 to 2 T. lemon juice (or more)

In a bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add lemon zest. Beat in half of the powdered sugar. Beat in one tablespoon of the lemon juice. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in enough of the remaining lemon juice to make a frosting of spreading consistency.

Beth Note: Use a bit of yellow food coloring to tint the frosting, if desired.

“Lettuce” Garnish
(Technique adapted from from Hello, Cupcake!, Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2008)

It pains me to write this, but here goes: Buy a can of white frosting. [Wince.] Scoop a glump of it into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 10 seconds. Stir. Heat for another 10 seconds and stir again to achieve a liquidy consistency. Add drops of green and yellow food coloring until you achieve your desired shade of lettuce green. (I used about a 1/2 C. frosting, one drop of green and a half-drop of yellow.) Using tweezers, dip cornflakes into the mixture to coat, shake off the excess, and then place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. When finished dipping, put the sheet in the refrigerator to let the frosting harden.


5 comments:

Beth said...

Oh, you would have mucked up nothing. You're a fine writer.

Happy birthday to you! I wish for you many carbs!

mrsben said...

Ricotta cheese in cookies; who would have th'u'nk. :) Sounds delicious though and I just may try them. (Love cheese, love lemon.)
HAPPY BITHDAY ANGELO! WISHING YOU A SUPER GREAT DAY. -Brenda-

TL said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Rose Plated said...

Belated happy birthday Angelo! The lemon flavor plus the Ricotta cheese idea is so unique. I will give this a try.

Piano Schoenhut said...

Belated happy birthday! Those cookies are so gorgeous. I think it is perfect for my daughters birthday party too this coming weekend.

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