Today’s post inspired by Mason-Dixon Knitting and their Grandma Mabel Memorial Recipe Box Show & Tell Contest.
I’m sure you remember these cookies from our youth. Mom found a scrawled recipe in Grandma J’s stuff. (For readers — Aunt Gene was our Grandmother Hazel J’s aunt. That made her our mother’s great aunt and our great great aunt…following?) Mom thinks it is the one that Aunt Gene and Great Grandma R (ours, not our mom’s) used when they made their lemon cookies.
She copied it out on a 3X5 card for me, stuffed it in the back of a drawer and sent it to me several years later. I then
carelessly left it lying around to be water-damaged carefully preserved it in my recipe box and waited several years to try it out. This was the year!
The really audacious thing about these cookies is that they are made with ammonia — it took a while to convince Dale that baker’s ammonia could be consumed…especially after he got a whiff of the kitchen. I explained that the ammonia really didn’t stay in the cookie, but was how it was leavened. (Not sure he got that.) If you want to try to make these, I got my ammonia and the lemon oil from Penzey’s. The pencil marks on the card are mine…my experimentation to determine to what “about 1/2 crock of flour” equates.
I know I didn’t get the icing right, but after the marathon baking session we did earlier in the season, a lemon glaze was all they were going to get. Fortunately the nonpareils dress them up a bit. (We always have nonpareils in our household for that very reason — if I’m too lazy for even lipstick, nonpareils do suffice.) The cookies themselves are tender and have a delicate but distinct lemon flavor. It really makes itself known after the cookie has already been gone for several minutes. It’s that lovely piquant sensation you get from citrus oil…a bit of a tingle and a note of lemony-deliciousness. And it’s pretty addicting. I didn’t roll out all of the dough…will see how it freezes.
These would be awesome if I could figure out a nicely tangy lemon icing that could just be dolloped on them. Maybe lemon curd even?
There also has been a bit of knitting going on. I am down to 8 pattern repeats for the center panel of Marie’s wedding shawl. That said, I needed a break with something requiring a little less concentration. (I have no idea how folks memorize 12 row repeating lace patterns…I have to check every row. Though I do have the rows pretty well memorized, I just can’t keep track of which I’m on without checking.) So I started “Hearts for Heidi” the socks I promised Heidi for her to wear at the wedding. I also have to get busy on my own shrug, but have at least progressed on that to the narrowing down to 8 patterns stage.
Gotta get going…Dale is slowly building resentment that I am playing on the blog while he vacuums in preparation for our very casual gathering tonight. Some friends and their mom/mom-in-law are coming over. We’ll go to the “Scottish Walk” in Portsmouth and come back to our place for heavy finger foods (the foods, not the fingers, though after this holiday all parts are a bit heavy), some champagne and celebration of the New Year based on Greenwich Mean Time. Yes, we are as young as we feel…and that would be fairly old!