It was cold outside . . .
I've had buttermilk and lemons in my refrigerator for quite a while . . .
& I thought my co-workers could use a little afternoon treat . . .
which is how I ended up with a batch of lemon buttermilk cookies.
I adapted this recipe from Molly, who adapted it from Gourmet magazine. Strange substitutions (such as mine) or not, these cookies are very light and tender. I added quite a bit more lemon to my version than Molly's or Gourmet's version suggests . . . I imagine the original recipe results in a very mild tasting cookie. Molly suggested serving them with lemonade, but I think they would also be nice with a cup of hot tea, especially during the sub-zero winter days here in the midwest.
Lemon Buttermilk Cookies
1 ½ cups plus 2 tbsp. white spelt flour (or 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour)
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
5 tbsp. ghee (or unsalted butter), at room temperature
¾ cup sugar (or substitute of your choice)
1 large egg
1 tsp. limoncello (lemon flavored liquor)
1/3 cup buttermilk
¾ cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 ½ Tbsp. well-shaken buttermilk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. limoncello
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, zest, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl, if you’re using a handheld mixer), beat the ghee (or butter) briefly, until creamy. Add the sugar, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, and beat well to mix. Add the limoncello, and beat briefly again. Mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in batches at low speed, beginning and ending with the flour, until just combined.
- Drop the dough (with a small scoop) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 ½ inches between each cookie. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are puffed and their edges are golden, about 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 1 minute; then transfer them to a wire rack.
- For the glaze, whisk together the sifted confectioners sugar, buttermilk, limoncello, vanilla and lemon zest. The mixture should be very smooth, with no lumps of sugar visible. Brush or spoon the glaze onto the warm cookies. Allow cookies to sit on the rack until they are fully cooled and the glaze is set.