Daily Archives: June 12, 2012

The clock is running

Which means that I suddenly have to do all of those things that I’ve been putting off for weeks.

Except that I’m still not doing any of that yet. I’m baking instead.

Once again, it’s cookie time!

Today I made lemon cookies, partly because I wanted a summery-flavored cookie to mix up my usual rotation of chocolate-flavored goodies, and partly because I had another shipment of baked goods due out by mid-week. This recipe comes from allrecipes.com. When using sites like All Recipes, I recommend reading the comments and noting what substitutions, adaptations, and changes people make to the recipes. I’ll explain in a few.

Lemon joins the party!

Standard cookie base going on here: butter, flour, egg, baking powder, salt, and sugar. For the lemon flavor, we’ve got lemon juice and zest. If you use the recipe from the link above, I would recommend going by the comments and increasing the lemon juice and zest amounts. I probably put in close to 3 tablespoons lemon juice and nearly 2 teaspoons of lemon zest to get the very mild lemon flavor I ended up with. If you want a strong lemon flavor, boost that up even further, or use lemon extract instead of juice and zest. Extract will be more concentrated.

Boy, does this smell good.

Can you see the little lemon zest hanging out in there? Let’s try another shot:

Now you can see it! Smell that buttery lemony goodness.

This recipe is all about the adaptations. Besides increasing the amounts of lemon in the recipe, I also changed the method of prepping the cookies for the oven. I did refrigerate the dough as directed- totally necessary; this dough is too wet to handle without chilling. Today, however, I didn’t feel like making a big mess of my kitchen by flouring the counters, rolling the dough out, and cutting circles out neatly. For one batch, I rolled tablespoon-fuls of dough into balls, pressed flat with the bottom of a juice glass, and sprinkled with some lemon-zested sugar. For the next, I rolled the dough in sugar and then pressed them out on the cookie sheet. I think the second method gave me better results, but only because there was more sugar on those cookies. And just in case you haven’t noticed, sugar and I have a thing going.

Cookie pictures!

Horizontal shot.

At an angle.

And vertical.

Obviously I really enjoyed the light in my kitchen today, and I managed to get some nice shots of these pretty little cookies. I’ll admit, they are kind of bland-looking, but the flavor is delicate: not too sweet, with a nice tang from the lemon and a light richness (yes, it’s possible) from the butter. This is an easy recipe that uses ingredients you probably already have on hand. It’s a nice little summer cookie, a good option if you need a break from heavy chocolate treats.

Next time, I’d up the lemon just a tad more, try rolling and cutting the cookies out, and make sure the cookies on the bottom rack get out earlier than the ones on the top rack. Yes, I bake two cookie sheets at a time, on different racks, in a non-convection oven. I have yet to have disastrous results with this, so I’m not stopping.

Chile update: my visa has been approved! I’ll make a trek out to Chicago on Friday to pick it up. I also finished taking my typhoid vaccine- which means my dad can stop telling people that I have typhoid fever.

It’s really starting to hit me now that I’m heading out on this big adventure very, very soon. Four weeks from today, I’ll be spending my second night in Chile. My second night! In four weeks I’ll already be two days in!

Of course, the panic has begun to set in: when am I going to buy all my stuff? How will I pack it? Do I even have the money for it? How much should I spend? When will I see all my friends before I leave? How much family do I have visiting before I leave- and how close to my departure date will they go home? And so on.

Deep breaths, Gaby. Deep breaths. It’s only the middle of the week.

Random thoughts: does honeydew melon shrink as it sits out? We froze some extra honeydew, and when we brought it out the other day, it kept releasing water after it thawed, and I’m pretty sure the pieces actually got smaller as they kept warming up. Weird! It shows you how much water is in some foods.

The Internet keeps me from getting enough sleep every night.

Ever have that moment where you realize you are headed on an entirely different life trajectory from the people you grew up with? That happened to me this weekend.

Please remember to comment! Hope you are all having a lovely week.

With love,



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