Let's pretend you're invited to an Easter Brunch at the home of a fabulous cook. You've been asked to bring something - "anything that's yummy" - but you have no idea what that means! Well, allow me to solve your Easter brunch dilemma. Take these cookies. Yes. Seriously. Everyone at the brunch will be impressed at the first bite - even your host! And she will definitely ask you for the recipe because these lightly lemon flavored shortbread cookies are dense, chewy and the edges are rolled in almonds that get nice and toasty in the oven...it's a party in the mouth! Plus, I have it on good authority that the Easter Bunny loves these cookies!
Ummm...the Easter Bunny might have eaten a few too many of these cookies as evidenced by her enormous girth! Actually...that is a pillow...I'm not THAT fat! Between the pillow and the head piece, I was one schweaty bunny by the time it was all said and done! The inside of the head piece was rubber!!! Seriously, my head is two times smaller now!! It was so stinkin' hot in that thing!
The little kids loved the bunny...the bigger kids, around 7 and 8 years of age...they were not as enthusiastic! One little girl walked up to me and said, "You're creepy!" Of course, I had no choice but to reply, "So are you!" And with that she ran off. Another little girl walked up to me with her dad, happily took a cookie from my basket and then said, rather snidely, "I thought bunnies hopped." Well they do, and I did, once or twice, but as I explained to that sweet, adorable little brat cherub, "This bunny only hops in the Hutch, do you know what a Hutch is?" With that she rolled her eyes, the dad laughed and they walked off. There were 63 very sweet, happy, adorable kids at our annual neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt and only two not so adorable...which is way better than a Trump rally!
My good friend Joni, aka You Tube Mom, recently schooled me on how to keep lemons and limes from going bad. You put them in the freezer! Duh! Why didn't I think of that?!?! Then, when you need the zest of one lemon, like for these cookies, you take your lemon from the freezer and zest away, the zest comes off much easier when frozen. If you need the juice as well, just let the lemon sit on the counter for a bit and it will be ready to go. Good idea, no? So...on with the show...these cookies are made with butter and lemon and that's why you need to make them for Easter and then for every week after that...you're going to want to keep this recipe handy, it's dang good my friends! As in 5 dangs! And they are dang easy to make, too! After the dough is made, it is rolled into a log, then rolled in chopped almonds (you could actually use any nuts you like, pistachios or pecans or walnuts) and then you pop it into the fridge to firm up a bit.
We will be having our usual Easter Feast with the boy and his bride and a few other extended family members...and the boy informed me he is still not too old for an Easter basket ...so of course I ran right out and started buying all his favorite things...enabling/spoiling is my specialty!
Lemon Almond Cookies - Pots and Pins
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup finely chopped almonds (or you can use pistachios, pecans or walnuts)
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, mixing until just combined. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Blend in dry ingredients, mix thoroughly until all combined.
Spread a piece of plastic wrap onto counter, scoop dough out onto plastic wrap and shape into a long log, about 1 1/2-inches thick and 16-inches long. Wrap log in plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and carefully remove plastic wrap. Place chopped almonds in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and stir to coat. Spread chopped almonds on plastic wrap and roll dough in almonds, coating all around. Slice dough into just under 1/2-inch slices. You should be able to get about 36 cookie slices. Place on un-greased baking sheets and bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to racks to cool. Makes about 36 two-inch cookies.