THESE COOKIES GRABBED MY ATTENTION when I saw them posted at In Sock Monkey Slippers‘ website. They are beautiful to behold, elegant to serve, and exquisite to eat.
Limoncello Cookies are simply sugar cookies that you dip in a Limoncello-infused icing, and then top with candied lemon rounds. The rounds are a cinch to make — just simmer some lemon slices in sugar and water until they become soft and sensuous.
You might like to serve these beauties at tea-time. Alternatively, you could transport them to your bedroom under the cloak of night, and ravage them with wild abandon. They make terrific bed-mates, for they neither snore nor steal the covers.
Tip: Make extra rounds! Candied lemon slices are so delicious you’ll want to eat them out of hand.
Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the lemon slices, reduce the heat, and simmer until perfectly tender — about 20 minutes. (Sock Monkey says 30 minutes, but when I tried that timing, the slices disintegrated.)
Now brace yourself for the next step:
Another note: If you live in an alcohol-free home (in which case I’ll assume you don’t have pure vanilla extract in your cabinet, because its booze-content is even higher than that of Limoncello), feel free to substitute lemon juice. Or, just make your icing with confectioners’ sugar and milk.
Place a candied lemon atop each cookie, and then let them rest for at least 20 minutes. This will give the icing a chance to firm up and lose its stickiness.
Now, Sock Monkey likes to arrange 3 yellow candy “pearls” on her Limoncello cookies. I tried this too, with white pearls, but found they were a pain to apply. Furthermore, I don’t think they are absolutely necessary, except for the sake of photography. Probably you can skip this precious adornment.
But please don’t skip-out on these cookies! They are deliciously zingy. But they are neither too tart nor too sweet. After I made a batch the other day, I promptly ate 12 of them.
And here’s a copy-and-paste version of the above:
Inspired by a recipe from In Sock Monkey Slippers
For the candied lemon wheels:
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2-3 lemons, sliced into 24 1/8-inch-thick rounds
For the sugar cookie dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
The grated zest of 1 lemon
For the icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons Limoncello
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Yellow or white candy “pearls” — 3 for each cookie
The candied lemon slices — Put the water and sugar in a medium saucepan, give them a quick stir, and then bring the mixture to a boil over a medium flame. Add the lemon slices, lower the heat, and let simmer quietly until perfectly tender — 20-25 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the slices to a wire rack to cool.
The sugar cookie dough — Whisk together the flour and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Using a standing mixer (or a hand-held mixer), cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running at medium speed, add the beaten egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. On “low” speed, beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to bake, place the oven rack at the lower-middle position; preheat the oven to 350°F
Forming and baking the cookies — Cut the dough in half. Return half of the dough to the fridge. On a lightly-floured surface, roll the other half into a circle, approximately 1/8-thick. Punch out rounds of dough with a 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter. Transfer the rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges of the cookies start to color — about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
The Limoncello icing — In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, Limoncello, and lemon juice. Whisk vigorously to avoid lumps. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the cookies, so add more confectioners’ sugar if necessary.
Assembling the cookies — Dip the top of each biscuit into the icing. Let drain on a parchment-lined baking sheet or wire rack. Top with a candied lemon slice, and, if you are using them, 3 candy “pearls.”
Think you’ll try these nifty treats? You can let me know by leaving a comment. As always, I love hearing from you.
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