Friday, September 30, 2005

Lemon Meltaways – 3rd best cookie ever

After my mom's oatmeal cookies, the best cookies in the world come from the butter people. These days, you can be old-school and write off for the Land O' Lakes Holiday Cookies booklet, or just go to I reproduce here my favorite (my favorite to make, that is -- it's quite easy but looks fancy and is delicate, great to bring to girly tea parties) exactly as they print it. It's a little time-consuming but easy to split into two days (mix and chill, then bake and frost) if you're doing them before a party or something.

Notes: The lemon zest makes a HUGE difference (don't skip it) and the frosting recipe makes WAY too much (half it). My friend Russell says the name is accurate because they are so light they really do feel as though they're melting when you eat them.

Also: In case anyone's counting, the 2nd best cookie ever is the Final Exam Cookie. That recipe TK later.


These lemon-flavored cookies are so tender that they seem to melt in your mouth.

Preparation 45 min.
Baking 8 min.

Cookie Ingredients:

Frosting Ingredients:


Combine all cookie ingredients in large bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 8x1-inch log. Wrap each in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (1 to 2 hours).

Heat oven to 350°F. Cut each log into 1/4-inch slices with sharp knife. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until set. (Cookies will not brown.) Cool completely.

Combine all frosting ingredients in small bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until fluffy. Frost cooled cookies.

*Substitute LAND O LAKES® Soft Baking Butter with Canola Oil right from the refrigerator.

Tips for successful Lemon Meltaways:
  • This cookie is a shortbread-type cookie with a high proportion of butter to flour and sugar. The dough may seem slightly more crumbly. Egg is not an ingredient in this type of cookie.

  • Be sure to measure all ingredients accurately using the proper measuring cups. For dry ingredients use graduated metal or plastic measuring cups. Spoon the dry ingredient lightly into a measuring cup. Do not tap or shake the cup or scoop the ingredient into the cup. Level off any excess amount by running a straight-edge or table knife across the top.

  • Use measuring spoons to measure liquids in this recipe rather than tableware spoons for accuracy.

  • The butter in this recipe should be softened, but not melted. For best results let butter stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before mixing the cookie dough. Or, cut the butter into chunks or pieces for easier mixing. Also, 3/4 cup butter equals 1 1/2 sticks of butter.

  • If the dough is dry and crumbly after beating, add 1 to 2 tablespoons cream or soft butter, adding 1 tablespoon at a time until dough forms.

Lemon herb chicken SOLVED!

Very simple, it turns out: just 3 main ingredients, all fresh.

Chop a snack pack of baby carrots and cook a bowl of brown rice.

Fill a large glass with:

Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 long sprigs rosemary, washed and chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sugar
Most of a can of chicken broth

Flour and brown chicken breasts, then dump the stirred contents of the glass (and the chopped carrots) into the pan with them. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Pull out the chicken and simmer the sauce to thicken. Serve over the rice!

I'd like the sauce to be thicker, but I'll settle for this watery stuff as long as it's richly flavored, which it is. Mystery solved!

Football season's here: Corny Dog Bites

I was looking for a meaty appetizer recipe to bring to my fantasy football league's draft, and these worked perfectly. They are perfect for fall (reminding me of the State Fair) and for football-fan snacking. The batter could use a little extra flavor of some sort -- they are not as flavorful as Fletcher's -- but otherwise these were very appealing snacks, both visually and as convenient food-on-a-stick.

The frying worked extraordinarily well in my wok, using enough oil pooled at the bottom to deep-fry about six doglets at a time. They fry up fast -- if you have an assembly line going, you'll be yanking them out as quick as you can get the next ones battered up -- and putting the flour in a coffee cup and the batter in a tall cereal bowl worked neatly.

Late-breaking: Apparently Alton Brown puts cayenne in his batter. And this just in from the Travel Channel... According to Bill Fletcher (son of the man who invented the original Corny Dog) the primary ingredients are corn meal, a lot of eggs, a little bit of flour, salt and pepper of course. Beyond that, the recipe is secret.

Corny Dog Bites

Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
1/2 cup flour (for dredging)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ready-to-eat frankfurters (1 pound)

Place 1/2 cup dredging flour in coffee cup; set aside.

Mix cornmeal, 1/3 cup flour and salt in 2-cup glass measure. Add milk, egg, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Mix well and set aside.

Chop and spear frankfurters. Stir in dredging flour to coat, shaking off excess. Dip frankfurters, one at a time, in cornmeal batter, then fry in 375 degree F oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm.