dessert

Italian Lemon Cookies

I grew up just north of Boston, close to incredible Italian bakeries.  If you couldn’t find something where we lived,  you could be in Boston in 30 minutes, go to the North End and find almost anything.  I have to confess, I took it for granted.  I know, I know.  How could I take something like that for granted? I guess I just thought they were everywhere.  If you live in an area of the country where there are authentic Italian bakeries, first don’t take it for granted and second, please have an anginetti cookie for me!

When we moved to a city north of the Atlanta, 17 years ago I couldn’t find a single free standing bakery in a 10 mile radius.   I looked.  When I asked friends where they would go to buy nice pastries or a special dessert the answer was always Publix or Kroger.  The grocery store?   Yeah. Uh… that’s not the answer I was hoping for.  (Thank Goodness there was a Dunkin’ Donuts in the next town.  No DD, no bakeries, as a Bostonian, I can’t even…;)

Fast forward to this weekend. I was going through some old recipe cards my mom had given me over the years, and I had totally forgotten about one from an elderly Italian woman who lived across the street when I was growing up – Mrs. DeBurro.  It was for her lemon cookies.  My mom loved them.  I was so excited I decided to make them right away and figured I’d drop some off for mom.   I had to run to the store for the lemon extract, but other than that I couldn’t believe how simple they were.  They only thing that made it a little difficult were words like “a pinch of salt” and “some confectionary sugar”.  She passed away a long time ago, so, without any way to clarify, I’d just have to see how it went.

I made the cookies according to her recipe (only with a little more flour because she said to add flour so the dough wasn’t too sticky).  I was so excited when they came out of the oven. I broke one open, let it cool for 30 seconds, and popped it into my mouth.  And….not exactly what I expected.  It tasted more like a little warm lemon bread than a cookie. (Important Note:  If you’ve made it this far, you need to read to the end of this post…because as John Lennon said…”Everything will be okay in the end.  If it’s not okay.  Then it’s not the end.”)

At this point I was really craving the Italian lemon cookie I had in my mind.  So, of course,  I went on Pinterest.   I was convinced Mrs. D  must have just left out an ingredient!  If I could figure out what it was I could make them again and add it.

I came across a few recipes that looked similar.   One was made by Proud Italian Cook and used butter instead of oil like Mrs. D.  (Here is a link to the Proud Italian Cook’s recipe.) But that was the big difference.  Maybe I just needed to make a whole new cookie.  I decided to try the Proud Italian Cook’s recipe as I was really looking for an authentic Italian cookie.  So, back to the grocery store I went for more flour, butter and lemon extract.   A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon;)

The second recipe came together pretty quickly as well.  (If you decide to make it, definitely take the time to cool the butter and then put it in your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment for about 6-8 minutes and you will see the butter and sugar start getting really creamy!  I thought a few minutes in nothing was going to happen, but it does.)

While the second lemon cookies were baking I figured I’d at least frost the first cookies as directed with “some confectionary sugar, a little milk and a little lemon extract”.  (I promise, word for word, those were the directions. You’ll see.)  I had to finish them -OCD;)  I dipped the two dozen cookies I had made into the glaze and set them aside to dry.  (I didn’t finish baking all the dough at that point. They easily made two dozen more cookies.) Then, I finished baking the Proud Italian Cook’s cookies and then put her frosting together – very specific measurements – confectionary sugar and limoncello.  Very nice.

At this point my husband came in the kitchen, and just stood there, staring at all the cookies I had made, with a look that pretty much said, have you gone completely crazy?  So, I told him the short version.  First ones – not what I expected.  Second ones – I think better.  I told him he was welcome to try them and let me know what he thought.

So, he tried the first ones, and he said, “what’s wrong with them?”  Huh?  “What do you mean?  Don’t they taste like lemon bread?”   “No.  They taste like cookies…just softer. ”   So, I picked one up and bit into it  (I am definitely going to gain weight blogging. LOL!)   At that point, several hours out of the oven, completely cooled,  with a nice glaze soaked in…he was right!  They were really good!  No way!   In fact, they reminded me of the cookies from the bakery!  Way to go Mrs. DeBurro!  I’m so sorry I ever doubted you!

So, now I have two lemon cookie recipes! And I will definitely visit The Proud Italian Cook again – just followed her on Pinterest;)  Below is the recipe Mrs. DeBurro used for so many years.   Just don’t add too much extra flour… frost them well… and let them cool for a few hours before you try them.

Buon Appetito!

 

Mrs. DeBurro's Italian Lemon Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • FOR COOKIES...
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 Tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt (I used ¼ teaspoon salt)
  • 4 Cups of flour
  • FOR FROSTING...(See my notes below)
  • Confectionary Sugar
  • Milk
  • Dash of lemon extract
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs, oil and sugar together. Add the milk, vanilla and lemon extract.
  2. In another large bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  3. Gradually add the flour to the egg mixture until the dough is firm, but not sticky
  4. Roll small pieces of dough into walnut sized balls and place on a greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper)
  5. Bake at 375 for approximately 10 minutes. Until bottoms are light brown.
  6. For frosting - mix some confectionary sugar and some milk with a dash of lemon extract. Brush cookies with glaze. It will have a smooth glaze over the whole cookie (I used 2 cups of confectionary sugar, 4 TBSP of milk and ½ teaspoon of lemon extract - beat ingredients together with a whisk until smooth and then dip the cookies and put on a cookie rack to dry.) You can dip twice or just make the glaze thicker if you like more frosting.
  7. NOTE: Cover cookies loosely as they will stay wet if you cover completely with Saran Wrap. They tastes even better day 2!!

 

Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan Cookies!

Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan cookies….YUM!

I had a craving for a cookie today.  A warm, comforting, chocolate chip cookie.  But, I wanted it to be… I don’t know…a little more “substantial” is the only word that comes to mind.   My kids don’t usually like it when I get creative with chocolate chips cookies.  I consider them both “chocolate chip purists” –  if that’s a thing;)

But, my youngest is already back at Northeastern in Boston, and my oldest is getting ready to head back to the University of Oklahoma tomorrow… and I am a little sad.  Oh Hell!  Who am I kidding?  I am A LOT SAD!  What mom wouldn’t be sad when her kiddos leave and go so far away?  I knew I needed to get to work on something creative before I started my own personal pity party.

So.  Back to my chocolate chip craving.

As I was taking the chocolate chips from the pantry I saw the bag of Ghirardelli Caramel Chips I bought at Publix over the holidays.  I had been meaning to try them in something.  (If you didn’t read my last post -Flu – everything came to a halt – enough said.)

Hmmmm….how would caramel taste in a chocolate chip cookie?  Let’s find out. What else goes with butter, chocolate chips and caramel….maybe nuts? Walnuts? Eh. Not feelin’ it.  Pecans?  Yes- Pecans go great with buttery cookies!  (Didn’t Mrs. Fields have a pecan chocolate chip cookie?  I think so.) I was still stuck on the “substantial” part until…oatmeal.  Done -Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan Cookies.  It’s a very basic recipe…but it was just what I needed.  I’ve listed the recipe below so you can try them out for yourself and see what you think.

A final note.  So, I mentioned my one of my chocolate chip purists was still home today.  As I took the cookies off the cooling rack he said,  “Can I have one?”  “Of course. Let me know what you think.” He took a bite…and he said…and I quote…”This might be the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had.”  LOL!  No way;)  I hope you will give them a try and I your family will enjoy them.

Happy 2018!

Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Pecan Cookies!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 3-4 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Cups White Flour
  • 2 Cups Whole Grain/Rolled Oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans
  • ½ Cup Semi Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Cup Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Cup Ghirardelli Caramel Chips
Instructions
  1. Combine 1 Cup (2 sticks) of room temperature butter, 1 Cup of white sugar and 1 Cup of light brown sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Add 2 eggs to the butter and sugars and mix well.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add 2 Cups of white flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ¾ teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt and combine all ingredients well.
  5. Add the 2 Cups of oatmeal, ½ Cup of chopped pecans, ½ Cup of Semi Sweet chocolate chips, ½ Cup of bittersweet Chocolate chips, and ½ Cup of caramel chips and combine well, making sure everything is distributed fairly evenly.
  6. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet.
  7. Roll dough into balls approximately 1.5 inches - should be able to fit 12 on a cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Watch them as your oven may differ slightly. I like my cookies to be soft so I tend to take them out when they just start to turn golden brown.
  9. This makes approximately 3-4 dozen so feel free to freeze a dozen or two in freezer zip lock bags. Make sure to get as much of the air out of the bag as possible before sealing it. When you want to use them simply leave the cookies on a plate, covered with saran wrap, at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!!

Rosie’s Bakery – Brownie Shortbread

 

Rosie's Bakery - Brownie Shortbread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I first had these bars at Rosie's Bakery in Cambridge, Massachusetts in my early 20s. I swooned at the first bite! This is THE BEST brownie shortbread ever! I've copied this recipe to share with you from the "Rosie's Bakery All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-packed No-Holds-Barred Baking Book" by Judy Rosenberg owner of Rosie's Bakery. There are lots more GREAT dessert recipes in this baking book. You can get the book online through Amazon.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • BASE
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature cut into 8 pieces
  • TOPPING
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 11X7 inch baking pan with butter
  2. For the base, process the flour and sugar in a food processor about 15 seconds. Add the butter and process until the dough comes together, 20- 30 seconds.
  3. Pat the dough gently over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake on the center oven rack until it is lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Place the base in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to cool completely. Keep the oven on.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the topping: Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Cool slightly.
  5. Beat the eggs, sugar and baking powder together in a medium sized bowl with a whisk. Add the chocolate mixture and stir vigorously with the whisk until the batter is blended. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the base.
  6. Bake the bars until the top rises and forms a very thin crust, about 20 minutes. The center will drop as it cools. (a tester inserted in the middle may come out with a fudge, crumbly batter on it, but it should not be liquidy.) Cool completely on a rack. Cut the shortbread with a thin knife.
  7. Makes 12 bars.

Before you make the AMAZING Brownie Shortbread from Rosie’s Bakery below, I want to share my gadget-saving and time- saving hacks from making these for too many years to count;)

First – You do not need a food processor to make the base. A bowl, a spoon, and little effort is all you need.

Second – You do not need to use a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter for the topping.

My hack: Put the butter and chocolate for the topping in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it on high power for 30 seconds.  Open the microwave and stir the mixture for 30 seconds.  Put the bowl with the mixture back into the microwave for another 30 seconds.  Now, take it out, set it on the counter and stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted – about one minute. (Note: Don’t overheat the chocolate.  It will seize up on you into a stiff wad of yuck.)

Third –  I use an 8X8 inch baking pan for this recipe.  We like the thickness this pan makes.  I will bake them for a few extra minutes if it looks like I need to.  Go by Rosie’s directions for doneness.  I have tried making these in a 9X11 baking dish (standard) and they come out too thin in my opinion.  If you want to make them in a 9X11 pan simply double the recipe below.  You may want to double them anyway…cuz they are going to go…FAST!!!

Copyright © 2018 · Theme by 17th Avenue