I miss Gourmet.
For twenty five years, I subscribed. Not just for the cooking, but for the writing.
The seasonal articles. The travelogues. I can’t just get recipes from Epicurious. I have kept my back issues, preserved in a bookcase. Archived by month. Every December I pick a few years to read and relish.
This year’s trip went back twenty years.
I am baking most of my cookies this year from past issues.
A few new ones.
Like the lemon butter cookies, which taste just like those you can buy from the local Otterbein bakery. Which I sometimes pick up in Boarman’s while standing in line to check out.
A simple recipe. Cream together 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1 cup of sugar. Add an egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Meanwhile whisk together 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly add to butter mixture in a stand mixer. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Make a log of the dough. Refrigerate. The longer the better. Mine was put in two days before baking. These cookies will get soft quickly, so I cut the log in half before slicing and kept the rest refrigerated until ready to do two more sheets. I got six dozen small cookies from this recipe.
In a preheated oven, I use convection bake at 350 degrees F, but the recipe calls for 375. I have learned that my convection bake setting cooks faster and you can lower the heat making it easier to get good cookies without burning the bottoms.
I baked these for 14 minutes. The recipe calls for regular baking of about 15 minutes on that higher temperature.
I also made the chocolate version of these butter cookies.
These were more difficult to work. They tended to crumble. They were drier in handling. The difference. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa, 10 1/2 ounces bittersweet melted chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the mixer after adding the flour mixture. Don’t add the lemon like I did to make the cookies above. This mixture was very stiff and much drier. They taste intensely chocolate. Not that sweet. I sprinkled demerara and sparkly sugar on them before baking.
I am still doing cookies today. There will be sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies and maybe gingerbread. This year there will be boxes given to many of the family and friends who celebrate with us.
I love it when the house smells of cinnamon and nutmeg.