Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

With all the sandwich-style sweets that have been popping up everywhere in the past couple of months (whoopie pies predicted to be the "dessert trend of 2010" by Epicurious, chocolate sandwich cookies on Martha Stewart, macarons in Starbucks, in this popular book and all over Tastespotting), "make some type of sandwich cookie" has been an item on my "to bake/cook/eat" list for almost as long. But I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to make, until yesterday. We've been having some unseasonably balmy weather, so Brendan and I went on a long walk to Trader Joe's, and along the way I dragged him into One Girl with me, where we sampled a few of their dainty little cookies.

All the cookies were delicious, but the one that got my wheels turning was their lemon sandwich cookie: It was the Girl Scout Lemon Pastry Cream cookie, which was a favorite of my childhood but a flavor I haven't thought about in a while since that cookie has been discontinued. It was fresh and light and spring-y (and oh, how I am longing for warmer weather!), in contrast to the chocolates and the heavy, over-spiced root-vegetable pies of winter. I wanted to make this cookie for myself, and I could picture it all in my head: which cookie recipe I would use, what I would need to pick up at the grocery store (and we were already on our way there!); I had the whole afternoon free to bake to my heart's content, and a get-together scheduled in the evening where I could win some people's hearts by sharing my treats with everyone. It was a Saturday afternoon planned.

These cookies are the same as the Citrus Sugar Cookies I made this past Thanksgiving, with the zest of one entire lemon added (more like one tablespoon, as opposed to the one teaspoon called for in the recipe). I cut out the cookies with 1.5" circular cookie cutter to get the cute, bite-size One Girl-ish scale.

Sandwiched in-between is a creamy lemon filling:
Creamy Lemon Filling adapted from Martha Stewart

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese and zest until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup confectioners' sugar, mixing until smooth. Mix in remaining sugar as necessary to create a firm but spreadable filling.

This recipe made enough cookies for me to share at my friends' house and still keep some for myself. I think it might be time for me to take a break from baking, though, and focus my creative energies elsewhere, because I just ate about 10 of these in one sitting!

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