It was a gorgeous, sunny weekend in DC last week, and I’d had a great lunch with friends and had played a hockey game. And yet. Sadness reached into that otherwise perfect day and squeezed my heart until I wanted to cry. Does this happen to you too? I don’t know why it does to me, but I know how I fixed it – I baked Lemon Craisin Cookies. Not for myself (no, I’m on Weight Watchers and being good!), but for the crowd at work on Monday morning. And something about mixing ingredients, taking a tiny taste of lemony sweet/tart dough, and inhaling the aroma of baking cookies turned my mood inside out.
Lemon Craisin Cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspon vanilla
3/4 cup Craisins (sweetened, dried cranberries with a sweet/tart flavor)
zest of a lemon, plus juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
Blend butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except Craisins and lemon zest/juice and mix thoroughly. Fold in the final ingredients.
Drop tablespoon-sized dollops of batter onto the cookie sheets about 2-3 inches apart. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (I switch racks midway to promote even baking, but you don’t have to). Remove from oven when cookies are just very lightly brown at the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes, then enjoy! Or you know, store in an airtight container. Yields 2 dozen cookies.
Note: I did the math so you don’t have to – these cookies are 2 Weight Watchers points each.
Intellectually, I know that this recipe is just a variation on the basic sugar cookie. You add a little citrus and a handful of dried fruit, and it doesn’t turn the result into something magical. Except… it kind of does. These cookies are like edible sunshine for me, or a draught of felix felicis.
Recommended for: a quick, simple cookie that will brighten your day no matter what the season.
Interested in other food-related posts? Check out Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking!