Lemon cookies

It’s Christmas. It’s cookie time.
Let’s get down to business.

I’ve already made a batch of gingerbread. They turned out well, but they also turned out to be many. I brought one jar to school, now there’s only two back. And at the time, it’s just me. So I’m munching gingerbread, and I’ll be doing that for some time. But nevertheless, I feel the urge to bake some more cookies. Just something else. Something lighter (if you can say that about any cookie) and maybe a little less Christmasy. I found what I was looking for. Even though I’m very traditional when it comes to Christmas – cookie wise anyway – I know there’ll be plenty of that, so why not try something else? It’s still a cookie. So it has a some Christmas to it.

The cookies are lemon and lime flavoured sugar cookies. I found the recipe at joythebaker, but originally it’s from Baking from my home to yours, (I crave that book! I’ve found so many recipes from that book on various blogs, and they’re all so great. But it’s not available here…) and I knew I had to make them rightaway. And so I did…

I didn’t have any lime, but that didn’t stop me as I had a ton of lemons. I just skipped the lime part and added some more lemon instead. And that worked out fine. But I guess the lime would make that little extra je ne sais quoi… Great cookies anyway! Go bake!

Citrus Sables

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter (preferably high-fat, like Plugra), softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted before measuring
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
2 large egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour.

zest of 1 lemon and zest of 1 lime

For the decoration (optional):
1 egg yolk
Crystal or dazzle sugar.

1. Beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy. Rub the zest of the lemon and lime into the granulated sugar with your fingertips, creating a fragrant sugar. Add the sugars and salt to the butter and continue to beat until smooth and velvety about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 egg yolks, again beating until well blended.

2. Turn off the mixer, pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the mixer and pulse the mixer about 5 times at low speed for 1 or 2 seconds each time. Take a peek; if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, stir for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. If you still have some flour on the bottom of the bowl, stop mixing and use a rubber spatula to work the rest of it into the dough. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you’re aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy dough.

3. Scrape the dough onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long (it’s easiest to work on a piece of plastic wrap and use the plastic to help form the log). Wrap the logs well and chill them for at least 2 hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

4. When ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and keep it at the ready.

5. To decorate the edges of the sables, whisk the egg yolk until smooth. Place one log of chilled dough on a piece of waxed paper and brush it with yolk (the glue), and then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with sugar. Trim the ends of the roll if they are ragged and slice the log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies.

6. Place the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each cookie, and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. When properly baked, the cookies will be light brown on the bottom, lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Let the cookies rest 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a cooling rack with a wide metal spatula.

I decided to give them a little extra decoration, dress them up to be suitable Christmas presents. A nice frosty look to complement the sweetness. I made an icing from icing sugar, lemon juice and a little water. I love lemon-flavoured icing together with lemon-stuff! It’s so…..lemony! So these were right up my alley. But they’re delicious on their own, so it’s not needed at all. Plain, they would be the perfect accompaniement to a cup of your favourite tea, any day of week. But I made them festive and ready for Christmas. And they turned out quite pretty, I think. Don’t you?


Beetroot salad with pearl barley

I’ve fallen in love with beetroot. It’s actually good! Who would have known….Well, I didn’t. It’s a new aquintance in my life. Until now, my only beetroot-experiences have been limited to the pickled kind. And that’s never been a favourite of mine, so that was the end of that story, I thought. I was never really aware there was such a thing as raw beetroot. I didn’t deny it, I just never thought about it. Beetroot, to me, came from a jar. So I had to turn 28, move to Denmark and start studying nutrition to make this discovery. Beetroot exists! Even outside jars! Well, well. Better late than never. But now I have some catching up to do!

My very first meeting with this new love, was when we where making chocolate-beetroot cake for a happening at school. Needless to say, I was scheptical. But, the cake was lovely, and won me over once and for all. I’ll be making that again – healthy chocolate cake? yes please!

But, I couldn’t really taste it inside a cake, but when it appeared in a salad we got at a party, I decided to give it a go. And it was so good, and so much better than expected! Sweet, crunchy and gorgeous purple. From that point, it was official. I’m a beetroot lover! The following day I bought a 2kg bag of beetroots, that I’m still working my way through. I’ve already made this salad a couple of times, it’s so easy to toss together with whatever you have! Besides, it’s delicous and healthy, you can just feel it’s good for you. I love that. There’s really no recipe or measurements, but this is what I used today anyway! You could also throw in some avocado, that’s really good, and replace the pumpkin seeds with pistachios. And giving instructions aren’t really neccesary, but I do it anyway. For you. So greet your beetroot, and go ahead!

Barley Beetroot Salad
Pearl Barley
Red onion
Red Cabbage
Fresh Coriander
Pumpkin seeds/Pistachios

Peel the beetroot and cut it in bite-size chunks.
Boil the pearl barley after instructions.
Cut the cabbage and the onion in rings.
And the avocado if you’re using that.
Now put a generous amount of spinach onto a big plate. Pour over the barley and vegetables. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly grounded pepper. Garnish with coriander, and serve!