It’s been a busy few weeks, gentle readers, and I appreciate your patience with my day job. It’s not an easy thing, running an exclusive restaurant. Your threats of death have motivated and inspired. I thank you for limiting yourselves to threats. I reciprocate now with the following challenging, but rewarding recipe.
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- ½ cup baker’s sugar
- ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- Juice of 8 large lemons (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (for coating)
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Then, into a large mixing bowl, cut the shortening into pea-sized pieces. Add the baker’s sugar, salt, flour, and baking powder and mix with a pastry blender until the shortening has been completely integrated. Add the milk and lemon juice. Stir with a wire whisk until frothy.
Now, while rapidly whisking (never stop whisking), add the baking soda one teaspoon at a time—completely whisking in the last spoonful before adding the next. Continue until all the baking soda has been added.
Spoon the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Cook for 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly tanned.
Allow cookies to cool for at least 20 minutes. One at a time, blot each cookie quickly with a wet towel (use lemon juice instead of water for a tart cookie) to slightly moisten it and drop it into a plate of confectioner’s sugar.
Roll each moistened cookie in the confectioner’s sugar until completely coated.
Serve the cookies with strong, black coffee.
Note: If your cookie dough seems too soft when you spoon it onto the cookie sheet, you’ve not properly whisked in the baking soda. You can rescue the dough by adding flour until it reaches the proper consistency, but this will yield an inferior cookie. Enjoy, but keep practicing.