19 April 2008

Lemon Baby Buttons

Every once in awhile, a magazine issue really impresses me, and I keep the whole thing around for future reference. The March 2008 issue of Food & Wine is one of those issues - I want to make the Meyer lemon gnocchi, the grilled ham (and chutney, apple, and cheddar) sandwiches, the beet salad, the pan-fried salmon... On and on. No joke. Hope you picked up this issue when it was on the stands, because there's lots to pull from it.

They also had a darling little article on Big Sugar Bakeshop (out of L.A., Calif.), with several recipes from the owner, Lisa Ritter. All look scrumptious, but it was the "Baby Button" cookies that really begged for me to make them today. They are buttery and soft yet crumbly, all around very light. Not too sweet (the bulk of your sweetness comes from that final roll in powdered sugar). I made some adjustments, added more vanilla and some lemon zest. Just perfect with a hot mug of coffee or tea.

While it wasn't the original intention of this post, I am posting this for the LiveStrong With A Taste Of Yellow blogging event. I feel like a very lame blogger, because this one was just totally off my radar until a reader brought it to my attention (thanks Nicole!). I'm glad she did: Cancer is a devastating disease that has affected everyone, in some way or another. I have had family members diagnosed (and thankfully in remission). I've had friends with family members with cancer, fellow students in school, coworkers.

A dear fellow editor had adrenal cancer, I felt quite close to him and was at a loss when I heard he was diagnosed. A year later I sat at a conference banquet and swelled with pride when he accepted a pretigous society award, telling the audience that while cancer was a terrible disease, he felt blessed to have cancer: it gave him a new outlook on life, a clear understanding of his personal strength, a deeper relationship with his loved ones, and a stronger faith in God.

John died from his cancer less than a year ago, after a long fight over several years. At the time I no longer worked directly with him, but his wife was kind enough to give me a call when the time was near, so I could get in touch. And even though it had been over 2 years since I worked with him, I must admit: I miss John quite a bit. So this ones for you, John, and for Barbara, and for my aunt, and everyone else affected by this disease. God bless.
Lemon Baby Buttons
(adapted from Food & Wine, March 2008)

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add the cornstarch, vanilla and flour and process until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into 4 equal pieces.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the balls to the baking sheet; they won’t spread much. Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven for about 22 minutes, until the bottoms are golden but the tops are still pale.

Sift the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Add 12 warm cookies to the bowl at a time and toss to coat. Transfer the cookies to a clean baking sheet. While the cookies are still warm, poke 4 shallow holes into each one with a toothpick or skewer to make a buttonhole pattern. Let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing.


Amanda said...

I love all things lemon!! They're super cute, too!

Anonymous said...

What great timing on a 'yellow' post. I just read at Cookie Baker Lynn about the LiveStrong with a Taste of Yellow cancer awareness event.

Are you entering this or something?

Nemmie said...

Oh, Nicole - I am off to look and update my post. It will be entered for it now!

Gretchen Noelle said...

These are adorable! Love them! And I too thought you were entering in one of the yellow events!

Jerry said...

Very cute!

toontz said...

My mother made a similar cookie for us for years and she called them "4 o'clocks". Where the name came from I have no idea. They did not have any lemon in them, however, and I am thinking I have to exchange that recipe for this one in my recipe file. The cookies are just so sweet, and sound delicious.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the March issue of F&W was a banner issue. I made these cookies & they were fantastic! I'll definitely be trying your lemony version!

Emily said...

Cute buttons! I love that powdered sugar/lemon combo.

Think Lemon Coolers. Eh?

Unknown said...

Ooh these look fantastic. I have to bookmark them to try. Thanks for supporting LIveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow.

Brilynn said...

I was thinking of making these too! I ended up going with the reverse chocolate chip cookies, you should try them, they were great!

Anonymous said...

Oooo these look so good. Wish I had some to go with my blueberry tea I'm sipping!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, these are so adorable! I'm gonna bake them soon. You bet!

Jeannie said...

Thank you for posting this. I looked for it all over! I'm trying to reduce the amount of magazine pages I have collected for recipes.

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Imagine if we prepare those buttons and in the middle of them we put a generic viagra pill I think it would look so great because of the combination of colors.

stevesmith said...

Lemon Baby Buttons is really very delicious.. Really I like this recipe. Thanks for sharing this recipe.. I am going to try it..


Jason Smith said...

This is an amazing blog post here.... Keep posting such an awesome blog post. Thanks very much for the share....


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