Even in sunny Southern California, where seasons are subtle and require a discerning palate, the end of summer and the beginning of autumn are reflected in the weather. The humidity has dropped as balmy days become colder and crisper. The sun sets earlier, almost no one runs their AC at home anymore, and sleeping with the window open has become a choice rather than a necessity. For this Northern California boy, these changes signal the coming of the holiday season, and awaken a deep seated need to bake things.
I invented this cookie recipe for Cat's mother a few weeks ago and hope you enjoy it. While the cookie can easily be enjoyed on its own, please try it with the lemon cream. The contrast between sour and sweet, lemon and chocolate, are what truly make this cookie unique.
1 large cookie or baking sheet
Tinfoil or parchment paper (I prefer parchment paper.)
1 large mixing bowl
1 stand or hand mixer (Your preference.)
1 1oz ice cream scoop
Wet Ingredients (Cookie):
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar or Splenda
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp Grand Manier
Dry Ingredients (Cookie):
1-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup of dark cocoa powder
1 cup of dark or milk chocolate morsels
1/2 cup of white chocolate morsels
1 cup of toasted slivered almonds
Prep work (Cookie):
Allow the butter to reach room temperature. Using the stand or hand mixer, cream the butter. Once the butter has reached a fluffy, airy consistency, slowly add both types of sugar while beating. The butter will take on a coarse, pebbly consistency. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and Grand Manier and beat until smooth.
Sift in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Beat slowly until evenly incorporated. At this point, the dough should be slightly wet and sticky to the touch. If it is too dry, add a little more Grand Manier.
Gently fold in the dark and white chocolate morsels, and the almonds, using your hand or spatula. Don't use a mixer.
Heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Using the ice cream scoop, lay out rounds of cookie dough on the cookie sheet roughly two inches apart from each other and the edge of the sheet. Bake the cookies for between 12-15 minutes depending on the strength of your oven. Rotate the cookie sheet halfway during baking. Once the cookies are done, transfer them to a rack and allow them to cool for 30 minutes before eating.
(Makes roughly 16 cookies.)
This lemon cream is actually closer to an Italian meringue or foam. It's delicious on cookies or on pound cake. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator and it will last for about a week.
Gear (Lemon Cream):
1 large wire whisk or electric hand mixer (Unless you have a really strong wrist and a lot of stamina, use a hand mixer.)
1 large metal mixing bowl
1 medium sized pot (The mixing bowl should fit tightly above the pot, leaving a few inches between the bottom of the bowl and the bottom of the pot. You'll be making a double boiler.)
Ingredients (Lemon Cream):
2 large egg whites
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of lemon zest
3 tbsp of water
1-1/3 cups of confectioners sugar
4 large marshmallows
Prep work (Lemon Cream):
Fill the pot with 1-2 inches of water. Make sure that when placed on top of the pot, the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the top of the water. Bring the water to a boil.
Instructions (Lemon Cream):
Using the hand mixer, beat the egg whites, lemon juice, water, and sugar together in the mixing bowl until soft peaks are formed. Once the water in the pot has come to a boil, place the mixing bowl on top of the pot and add the marshmallows. Continue beating for 5-7 minutes until the marshmallows have been fully incorporated into the mixture. (As a shortcut, you can heat the marshmallows in the microwave for 10 seconds before adding them, but it will be a very sticky process.) Once the egg whites are fully cooked, remove the mixing bowl from the pot and plate on the counter. Continue beating for another 5 minutes to help cool, then pop the mixing bowl in the refrigerator to set of 30 minutes.
Once both the lemon cream and cookies are cool, spoon some lemon cream on top of a cookie and enjoy with a stiff cup of tea.