May 8, 2011

word to my mother

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy Dearest! You sure do deserve your own special mention. I would not be me if not for you and we go back and forth on this all the time but I can never say it enough. I am very fortunate to have never wished "not to be my mother" when I was a bratty teen, even in the heat of slamming a door in your face or smashing something valuable into pieces (we have a history of tempers in our family but they are balanced with our fierce loyalty to each other, deal with it). Never have you looked down upon me or offered unsolicited advice (even if I don't outright say "help me," you always know when to). You forever have an open ear, even if you weren't thrilled with what was being said into it. I will forever love your mantra "anything you do, I did ten times worse to my mother when I was your age" and thus never felt the need to "rebel" and always felt I had a certain freedom. This resulted in the above mentioned need to spill all to you. If I ever have a secret, it never lasts long because it eats me alive and I have to come crawling to my Mommy Dearest for advice.

Words never suffice for these such days that should really be celebrated every day and so I will move on to something wholly inspired by my mom's taste buds. Clean, to the point with a dash of tartness. All her and all of my love.

Lemon-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches

from Big Fat Cookies
Yield: 9 large, 18 small
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 t ground ginger
1 t ground cinnamon
1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C confectioners sugar
2 t finely grated lemon zest
1 t vanilla extract I added 1/2 t almond extract because my mom loves that flavor
1 C (4 oz) whole blanched almonds, toasted and finely ground

1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 C confectioners sugar
2 t finely grated lemon zest
1 T fresh lemon juice

1. Sift the flower, salt, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar in a mixer until fully incorporated. On low, mix in lemon zest, vanilla and ground almonds.
3. Beat in the flour mixture until the flour is incorporated and the dough holds together and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
4. Divide the dough in half and form two 6-inch disks. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate until they is cold and firm enough to roll, about 30-40 minutes. While dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Unwrap one piece of dough. Flour the rolling surface and roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter 3 1/4 to 3 1/2-inch circles or smaller, cut out cookies (9-18). Unwrap the other piece of dough and cut out remaining cookies, to have an even number. Cut a circle or other shape from the center of half of the cookies.
6. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are light brown and tops firm, 15-20 minutes. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to cooling racks.

1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.
2. Spread the frosting onto cookies that do not have the holes in the center and make sandwiches with those that do have holes. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition (per1/18): 285 cal, 18g fat, 43mg sod, 28g carb, 16g sugar, 1g fiber, 3g protein

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