I’d venture to guess that anyone who is passionate about cooking, and is also comfortable using technology, has at least once in their life browsed PINTEREST for new cooking ideas, suggestions, or recipes. And any of these cooks would have to admit that, on occasion, some attempts to recreate a Pinterest recipe at home have ended in epic failure. On the web you can find thousands of these laughable fails. The Huffingtonpost even dedicated a slideshow to the subject! Well, this tempting super cute recipe recently caught my attention; I thought it looked perfect for Easter! So last Saturday I tried it out, and while making it, I thought it was going down on the “Pinterest Failures” list. But instead, it turned out perfect- super cute, sweet and delicious! So, if you want to surprise your kids with a new Easter treat, or you’ll have the time to make it a family project, I highly recommend trying this delicious cookie recipe! And just to clarify, I wasn’t looking particularly for a vegan recipe; this one I tried just happens to use a lemon cream that’s delicious AND vegan. As for the ingredients, you probably already have all of them in your pantry. But be sure you have at least three big juicy lemons, an egg shaped cookie cutter, and some yellow food coloring dye or some turmeric powder to die the cream.
INGREDIENTS for 10 big cookies or 20 small ones
For the dough
1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour (200 gr.)
3/4 cup powdered sugar (100 gr.)
9 tbs. cool unsalted butter (130 gr.)
1 egg yolk
1 lemon zest
1 tbs. lemon juice
plus: powdered sugar to dust the cookies
For the vegan lemon cream
5 oz. water (120 ml.)
10 tsp. lemon juice or 50 ml. (the juice of about two lemons)
1 oz. sugar (45 gr. granulated sugar)
2 Tbsp. corn starch (20 gr.)
1 lemon zest
turmeric powder or yellow food dye
Make sure to zest 2 of the 3 lemons before juicing them, keeping the zest in two separate piles, since you will need the zest of one lemon for the cookie dough, and the zest of one lemon for the cream.
Now, on to the cookie dough. In a bowl, mix the flour, the powdered sugar, the cool butter cut in cubes, the egg yolk, and the lemon zest and hand-knead for a few minutes until you get a smooth and homogeneous ball of dough. This was the FIRST moment I thought I messed up the recipe: the dough seemed to stay crumbly forever and I was tempted to add an egg. But I kept kneading, and at some point I got the smooth and homogeneous ball the recipe talked about. Cover the ball with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Sorry I forgot to take the pictures of these phases, but in case you are in doubt, you can take a look to my favorite butter cookie recipe to get an idea about what the ball should look like). While the dough rests, prepare the lemon cream. In a small pot, mix the sugar and the corn starch. In another container, mix the water, the lemon juice and the lemon zest.
Add the mix of water and lemon to the sugar/corn starch, quickly adding a drop of yellow food dye, and whisking quickly to avoid chunks forming. Cook at medium heat until it gets dense.
Going back to the dough: take it out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface, and using the egg shaped cookie cutter make twenty “eggs.” Set ten of them aside; these will be the “base” of the eggs. Then, by using a round shape cookie cutter, cut a circle in the other ten (I used the neck of a baby bottle). These will be the “cover.” This was the SECOND TIME I thought the recipe would fail: even though I let the dough chill in the refrigerator for the appropriate time, it wasn’t easy to roll out and kept breaking, so it took me a while before I was able to shape twenty cookies. (Honestly, if you want an easier butter cookie dough, use my favorite one by clicking this link).
Next, arrange the cookies in your oven sheet (better if covered with parchment) and even if the original recipe says to cook for 15 minutes at 360 F. (180 C.), I’ve noticed that my cookies where going to get burnt so I took them out after 11 minutes. This was the THIRD TIME I thought the recipe had failed: some of the cookies looked overcooked and too dark for my taste. Anyway, they ended up tasting good, and the powdered sugar helped me disguise any imperfections! (However, next time I will definitely use a slightly lower temperature for not more that 12 minutes.) Let the cookies cool off. Dust those with the hole with powdered sugar, spread the lemon cream on the bases, and close with the holed half.
YOU ARE DONE AND YOUR EGG-SHAPED EASTER EGGS ARE READY!
TIPS: – These butter cookies have a quite intense taste of lemon. I personally loved it, but they may not be a favorite for anyone who doesn’t really love lemon.
– Usually butter cookies keep their crispy texture even a few days after they have been made, but in this case the “vegan lemon cream” is practically made with water, so after a day, the butter pastry tends to get kind of soggy. Anyway, even the day after they are delicious!
– If you prefer to use a “non vegan cream”, feel free to fill the cookies with custard: you won’t even need the yellow edible dye or the turmeric.
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