Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lemon Clove Cookies

I made these delicious cookies (and my new favorite gingersnaps) and put them out for people to nibble on at my defense. They are from the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook (Alice Waters), a book about which my mom and I feel rather sentimental, as it was the cookbook my grandmother brought with her when she came to take care of my mom and dad (and me) the week after I was born. In fact, she was recently thinning out her cookbook collection and gave me her copy. I love hand-me-down cookbooks, especially when there are stories associated with them.

Lemon Clove Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed. Beat in vanilla, egg, and zest at medium speed. Changing to low speed, gradually work in salt, flour, and cloves. The dough will be rather soft.

Divide the dough in half and roll each part into a cylinder about 2" in diameter. Wrap the cylinders with plastic wrap, then with foil, and chill from 2 to 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the wrap and slice the dough 1/4" thick. Place the cookies on baking sheets with about 1/2" space between them (they will spread only minimally) and bake for 8-10 minutes, until they are light golden brown on the bottom and pale golden brown on top.


Bee said...

Do you know if that cookbook is still in print? Wonderful story; I sometimes think I like to read about cooking almost more than I like to cook.

I have a cookbook from my grandmother: Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook. (My grandparents had a cattle ranch in Athens, TX at the time.) It looks like someone spilled some coffee on the inside page. I just looked it up, and there are six different recipes for pumpkin pie -- including one with mincemeat (possible use for leftover mincemeat in pantry?) and one with apple butter (which needless to say, you can't buy in UK).

I love the sound of these cookies -- will definitely make them this week. Those present at your defense must have thought themselves extremely fortunate!

Anne said...

I'm not sure if it's still in print, but has it (via third party vendors) in both hardcover and paperback.

A whole cookbook on pie! And six pumpkin pie recipes! Lovely. I've never heard of pumpkin pie with mincemeat or apple butter, but I bet they're delicious--if, that is, one is willing to depart from the classic pumpkin pie. (I would say "plain," but regular pumpkin pie isn't very plain at all, is it?)

Brave Sir Robin said...

I made these delicious cookies (and my new favorite gingersnaps) and put them out for people to nibble on at my defense.

Errr, isn't that bribery?


Bee - No apple butter either?

Anne said...

BSRH - Yes. Yes it is. Currying favor was exactly what I had in mind. :)

In truth, though, it's traditional for people to bring things for the committee (and other audience members) to eat.

Brave Sir Robin said...

How did it go?

(I won't pretend to understand what you actually study), but I'd love to know how it went!!

Anne said...

It went very well, thanks! They even felt that I demonstrated enough physics knowledge during the talk itself that they didn't need to ask me any additional random physics questions. Usually, because we don't have quals, they ask people various physics questions to make sure they know their stuff and are eligible for PhD candidacy. But the day before the defense, my advisor suggested that I pause at a certain point in the talk and show with equations why an assumption that we make about the solar atmosphere is valid. It was pretty straightforward, but he said it was probably what cemented in the other committee members' minds that I have a solid grasp of the physics. Score!

It was also one of the better talks I've given. The rehearsal (the day before) was terrible, but the real thing was as good as the practice one was bad.

Bee said...


You have an awesome intellect. I'm happy your defense went well.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Congratulations Anne!!

I am thrilled for you!

Bee said...

I made these yesterday, and I'm having a few right now with a cup of tea.

They are nice, but they never really got browned at all. I cooked them for 12 minutes and they are still a speck anemic. Any advice? I might up the oven temp to 375 next time.

Anne said...

You know, I completely forgot when I was typing up the recipe that I had to cook mine much longer than 12 minutes. I bet you're right, raising the oven temp would help.