Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT
Meghan's lemon butter cookies with lemon frosting
Yield: 60 cookies
Meghan, 16, is a true adventurer when it comes to baking and always wants to try new recipes. Since she works part-time as a baker at the bakery, she loves pastries that require a pastry bag. -- Patrick Judd
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (colored portion of peel)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 drops yellow liquid food coloring, optional
1. Make the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat together 1 cup butter, ¾ cup powdered sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add egg yolks, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon extract; mix just until evenly incorporated.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture, blending until flour is no longer visible. Don't overmix. Dough should be soft enough to pipe through a pastry bag. If too stiff, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water and mix again.
3. Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch star tip. Pipe 1½-inch "swirls" onto lightly greased baking sheets, placing swirls 2 inches apart.
4. Bake until very light brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand until completely cooled.
5. Make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar, 1½- teaspoons lemon zest and 7 tablespoons butter until well-blended and smooth. Add 1½ teaspoons lemon juice and food coloring and mix until smooth and well-blended. If too stiff, add a bit more lemon juice; if too thin, add more powdered sugar. The frosting should be able to hold its shape but not be too stiff to pipe through a pastry bag.
6. Spoon icing into pastry bag with a ½-inch star tip; pipe onto cooled cookies.