Refrigerator cookies are made in two steps. I often let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight, so I can bake them just before guests arrive for tea the next day. The smell of cookies baking creates an inviting atmosphere.
Most vintage cookbooks contain a basic recipe for icebox cookies with several variations on a basic dough. There might be suggestions for making chocolate, almond, citrus, or Christmas cherry cookies. This recipe is one of my favourites and has been in my file since the 70s.
Crispy Lemon Refrigerator Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ of a cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of a lemon, finely grated
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
Place butter and sugar in a separate bowl and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg and lemon juice. Stir in the grated lemon peel. Gradually, mix in the dry ingredients.
Divide dough in half and shape each half into a roll that is about six inches long and 2 inches across. Wrap each roll in waxed paper and refrigerate until firm or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the dough is chilled, cut each roll into ⅛ to ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove cookies from pan and cool on a rack. Dust with icing sugar.
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