Spring has sprung here in Portland. Buds are blooming like crazy and we've been blessed with some sunny weather which adds so much when the blossoms aren't soaked with rain. I was having a hard time putting pen to paper for this post so I decided to go out for a walk in my neighborhood and clear my head. I started out on my familiar route and a few minutes into it I got this huge lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I was completely over come with emotion. I hadn't really thought about it, but I haven't walked this walk since we lost our sweet dog Casey. This was her path, the way she would guide me on her daily walks. I think subconsciously there are a few things I've avoided since we lost her, eventually they sneak up on you and then you work through them. It was good, I still really miss my best girl.
My intention was not to write a sad post when I made these cookies. They really are the opposite of sad (my dog would have loved them)! The cookies are crisp, but not too crisp and have a great lemon flavor and the chamomile buttercream is delicate. Such a refreshing take on a cookie. I'm totally inspired to start playing around with other infusions and I'm beyond excited to have new fresh ingredients to cook and bake with once the sunny days are in full force. For now I'll settle for beautiful blossoms and solo walks in my neighborhood. Who knows, maybe someday I'll have a furry companion by my side again.
Lemon Cookies with Chamomile Buttercream
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg, yolk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dried chamomile
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Combine butter, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in food processor and process until smooth.
Add the flour, egg and egg yolk and process until a smooth dough forms.
Turn dough out on a floured surface and divide in half.
Roll out dough between sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
Remove parchment paper from dough. I used a 2 inch square cookie cutter, you could use any type/size of cookie cutter you like, just adjust the baking time accordingly. Cut shapes from dough, I gathered up extra dough, rerolled and cut more shapes.
Place the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.
Allow to cool on baking trays for 10 minutes, transfer onto wire racks to cool.
I adapted the recipe for the buttercream from budda teas.com
Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of chamomile to melted butter. Allow to steep for 15 minutes, 10 minutes on heat, 5 minutes off heat.
Strain butter through a sieve and discard the chamomile. Place the strained butter into the refrigerator to cool for 1 hour. You want the butter to be soft.
Once cooled, transfer the butter to a mixer, handheld or standup, add powdered sugar and heavy cream. Beat until fluffy, around 3 minutes.
I piped around 2 teaspoons of buttercream between 2 cookies, you could easily use an offset spatula. The amount of buttercream you use is totally your preference and also determined by the size of your cookie.