Monday, March 10, 2014

Lemon Cookie Sandwiches



So lately I've been on a history of food/food etymology kick. Because, hey, if you love food, isn't it fascinating to find out about its history? You never know what you might find out about a seemingly modest comestible. Today I was reading this excellent article on The History of the Sandwich--you know, like a normal person would do in their spare time--and let me tell you, there is more to the sandwich than one food stuffed between two slabs of another food. Here are few of the most compelling tidbits I discovered: 

  • The first recorded sandwich was made by the 1st century B.C. rabbi Hillel the Elder (but was it kosher?)
  • The Earl of Sandwich actually had a name (and it was not Earl, like I always vaguely assumed). His name was John Montagu, and his invention of the sandwich is the subject of hot debate. I bet Rabbi Hillel is rolling in his grave over the fact that we don't eat Turkey and Cheese Hillels. Also, Montagu was a patron of British explorer Capt. James Cook, which is why Cook named the Sandwich Islands after him.
  • The sandwich was not introduced to the United States until 1840, when a British woman named Elizabeth Leslie included it in her cookbook, Directions for Cookery. The recipe probably went something like this: "Put something between two slices of bread. Serves 1."
  • There's a restaurant in Florida called the Earl of Sandwich, founded by the Earl's descendant Orlando Montagu (gotta lay claim to the fame of the name, I suppose.)
You may be wondering why I'm going on about sandwiches when, clearly, the photo above is of cookies, not sandwiches...or is it?? Here's the question: are the above goodies cookies or sandwiches?

COOKIES!!!!


SANDWICHES!!!


COOKIES!!!

SANDWICHES!!!

Whoa, guys, let's not get in a Cookie Monster/Earl of Sandwich throwdown! (Though my money's on Cookie Monster if we do.) We can ALL get along here! Cookies and sandwiches are FRIENDS--see?





Look, it's the perfect marriage of both! These buttery, zingy lemon cookie sandwiches were somehow left off the list of classic sandwiches in The History of the Sandwich, but once you eat them, my guess is they will make it on your list of favorite cookies--or of favorite sandwiches. Trust me, these are yummy enough to earn a place in the history books....or at least your recipe book.

Lemon Cookie Sandwiches
(Adapted from Ldsliving.com and Great American Home Baking)

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

1/2 c. butter, softened 
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

For the frosting:

3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. and 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Directions:

Make the cookies: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice and combine thoroughly. Stir in all dry ingredients until just combined.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until cookie bottoms begin to brown.

Make the frosting:

Combine butter, zest, and juice. Beat in powdered sugar at medium speed until fluffy.

Make into sandwiches:

Spread a layer of frosting on the bottom of one cookie. Top with a second cookie to make a sandwich!

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