I think we should all sit down and have tea and cookies today. Tea and cookies and a little chat and laughter in the late afternoon sun. What do you think? Are you in?
In the past few days, my inbox has filled with emails from people with big, arms-up-in-the-air, life questions. If you’ll allow me to paraphrase, they go something like this:
This might sound totally weird and crazy, but I think I’m going to get laid off from my job soon, and I’ve always wanted to be a baker and I was wondering if you could tell me… what the heck to do next.
Ok… first things first… let’s hug it out. That will help. Next, you should know, as I’m sure you already do, that I don’t have all the answers. Not even close. I am a firm believer in the idea that if you go after what you love, in a balls-out, take-no-prisoners kind of way, you succeed. Succeed? Heck yes! Because you’ll be ultra happy that you’re, in the very least, doing something you love.
So! If you want to be a baker… do it! Bake every day! Bake and bring cookies into the office job that might not be your favorite place in the world. Bake and try to sell to the coffee shop down the street. Bake and give it to the local homeless shelter. Bake and blog about it. Read books about baking. Talk to bakers about baking. Take a cheap cooking class at the community college. Ask to apprentice one (very early) morning at a local bakery. Dive in. It’s what I did, and if I can scratch out a living in the kitchen every month, I think you can too. On the real.
This concludes today’s installment of My Two Cents.
Now… how about cookies?
These Lemon Cloud cookies just about melt in your mouth. They’re simple and delicate with a slight bite and romantic texture. You can either flavor them with lemon or orange. I think they’re just heavenly served with a warm cup of tea.
Lemon Cloud Tea Cookies
The Modern Baker
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
1 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed with the paddle until well mixed. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until light, about 2 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time. Batter may look broken and curdled. Beat in the extracts and zest.
Decrease the speed to low and beat in the flour. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the dough a few good turns with your spatula to bring it all together.
Arrange rounded teaspoons of the dough on a pan lined with parchment paper. Space the balls about 2-inches apart. After all the cookies have been placed on the pan, flour a fork and press a crisscross design into the top of each mound of dough. Bake the cookies until they spread and become golden, about 20 minutes. Slide the parchment paper off the pan to cool completely.
Makes 48 tiny cookies.
Keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a plastic container with a tight lid.