Lemon Ginger Wafers
In the Cookie Classics section of Cookies and Brownies, there are two lemon wafer recipes. Lemon wafers have always evoked springtime for me - bright, sunny flavors, a clean spicy scent, and delicate like a little tuft of cake. These lemon ginger wafers are no exception - the freshly shaved ginger and the tangy lemon zest dance about your mouth and marry with sugar for crisp buttery edges.
That is, once you get them baked.
I'll admit this recipe frustrated me to no end. It did not work as described in the book, specifically the instructions for rolling and cutting the dough. It was simply too damp, even after resting in the freezer. Having learned a trick from the Chocolate Wafers recipe in the Chocolate Cookies section, I scraped all the nicely rolled dough back into a log, froze it, and sliced off disks instead.
This worked well for a couple of reasons, the first of which is that I could get the dough onto the cookie sheet without it falling apart. The second is a little subtler. When I started with the rolled dough, I managed to get one leaf-shaped piece of dough onto the parchment. I figured I might as well bake and taste, given I was going to mass the dough into a log anyway. If there was anything to fix, I could do it then.
Out of the oven came this amorphous shape. Gone were the crisp edges of the maple leaf cookie cutter I'd used. It had spread and reconnected and formed a blob. I didn't want a blob cookie. Rolling and slicing meant I could get a relatively round cookie that spread evenly - so bigger round cookies would result. I could live with that.
A few notes about this recipe:
- I assumed 1 c unbleached AP flour = 4.5 oz. It's possible that with a little more flour these would have rolled and cut easier, but I didn't want to toughen them up.
- 1 whole lemon was used for the zest, and a chunk of ginger about 2 - 3" long. I grated both with a microplane grater.
- Try rolling between pieces of plastic wrap. I had used parchment and thought it might have gotten too damp. If all else fails, try the log and cut method!
Lemon Ginger Wafers
2+1/4 c AP flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 c sugar
12 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
2 T grated fresh ginger
1 T finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
2 cookie sheets, lined with parchment paper or greased
2+1/2" cookie cutters, round or any shape
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and ground ginger in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or a fork. Set aside.
- Using a spoon, mix the egg, the egg yolk, and sugar in a large bowl until homogeneous.
- Mix in the melted butter, fresh ginger, lemon zest, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated.
- Cover and chill at least 20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into fourths. Roll each piece 1/16" thick between 2 sheets of plastic from a plastic bag or wax paper. Slide a cookie sheet under the plastic or wax paper and dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Remove 1 piece of dough from the refrigerator. Peel the top sheet of plastic or paper from the dough, reserving the sheet. Invert the dough onto it and peel off the second sheet.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out 2+1/2" cookies or any desired size or shape.
- Place cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.
- Repeat with remaining dough. Scraps can be pressed together and rerolled.
- Bake for 6 - 7 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
- Slide the parchment liners onto racks or use a metal pancake turner to transfer cookies from the pan to a rack.
- Cool cookies completely before stacking or storing. Store cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool.
Makes 64 2+1/2" cookies
May be stored, airtight, for at least 1 week
This recipe comes from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies, and is available on Purple House Dirt with permission from the author.