This week we bring you a recipe that travels well, in your own bag or nicely packaged as a gift. Cara and Phoebe, the “girls” behind the blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen, sent us the perfect recipe. Their Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are easy to make (no special ingredients necessary) and ship, and best of all, easy to eat (too many!). A good, basic sugar cookie provides a solid foundation for so many variations and we’re sure that, armed with this recipe, you can make the perfect batch for someone special in no time at all! — Kristina
About Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Cara and Phoebe have been best friends since middle school, and in November 2008, they founded the food and cooking blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen. The blog started as a respite from dull first jobs and grew into an informal but comprehensive guide for “quarter-lifers” beginning to make use of their kitchens. The food is accessible but not dumbed down, and the posts feature stories about cooking for one, entertaining friends, hosting cocktail parties, improvising at-home dates, cleaning up kitchen disasters and more. The blog has inspired a book chronicling the cooks’ “sophomore” year in the “real world.” Cara and Phoebe’s Quarter-Life Kitchen will be a quirky encyclopedia of terms, recipes, tips, tricks and anecdotes from the girls’ lives in the kitchen. It will be published by HarperCollins in time for the 2011 graduation season. Cara and Phoebe live in Brooklyn and Manhattan, respectively.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
2 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup coarse sugar (plain, granulated sugar works if it’s all you have)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together.
3. Cream the butter, 1 cup of sugar and lemon zest until very smooth. Add the egg and continue to beat until fluffy. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined — you don’t want to overmix.
4. Spread the remaining 1/3 cup sugar onto a shallow plate. Form balls out of the cookie dough 2 inches in diameter and roll them through the sugar. Arrange on a cookie sheet 4 inches apart — these spread!
5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until just the edges are golden. The tops of the cookies should remain pale. Cool completely on the cookie sheets before removing to a plate.
Food photography by Kristina Gill. Small pebble bowl (yellow) and flared dinner plate (citrus) by mud australia; bowl with lemons by Astier de Villatte; yellow and white dish towel by Zara Home; peeler, vintage; ecru napkin by Orskov; paper box by Liberty of London.
Why Cara and Phoebe Chose This Recipe
Cara and Phoebe have known each other since they were thirteen, and they baked together frequently in high school. Cara lived near the campus and Phoebe would come over after school. They’d wind up in the kitchen baking for friends, family, and field hockey teammates. But Cara spent most of her time in the kitchen with her little sister, Kate. Recently, when Cara arrived home early from work and Kate was on break from college, the sisters ended up at home together on a Thursday afternoon. Kate wanted to bake. She had even thought of a reason: their third sister’s boyfriend, Andrew, needed some sweets. No brown sugar, chocolate, nuts or oatmeal could be found in the pantry. Nearly discouraged, Cara and her sister discovered lemons. They zested them, creamed some butter and portioned out giant balls of dough. By the time their mom got home, the house smelled of freshly baked cookies, just like old times.
These cookies are simplicity itself, but they aren’t boring like some sugar cookies. They’re perfect for a regularly stocked cookie jar, but Cara and Phoebe usually give them as gifts. In fact, the first gift batch was so beloved by its recipient that Cara’s sisters have taken to calling them “Andrews.” Their size is impressive and their taste homey. There’s a batch in a tin right now that Cara plans to mail to Kate, who’s back at school in Maine.