Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What's Cooking Wednesday - Lemony Sugar Cookies

Thanks so much to Abigail for showing us how important it is to get out of our personal comfort zones and do what we love.

The heroine of my new Pine Hills Police book, SAVING SCOTT, is trying very hard to open her bakery, "Confections by Ashley." As part of the book, I'm including recipes for some of her creations. Here's a sneak preview of the scene where today's recipe is mentioned. (The recipe follows)

"We're not here to speak ill of the dead," Maggie said. "We should be celebrating her life."

Jennifer reached for another cookie and held it aloft. "She did make excellent lemon sugar cookies."

"That she did," Maggie said.

"Would she have killed herself over a man?" Ashley asked.

Jennifer shook her head. "Not her style. She'd find another one. Or two."

The door chimes tinkled. Jennifer devoured another cookie. "I'd better get out front."

After Jennifer left, Maggie tutted. "That girl. She's excellent in the shop, but she does have an overdeveloped penchant for the dramatic."

Ashley refrained from saying anything about Maggie's own penchant for knowing what was going on. After all, that's why Ashley was here. "I agree about focusing on the good at a time like this, but don't you think we should share what we know about Felicity with the police? It might help them figure out why she died sooner."

"You're right, I suppose. But so much of what one hears is rumor, and tends to be exaggerated."

"But if we give the police a few leads, that wouldn't really be spreading rumors, would it? They'd check them out and discover the facts."

Maggie sighed. "Oh, I do wish Sarah was back already. Not that Kovak doesn't know what he's doing, but when Sarah was accused of smuggling, she and Randy worked together to solve the crime. Since they've been together, she's learned to think like a detective. Ah, well. They'll both be back tomorrow, and I'm sure between Randy and Kovak, they'll have this wrapped up in no time."

"My new neighbor used to be a detective," Ashley said. "He works at the station now, but as a civilian. I can tell him about Felicity's boyfriend troubles. He'd know how to feed the information to the cops, and he said he'd keep me up to speed with whatever he's allowed to tell me."

"That sounds like a good idea." Her eyes twinkled. "And who is this new neighbor? Anyone interesting? Aside from him being a former detective, of course, which is interesting in itself."

Before Ashley got bogged down in discussing Scott with Maggie—and Ashley was positive Maggie would ferret out the attraction Ashley herself wasn't sure about—the phone rang. While Maggie took the call, Ashley finished her cookie. Jennifer hadn't exaggerated. Ashley rolled the bite over her tongue, trying to recreate the recipe in her mind. She could see dipping one end of the cookie into white chocolate. She'd name them after Felicity. Her kind of tribute.

Felicity's Lemony Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 c sugar
3/4 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1 t lemon extract

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, and lemon extract until creamy. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until dough can be handled easily. The dough needs to be kept cold, so work in small batches, keeping the rest in the refrigerator.

Roll 1/4 inch thick. Cut out using your favorite cookie cutters. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes. They should not be brown. Cool on racks. Makes about 3 dozen

If desired, melt white chocolate chips or melting chocolate, either in a double boiler or the microwave, and dip the edges of the cookies into the mixture

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