Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Grocery Finds

I was at the grocery store recently and happened to pass the British foods display. This unfortunate item happened to catch my eye-

Now, maybe it's just me (and the whole "fresh from the farmers' market" mentality here), but yuck! What sounds more unappetizing than canned peas, and smooshy ones at that? Turns out you can use them to make things like green pea fritters, but I think I'll pass.

However, I had forgotten about this other find and recently unearthed it from the corners of my pantry-

From the website, it seems that it's being marketed as a flavor enhancer for water. I found it next to the drink mixes, Crystal Light and such. But the reason I picked it up is that it had the potential to make my lemon snowballs the zingy little treat that I wanted them to be. These citrusy cookies were tucked into my holiday cookie baskets and trays this past Christmas. They're inspired by a delicious lemon cookie that Williams-Sonoma used to sell when I worked there SO long ago- I'm almost positive it was the Nikki's brand. They were basically a lemony shortbread-like, but possibly drier, cookie, dusted in powdered sugar, but with a really lemony zing. I was positive there was powdered lemon mixed into the powdered sugar coating, but it was impossible to find, except for a couple of random people who sold to bakeries. So I shelved the idea of replicating it until I came across the True Lemon at the grocery store.

I adapted a recipe for lemon cookies that was similar to a Mexican wedding cookie or Russian Tea cake. I'm not sure I quite have it just the way I want it, but it's a good start-

Lemon Snowballs
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 tbs. lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
additional powdered sugar for rolling cookies (about 1 1/2 c.)
2 packets True Lemon

Combine the butter and 1/3 c. powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Beat until fluffy using a mixer at medium speed. Add lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour and salt and mix well. Cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls, leaving about an inch between cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes until set, and lightly golden around edges. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before rolling in a mixture of powdered sugar and contents of True Lemon packets. Allow cookies to cool completely on a rack before rolling in mixture a second time.

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