Friday, April 4, 2014
Easter is just around the corner. I truly adore this time of the year as Springs symbolized growth and new lives. (In case if you wonder...NO, I'm not pregnant, I'm just referring to my plants in the garden!) Another great news for foodies? It’s the strawberry season! Although I pretty much get strawberries all year round in California, I know many of you had been looking forward to the strawberry harvest time for a while. The inspiration for these Lemon and Strawberry Cream Sandwich Cookies? The Easter bunny of course. And I love pairing strawberries with lemons, as the refreshing and citrus aroma compliment well with the sweet and tart strawberries. Okay, these are not exactly Easter bunnies as you might already knew. It’s a very famous children books/cartoon character called Miffy. Click here to the link for the Miffy Cookie Cutters if you’re interested.
I added some almond meal (almond flour) in the cookie dough for a hint of nutty flavor. The cookies are packed with lemon zests and the lemony aroma truly shines through in these cookies. The cookies alone are wonderful and makes perfect ice cream toppers, such as this one. The strawberry cream filling is one of the easiest fillings I've ever made. Yet, it’s packed with wonderful strawberry goodness and flavor. Both the cookies and strawberry cream are not overly sweet. But if you like yours sweeter, feel free to add a bit more powdered sugar when you make the fillings.
I can’t wait to take my Kiddos out to the annual Easter Egg Hunt. I know, that sounds like a big even/outing. Actually, we usually just “hunt” the goodies packed plastic eggs at the backyard. However, my kids always look forward to it and enjoy it so much every time. I love it when little things in life like this can bring so much joy to them. Do you have any plans for Easter? I would love to hear from you.
Lemon and Strawberry Cream Sandwich Cookies:
Ingredients for the cookies:
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
4 ounces of almond meal
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Zests of 2 Lemons
Ingredients for the Strawberry Buttercream:
8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and pureed
3/4 cup powdered sugar
7 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cookies: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the almond meal with the salt, baking powder, and flour until well combined. With mixer on low, add the dry ingredients slowly to the mixing bowl and beat until ingredients are incorporated.
Pat the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. On a slightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Using your favorite cookie cutter and stamp out cookies as close together as possible. (I used Miffy cutter, around 1 by 3-inch in size). Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies until lightly golden browned on the bottom and around the edges, around 8 to 10 minutes. Let baked cookies cool on the baking sheet on wiring racks. Refrigerate the scraps until chilled, then reroll, stamp out more cookies and bake.
To make Strawberry Buttercream:
In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. Add strawberry puree and vanilla extract. Beat until well incorporated, scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.
Transfer buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe buttercream onto half of the cookies. Gently press another cookies on top of the buttercream to make sandwich cookies. Keep sandwiched cookies in refrigerator. Leave at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.