Medaljekager Lemon-Filled Spice Cookies
Hello again, fellow sweet-toothed bakers. It’s been several months since I posted plum cupcakes and thought Andrea’s readers might be ready for another stunning treat.
It was February of 2003 when I took a train from temperate southern France to visit Copenhagen, Denmark. The Little Mermaid statue was cloaked in ice crust and the Tivoli Gardens were grey, but I loved everything about the place. I don’t remember a single meal I ate during my stay, however, except for my morning visits to a cute pastry shop, Bodenhoffs Bageri (re-discovered thanks to the wonders of google!) near the hostel. Now, I wasn’t in love with these goodies because I was new to Europe and the novel joys of eating superior pasteries. I was in love with this place because everything tasted like sweet perfection, better than what I’d been eating in France!
Since that trip to Denmark, I’ve not come across many pastries that resemble the treats I gobbled down at Bodenhoffs. I have, however, found a few Danish recipes and can do my best to re-create them, though my clumsy American ways never seem to create them with comparable care and precision.
My suggestion for these spicy/lemony treats is to keep the cookies small and thin. The recipe calls for 1/2-inch balls of dough, and I found that while on the sheet they appear too small, the reality is that this is a sandwich cookie and you do not want to be biting through a fat cookie that overpowers the fantastic lemon center. When you flatten the dough, also be aware that the cookies will hardly expand in the oven. When I make these again, I’ll try to keep the cookies slightly thinner to help them stay the dainty-but-powerful cookie they ought to be.Medaljekager - Lemon-Filled Spice Cookies
Adopted from here, Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl; stir to combine. Beat butter, sugar, milk, egg yolk and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until dough forms. Cover dough and refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into 1/2-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Flatten each ball to 1/4-inch thickness with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Prick the top of each cookie using a fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until bottoms become slightly brown. Do not overcook. Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely.
Prepare lemon filling, adding powdered sugar until it becomes more viscous than honey. Spread filling on the flat side of half of the cookies (I recommend a thick layer over thin!). Top with remaining cookies, gently pressing flat sides together. Let stand at room temperature until set.
Yield: Makes about 1 cup
2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract