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Swedish Lemon Tea Biscuits

It’s been a busy few weeks, gentle readers, and I appreciate your patience with my day job. It’s not an easy thing, running an exclusive restaurant. Your threats of death have motivated and inspired. I thank you for limiting yourselves to threats. I reciprocate now with the following challenging, but rewarding recipe.

A bag of flour, a box of ultrafine sugar, a jar of milk, two lemons, a box of baking soda, a tin of baking powder, a can of Crisco, a measuring cup, and measuring spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • ½ cup baker’s sugar
  • ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • Juice of 8 large lemons (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (for coating)

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Then, into a large mixing bowl, cut the shortening into pea-sized pieces. Add the baker’s sugar, salt, flour, and baking powder and mix with a pastry blender until the shortening has been completely integrated. Add the milk and lemon juice. Stir with a wire whisk until frothy.

Now, while rapidly whisking (never stop whisking), add the baking soda one teaspoon at a time—completely whisking in the last spoonful before adding the next. Continue until all the baking soda has been added.

Spoon the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Three mounds of light-colored cookie dough on a cookie sheet with a metal bowl in the background

Cook for 15 minutes or until cookies are lightly tanned.

A single, brown, potato-shaped, baked cookie on a baking sheet

Allow cookies to cool for at least 20 minutes. One at a time, blot each cookie quickly with a wet towel (use lemon juice instead of water for a tart cookie) to slightly moisten it and drop it into a plate of confectioner’s sugar.

A single, brown, potato-shaped, cookie sitting atop a mound of confectioner's sugar on a white plate

Roll each moistened cookie in the confectioner’s sugar until completely coated.

A triptych of a biscuit being rolled in confectioner's sugar on a white plate, where each panel shows the biscuit covered in more sugar

Serve the cookies with strong, black coffee.

Two biscuits and a cup of black coffee on a white napkin; the coffee mug says, 'drip grind, Daily Delight Coffee, radiant roasted' in black lettering on a bright orange background

Note: If your cookie dough seems too soft when you spoon it onto the cookie sheet, you’ve not properly whisked in the baking soda. You can rescue the dough by adding flour until it reaches the proper consistency, but this will yield an inferior cookie. Enjoy, but keep practicing.

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