In the week before Easter my grandmother would make cookies. She had four cookie cutters that I vividly remember – a four-leaf clover, a heart, a flower, and a fancy looking square.
Once the cookies would come out of the oven, I will start tasting one cookie after the other and arguing with my dear grandmother that I am trying to figure out if all shapes taste the same. And she pretended she believed me! Soon after, the cookies would be packed in bags and stored away from the eyes of the lurking cookie monsters.
They will reappear again on Easter morning.
Listening to Maria Callas sing the aria of Violetta from La Traviata, I made little flowers to celebrate the flowers in my life.
2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/3 cup (80 mL) yogurt
10 g bakers ammonia
½ (2 mL) teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (170 g) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla
3 ½ cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
sanding sugar for sprinkling the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350F and position the rack in the middle. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the two eggs and sugar until smooth.
- Dissolve bakers ammonia and baking soda in the yogurt and add to the eggs and sugar.
- Fold in the melted butter. Add vanilla and the grated zest.
- Gradually add the flour until a soft dough is formed.
- Roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut desired cookie shapes.
- Brush the top of the cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake for 8 – 10 minutes and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
Note: Don’t freak because of the ammonia smell that you might feel coming out of the hot oven! You will not taste it at all in the cookies. This is what makes the cookies light and crispy and cannot be duplicated with the use of another leavener.
It is totally worth it finding bakers ammonia for this recipe.