Friday, December 23, 2011

Citrus Buttercream Sandwich Cookies

Citrus buttercream sandwich cookies were part of my Christmas goody gift package this year.  When I went soliciting ideas for Christmas cookies one of my friends suggested a citrus cookie.  Honestly it took me by surprise, as I'm a chocolate and caramel cookie kind of Witch.  A citrus cookie would be different and very holiday appropriate, after all the best citrus fruits are ripe in December.  I wasn't sure what kind of citrus cookie to make, however.  I tossed around a few ideas, a thumbprint type of cookie, filled with a citrus curd maybe?  What about a citrus shortbread with a citrus glaze?  Both sounded quite nice but really my mind kept wandering to a sandwich cookie, something that incorporated both of those ideas, filled and crispy all at once.  Now that the type had been hammered down to  a sandwich cookie, it was a matter of figuring out what kind of cookie I wanted to make for the sandwich.  Shortbread tends to really just crumble away for me so I decided it wasn't what I wanted here.  A standard drop cookie isn't structurally strong enough to support filling and a top cookie, not to mention their round shape isn't what I was looking for here.  Back to the drawing board.

That's when I went blog hopping and discovered Culinary Connection's by Peabody's recipe for Citrus sandwich cookies.  Immediately I knew I had my recipe.  The Witch changed a few very minor things; I used the zest of clementines instead of orange and I added lime zest into the mix as well.  The colors of the zest are so pretty in the pale yellow citrus dough, which was a pleasure to work with, not dry or crumbly and rolled out easily.  Baking the cookies released the essential oils of the citrus zests, adding their flavorful perfume to the cookie.  The filling is a reduction of orange and lemon juices whipped into a buttercream, their tangy acidity help balance the sweetness of the filling.  A touch of heavy cream keeps the melt in your mouth soft.

The cookies looked impressive once finished.  The colorful zest peeping through the cookie with the pale buttercream centers were very pretty.  The Kitchen Witch is very sad to say that she never got to taste one in it's finished state.  The recipe made 32 sandwich cookies, the exact number of recipients on my goodie gift list this year.  I was able to snag a broken piece of cookie, it was delicious, slightly chewy and rich, and the buttercream I sampled and enjoyed.  Yet the finished product I didn't get.  Sob!  That's ok, I'll just have to make these beauties again soon.  Enjoy!

Citrus Sandwich Cookies 
Makes 32 sandwich cookies
Source:  Culinary Connections 
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
14 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 tsp finely grated lime zest

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed for 3 minutes. Add egg and zest and beat until combined.

Reduce to slow speed and add flour mixture just until well blended. Scrape dough onto a work surface and gather it up into a disk. Wrap the disc in plastic warp and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm(up to 3 days).

350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.

Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch.

Using a small cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies possible from the dough. Transfer dough to baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom(not the top).

Transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Citrus buttercream filling 
¼ cup orange juice
1 TBSP lemon juice
6 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 TBSP heavy cream
pinch of salt

 In a small nonreactive saucepan, bring the orange and lemon juices to a boil over high heat and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until reduced by half (3T).  Let cool completely.

 In a bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cream, salt and cooled citrus juices at medium speed until smooth and fluffy.

Pipe fiilling onto the bottom of one of the cookies. Top with another cookie. Press the cookies lightly together. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filing.

Store cookies in the fridge.  Allow to warm to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
  32 Servings
Amount Per Serving
 Total Fat7.6 g

 Saturated Fat4.7 g

 Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 g

  Monounsaturated Fat2.2 g
Cholesterol26.5 mg
Sodium23.6 mg
 Potassium16.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate18.1 g

Dietary Fiber0.2 g

Sugars12.0 g
Protein1.0 g


Foodycat said...

These look absolutely gorgeous! Citrus is my favourite flavouring, so I know I would love these!

Jenn said...

They look and sounds absolutely fabulous!! You know me, I'm all about the chocolate, but every now and than I like to break away from that routine.. these would be that perfect break away!! Plus, what's not to love about sandwich cookies????

Liz said...

These look delicious! I recently started baking with citrus flavors and was surprised to really enjoy the taste. I may need to try these

Tia the Baker said...

oh they look delicate and tasty!

Anh said...

delicious cookies! I love citrus flavours!

Ann Minard said...

Grazie for this recipe, I agree with your friend and LOVE a citrus cookie or a citrus anything for that matter. Just like my Food Idol, Ruth Reichl, I have a love affair with LEMON! I am printing this recipe up as I type and plan on making these for my daughter who shares my love for all things lemon and happens to be very hungry and very pregnant at the moment : )

Ann Minard said...

I am making these for my Ladies Book Study tonight!

Ann Minard said...

Can I out your recipe on my blog with my own pictures? I will of course give you credit and a link to your blog as well? Baci Baci, Ann @ La Buona Cucina

Ann Minard said...

I meant "put" not "out"

Baking Addict said...

I love citrus and these cookies look fab! Love the heart shapes :)

Big Dude said...

Andrea - Here's the answer to your question on my blog -

Anonymous said...

Wow -these are fantastic! As soon as I saw the words "Citrus" and "buttercream" I knew they were gonna be good! I also LOVE the heart shape!

Cranberry Morning said...

I love citrus!! I am really hoping that I don't make these, though, for I kinda overindulged at Christmas with the family here! :-) I will definitely keep this recipe on file. They look delicious.

Jill | Dulce Dough said...

I love ALL the citrus that these cookies have! Yum!

Jill | Dulce Dough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

How did I miss these? Good lord I wish I had a basket of these for my coffee this morning. Heaven.

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