Posting date is Sunday, 13 July
Lemon Pecorino Pepper Icebox Cookies
Yield: 45 to 60 cookies
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch cubes
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sanding sugar or colored sanding sugar (optional)
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and Pecorino Romano and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until incorporated.
Add the flour all at once and beat on the lowest speed until just incorporated. Do not overbeat. Gather the dough into a ball, slice it in half, and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
Turn the first piece of dough out onto a smooth, very lightly floured surface (preferably a cold surface like marble or steel) and use your floured hands to form and roll the dough into a cookie log 1 3/4 to 2 inches thick. Repeat the process with the second piece. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours. The dough will keep in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for 3 to 5 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove the logs from the refrigerator and roll each one in the sanding sugar to coat the sides. Slice the cookies 1/3 inch thick and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart. (Note: You can cut the cookies slightly thicker and bake them slightly longer for a less crunchy cookie, if that is your personal preference.)
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes (no color equals a softer cookie, slightly brown equals a crispier cookie). Remove the baking sheets from the oven and set them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Then use a spatula to transfer the cookies directly to the racks to cool completely.
The cookies can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.