Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lemon Cheesecake Crinkles with Scratch or Shortcut Options

I tried out these cookies because a friend posted them on facebook and I needed a recipe to make for my kids' homework club dessert.  They got rave reviews and I liked them even better when they had aged a day.  This is a good last minute, throw together recipe if you happen to keep cake mixes on hand.  We can't use store bought cake mixes because of the ingredients, but I happened to have a homemade cake mix in the freezer that worked beautifully!  It was a vanilla, yellow cake mix but I converted it to a lemon cake mix fairly easily for the recipe.  The only drawback is that because of the frosting, the cookies are not stackable.  However they do freeze and thaw well.  I had one set that I took out to thaw and they got left out overnight, in their sealed container.  The next day they were amazingly tender with delicate crispy shell around the outside.  Really good and just the right amount of lemon.  They weren't decidedly puckery like lemon bars, but tart enough that you weren't left feeling cheated out of the lemon experience.  I think I would do them exactly the same way again.  If you don't happen to have citric acid on hand, I would suggest using more lemon zest.  I added it for tartness in the mix because I adore lemon desserts and sweet, bland lemon flavor is just wrong in my opinion.  Citrus should be citrusy.  If you only keep yellow or white cake mixes on hand, you can add the same things I did to turn mine into a lemon mix.  Play around with the amount of citric acid to suit your own desired level of tartness.  This makes more frosting then you need, a half batch might suffice, especially since these cookies are great even without the frosting.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 box lemon cake mix (recipe for homemade cake mix follows)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
Zest and juice of one large lemon (2-3 tbsp juice and 1 tsp zest)
1½ cups powdered sugar

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Zest and juice of one large lemon (2-3 tbsp juice and 1 tsp zest)
¼ tsp lemon oil (for baking, not essential oil!) 

In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine cake mix, oil, eggs, lemon juice and zest, and mix until it is uniformly combined and smooth.  Chill the dough for 15-20 minutes to make it easier to handle.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls with your hands and then roll in the powdered sugar until well covered.  Place balls on a parchment lined baking sheet.  

Bake for 12-15 minutes until just set and starting to turn golden around the edges.  Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting:  Mix the cream cheese until fluffy, add in half the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  Add the vanilla, juice and zest and mix.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar a bit at a time until the frosting has the desired amount of tart/sweet and consistency.  

Pipe frosting onto the cookies with a decorating bag.  Or simply use a quart freezer ziptop bag with a small corner cut off to pipe the frosting.

To convert my yellow cake mix into a lemon cake mix, I added 1½-2 tsp fresh micro-planed lemon zest, ½ tsp lemon oil, and ½ tsp citric acid.  This will convert one box portion of mix.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
Makes 2 boxes worth - use one and freeze one
Adapted from Chef Tess Bakeresse

4½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup tapioca starch (or cornstarch if corn is not an issue)
2½ cups sugar (I used organic evaporated cane sugar)
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp salt (I used a slightly scant tbsp sea salt)
1 cup shortening (or butter)  (I used half butter, half unhydrogenated shortening)
1 tbsp double strength vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients in a stand mixer on low.  Add the shortening/butter in bits and combine on low until a fine meal is achieved.  Drizzle in vanilla while mixer is running and combine well.  You could also use a food processor to make this or cut in the fat by hand and run it through a flour sifter to get a fine meal. 

Makes about 9 cups mix.  4½ cups is one box mix.  I divided mine by weight and got 24.5 oz each.  I believe the butter is heavier than the shortening as well as the less refined sugar than its white counterpart.  Since I used part butter, I am keeping the other mix in the freezer.  (Shortening for tenderness and butter for flavor in a cake.)  Using all shortening would be shelf stable for maybe a month or so.  According to the author, you can flavor this with oil flavorings as well as citrus zests and it mixes up exactly like a store bought mix with the 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil and 1 1/3 cups water.

Adapted from

1 comment:

  1. Lemons are also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, and magnesium, and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and copper, as well as folate and potassium.



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