Spring is in the air, well at least here in southern California. Flowers are budding on trees and my lemons are ripening. I’ve been in a baking mood and when I saw his recipe in Gina De Palma’s book “Dolce Italiano”, I decided to give it a try. They are light and lemony and I think the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea (rather than a cappuccino).
Lemony Semolina Cookies
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup semolina
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Freshly grated zest and squeezes juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons limoncello
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
Using an electric mixer cream together the butter, olive oil and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the egg yolk, followed by the lemon zest and juice, limoncello and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
On low speed, beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to make a soft dough. Remove the dough from a bowl, flatten it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and chill until the dough is firm, about an hour.
Place the additional sugar in a small bowl. With lightly floured fingers break off teaspoonfuls of dough and roll them into 1 ” balls. Roll each ball in sugar to coat. Place the balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 1″ apart.
Bake the cookies until they have collapsed and are crinkled and pale golden, about 14-15 minutes. Rotate the sheets to to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: About 5 dozen
I can’t wait to bake recipe after recipe from this book and pretend I’m sampling these dolci sitting in a piazza outside some little pasticceria, just about anywhere in Italy!