Monday, September 24, 2007
Mondays with Maida - French Sugar Fans
Page 254 in the old book / page 273 in the new book
I like these cookies, but I'm not convinced they're worth the effort. Don't get me wrong - they were very good and went over well in the office, but the dough was difficult to handle. They're basically sugar cookies with two big things going for them: their looks and their lemony flavor.
I love the idea of the fan shape, which is particularly suited to serving with ice cream. I also really enjoyed the lemon flavor (from lemon zest). Beyond that, I didn't think they were any better than my favorite sugar cookie, Maida's Plain Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies. I think I would choose to modify that recipe slightly next time I'm looking for a lemony and/or fan-shaped sugar cookie rather than making this one again.
The fan shape is achieved by rolling a portion of the dough just large enough to cut out a circle 8 inches in diameter (I used an 8-inch cake pan as a guide). You can use a pastry cutter to get a ruffly edge, though the dough for this recipe is so soft it tends to accumulate in the little notches of the cutter. The circle is then cut into 8 wedges and radiating lines are pressed into each wedge (I used a bench scraper to do this).
The pretty little fan shape is definitely worth the trouble, I just don't think it needs to be quite so much trouble :-) Here's the panel...
Suzanne: "Delicious! Without knowing the name of the cookie, I said to a fellow staff member, “how attractive; they look like fans”. I could smell and taste the lemon flavor in the cookie and they had just the right amount of sugar on top. The cookie was delightful. Rating - 5.0"
Denny: "Surprisingly good. They are very nice-looking but I could tell they were just a sugar cookie so I was disappointed. The lemon zest changed my mind completely. With the minus 1 no chocolate penalty, I give them a 3. Rating - 3.0"
Laura: "Light, buttery, and delicious! Lovely light flavor of lemon with sugar crystals sprinkled on top. Yum! Rating - 5.0"
Terri: "Delicious and artfully beautiful! These would be the perfect cookie to serve with raspberry sorbet! Just the right amount of lemon zest (and I really like lemon in cookies). Rating - 4.0"
Overall rating by the panel - 4.3
Next week - Swedish Fried Twists