Monday, March 21, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Lemon Walnut Wafers

Page 45 in the old book / page 78 in the new book

These are small lemon flavored cookies with walnuts. They are crispy around the edges and slightly soft in the middle. They were very easy to make and especially good just out of the oven. My mom loves all things lemon and I think I'll be making these next time they come to dinner.

This week the newly convened "Cookie Panel" gives me a hand evaluating the cookies for the first time. When I asked them help me out with this, I never dreamed that any more than the recipe would be critiqued. Turns out, though, that my execution of the recipe is also the subject of their evaluation! I was tempted to go back to them and ask that they only consider the recipe, but I think that the problems that I had with this recipe (and any recipe) are probably worth discussing, since others may have similar difficulties.

My main problem (again) was with timing. These are very small cookies and you really don't want them to have too much color. The cookies in my first batch were a little too large (based on the number of cookies the recipe specified), but these cookies were favored over the smaller ones by those that had one of each. I think making the cookies a little bigger would also make them less likely to overcook.

The greatest strength of these cookies is their surprisingly intense lemon flavor. They have both lemon juice and lemon rind in them and these provide a wonderful citrus taste that you seldom find in a cookie or cake unless it has been doused with a syrup or glaze after baking.

So now the Cookie Panel will tell you what they thought...

Suzanne: "Intense lemony flavor. Crunchy with soft center. Great with vanilla ice cream. Good with coffee. Rating - 4"

Denny: "Lemon Walnut Wafers are not on my list of favorites but I'd still rate these a 4. Very good. A few were baked a little too long but no noticeable burned taste. Rating - 4"

Laura: "Very nice and lemony! Rating - 3.5"

Phil: "Strengths - distinct lemon flavor nicely tempered by walnut chunks. Weaknesses - more like a cookie than a wafer. Some variability in texture and flavor for two cookies sampled. One a bit dry, the other just right. Happened to chill half of the preferred cookie having to rush off to a meeting. Chilling seemed to diminish the lemon flavor a bit. Rating - 3.5"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.75

Next week – Praline Wafers

Nutrition Facts


Nic said...

I love the responses of your cookies panel, Cathy. I also love lemon. I'll have to check my Maida collections and see if I have this one.

Di said...

Mmm they sound delicious- I love lemony baked goodies. I don't have any Maida cookbooks- I'll have to keep an eye out for them.

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

I love anything lemon and these cookies sound good. I might try something like this, but without the walnuts.

Anonymous said...

I also love lemon! I know I would love these cookies. :)

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - Thanks - they'll be a big help to me! This recipe appears in both "Maida Heatter's Book of Great Cookies" (the one I'm working from) and the more recent reprint of all her cookie recipes from several earlier books called "Cookies".

Hi Clementine - Thanks! I love lemon too and am amazed at how lemony these cookies are. By the way - all Maida Heatter's books are wonderful!

Hi Reid - I'm sure you'd like these cookies if you like lemon. The walnuts had some nice crunch, but they'd still be very good without them.

Hi Alice - I'll bet you would like these. By the way, I just clicked over to Amazon to check the title of the new Maida Heatter cookie book and it has "search inside" so you can see the recipe. Search on "lemon walnut" (don't use the word wafers - only index and table of contents listings will come up) then click on page 78.

Babe_KL said...

ooo how i wished i'm your colleague! so tangy yummy

Cathy said...

Hi Babe - thanks very much!

Cate said...

Your office sounds like mine. I bring in stuff about weekly too (and send other items to my son's school). This week was Cinnamon Shortbread, which got devoured. I love your blog, and have added a link for it on mine.

Cathy said...

Hi Sweetnicks - thanks so much! I hadn't seen your blog before, so I just stopped by. I had no idea Sara Moulton was leaving Food TV - so awful! You're lucky to have two outlets for your baking! At first I was worried that my office would OD on the sweets, but I think now I'd get an earful if I didn't bring something in on Monday!