When Leia and I go shopping she helps herself to everything at eye level. Most of the time I’m restocking shelves as she’s filling the cart. On our last trip to the grocery store a box of strawberry cake mix made it’s way home with us. Instead of the usual cupcakes, I decided to make cookies. Add two eggs and a stick of butter to a box of cake mix and viola – cookie dough. I love baking from scratch, but sometimes it’s nice to take shortcuts.
Plain strawberry cookies seemed boring. Cream cheese frosting? Too heavy. White chocolate chips? Meh. Easter sprinkles? Not in my pantry. One look at the big bowl of lemons from Grandma’s house and lemon icing was the obvious choice. Oh, and what about one of those sugary lemon slice candies on top? I love when food is decorated with an object to identify flavor. But I don’t have any candy lemons, so I…
made my own candied lemon slices!
Short-cut cookies lead to time consuming toppings. I wasn’t thrilled with these. Maybe they weren’t thin enough? My mandolin couldn’t get them thinner without destroying the center. After 90 minutes simmering in sugar water they were still firm and a little bitter. I imagined a paper thin, slightly crunchy, sugar coated lemon wheel. I’m thinking candied fruit is probably something that requires practice with a deceptively easy recipe. I tried them on top of the cookies – adorable, but not delicious.
Strawberry cake mix + 1 stick butter + two eggs + cookie scoop + 350 degree oven for 13 minutes.
So pretty! They would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower. Wait for the cookies to cool before dipping them in the icing. I used the zest of two lemons because I really love the flavor. I don’t usually measure the ingredients, just put a big scoop of powdered sugar in a bowl and add lemon juice a little at a time until the icing forms. More sugar makes a more opaque icing – or you can double coat the cookie.
Double dipped in icing, no candied lemon. This is the version I will make again. It’s a delicious cookie (I ate three of them already)!