Yield: 3 dozen, maybe. Or maybe 2 1/2 dozen.
I’m always looking for something fun and interesting that I have never made before, so I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this recipe. My husband is not a huge fan of sweets, and frequently tells me that my desserts are too sweet. I’ve never had any idea what he is talking about, personally! But this cookie looked like a good match for him, not chocolaty, not peanut-buttery, not nutty; what could be bad?
Incidentally, since this was a TWD (Tuesdays with Dorie, see link above) recipe, I found literally dozens of blogs about it. And, obviously, in my effort to be incredibly unique and interesting, I have followed suit with my own experience with the exact same recipe. Maybe someday I will be knowledgeable and confident enough to create my own recipes, but that day is not today.
On with the recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup wheat germ, divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Start by putting the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl. Work them together gently with your fingers until the sugar is moist. Then add the butter and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the honey and beat for another minute or two. Add the egg and beat for two minutes more. The mixture should be light and fluffy at this point.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining (dry) ingredients. Use just 1/2 cup of the wheat germ in this mixture. Add them to the butter mixture in two portions, mixing on low speed just until incorporated. You should have a soft dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours to two days.
Who has two days to wait? Maybe I’m just impatient, but I could barely wait the two hours. In fact, I think I cut the corner just a bit on that time frame.
Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of wheat germ into a bowl. Roll the chilled dough into 1-inch balls and then roll the ball in wheat germ before placing on a cookie sheet. Flourchild recommends flattening the cookies before baking, and I took her advice. I used my favorite half-pint canning jar to do the job. It worked great.
I decided to steal a couple more ideas from another blog, and I was awful glad I did. Katrina from Baking and Boys rolled some of her cookies in chopped pecans. I didn’t have any pecans in my pantry, much to my dismay, so I used chopped walnuts. She was right, they were quite yummy with the nuts. However, to comply with my family’s nut-free life, I made quite a few without nuts as well. The only problem with that is one that I’m kind of embarrassed to admit. My wheat germ was, well… not-so-fresh. It was definitely past it’s use-by date. I definitely believe that if I had bought fresh wheat germ for this, they would have been much better. But even at that, they were pretty darn good.
Oh, Baking and Boys had another great idea, too… using these cookies to make a peanut butter sandwich. They are amazing with peanut butter spread on them!! I loved them plain, too. I was expecting them to have a simple honey flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised by the strength of the lemon zest. That lemony flavor really pulled the cookie together.
It’s a simple, not-too-sweet, easy to make recipe. A perfect weekday cookie, if you ask me!