About creative outlets and lemon cookies

Everyone who has explored his or her creative gifts has found that inspiration cannot be kept tied to one single form of expression. The fact is that many painters sing or act, some actors cook or paint, even some dancers are singers or sculptors. The choices and variations are almost limitless.

As you all know, I am an artist. I mostly paint although I also design, and work in 3 dimensions and sometimes in no real dimensions at all when I go digital. Art is my preferred expressive outlet. I love what I do, I feel I am constantly growing and I love exploring my artistic leanings through color and form. I know that I also have other God given talents. As you all know, I write. I also sing, although my shyness has gotten the best of me. My baritone voice is today a rough expression of a natural gift and it will probably remain so for the foreseeable future; I have also studied acting and I love it. But yet again, I never managed to get that “break” that seems to be necessary to make something of it, and that has been that, at least for now.

For a lateral thinker like me, creativity can take on many guises. Cooking was one of the earlier ones, together with painting. My old school buddies still remember me in the kitchen “creating” grape sorbets and crazy cookies when we were just 10 or 12. Today, I probably  cook as much as I paint, and I know my friends enjoy coming for a visit and see what I’m working on a canvas, and later enjoy whatever I came up with in the kitchen while we chat about life.

For those who are afraid of cooking, let me tell you, it is one of the most creative and freeing exercises you can find. It is quite simple to grasp, once you know some of the basic concepts (ALL of them so obviously logical and sensible that you will wonder why you didn’t learn them before). Food is something to be shared. Both at the preparation stage (with your family, your kids, your wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend or just with friends) and obviously as you all enjoy (and sometimes cringe…it can happen) at the end results.

One thing I have enjoyed for a long time has to do with mixing colors in my food preparation. It is nothing new. I guess my painting has a great deal of influence in my cooking and I find that the combination of colors makes the experience so much more enjoyable. There is an old saying about the fact that food is always absorbed firstly through the eyes, and it is as basic a concept as it is true. Your brain tells you that, at the very least, there is the potential to enjoy something well before your palate had a chance to taste it. Nutritionists will also tell you about the importance of eating all food “colors” as a reasonable guide to a balanced diet.

So, by “popular demand” from many dear friends, here goes one of my recipes to share with you. Hopefully, it will be the first of many. It is something fairly simple. These are very nice, tangy, and colorful (real) lemon cookies made with no eggs. I hope you try them and enjoy them, and also let me know what you think of them. Here at home they are already going (made some today so I could take some pictures to show you) and by tomorrow I don’t know if we’ll have some left, so I’m not going to invite you to try them here. But I will invite you to try them at home. They are definitely easy to do and I’m sure you will enjoy them.

 

Ignacio’s Colorful Lemon Cookies  

Lemon cookies with glazed papaya, green pineapple and mango crumble.

Ingredients  

Lemon Zest

Fruit crumble

  • 2 cups mixed glazed papaya, mango and pineapple (chopped). Alternatively you may use other glazed fruits of your choice like cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.  (See picture at the end with an alternative cranberry topping…looks and tastes great too!)
  • 50 gr. cold butter
  • 50 gr. plain flour
  • 50 gr. brown sugar
 
 

 Lemon syrup

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar

Cookies: Place 2 cups of flower, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter, lemon zest and juice in a food processor. Blend well until soft and creamy in texture.

Place mixture on kitchen table or large bowl.

The ingredients inside the mixer
Texture of the mixed ingredients before incorporating the final cup of flour

Dough before incorporating the final cup of flour.

Finished dough

Crumble: In another bowl mix chopped glazed fruit, flour, cold butter and sugar with fingers until classic crumble is formed. Put aside.

Prepared fruit crumble.

Syrup: On a small saucepan place lemon juice and sugar and bring to the boil for 30 seconds. Take off heat and let it cool.

Cutting rolled dough

Roll lemon cookie dough without applying too much pressure and until ½ centimeter in thickness. Cut with cookie cutter of choice. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 cm apart. Sprinkle fruit crumble on top of cookies.

Cookies ready to go into the oven with fruit crumble on top

Bake cookies until light golden brown around edges, about 20 minutes. Paint the cookies with lemon syrup and sprinkle with sugar. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool cookies completely.

Finished cookies in an alternative recipe with a cranberry and blueberry crumble topping.

Makes about 25 to 30  large cookies (5cm in diameter).

Blog & Recipe © 2021 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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