Homemade Limoncello

   

This blog post has been on the back burner for some time. I made it and photographed it at Christmas-time, but seeing as that was already past the point for giving away homemade goodies as holiday gifts I figured it was best to wait for the next best opportunity – summertime! 

Homemade Limoncello

Limoncello is a lemon infused liqueur from Italy, often sipped during the summer after meals as a digestif. It’s sweet, strong, and quite easy to make. The most difficult part of the process would probably be removing all the zest from the lemons, but after that it’s just a matter of playing the waiting game – which I must admit is also difficult if you’re as impatient as I am. It is a pretty unique process that yields a unique result that you’ll love to share with your friends.

Homemade Limoncello

Homemade Limoncello
A sweet, lemony liqueur popular in Italy.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 liter grain alcohol (if Everclear isn't available in your area, see notes about using vodka)
  2. 10 lemons
  3. 5 cups water
  4. 4 cups granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. First, wash and dry your lemons. Since you're going to be using the peel exclusively, you want to make sure they don't have any residue on them. Next, peel your lemons (a vegetable peeler works perfectly for this job) - you don't want to get too much of the white pith under the peel, so try to peel as thinly as possible. Put the peels into a large glass container. Add the alcohol, making sure that it completely covers the peels. Let the mixture steep for 10 days, or up to 3 weeks.
  2. Place a colander inside of a large bowl. Pour the alcohol mixture into the colander and drain, using a wooden spoon to press out any excess liquid from the peels. Discard the peels.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the water and sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then add the simple syrup to the alcohol mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Place a wire mesh strainer over a large, clean bowl and place a coffee filter inside the mesh strainer. Slowly pour the limoncello through the coffee filter. Once the amount of liquid straining through slows down considerably or stops, replace the coffee filter with a new one and continue until all of the limoncello has been filtered, replacing coffee filters as needed.
  5. Next, filter again and fill the bottles as follows: Place a funnel into the mouth of the bottle you'll use for your finished limoncello. Place a coffee filter inside the funnel, and slowly pour the limoncello through the coffee filter to fill the bottle. Seal the bottle(s) and store in the freezer indefinitely.
Yields
  1. 2 Liters
Note
  1. If you can't obtain grain alcohol where you live, you can substitute 100-proof vodka. Most vodkas are sold in 750mL bottles (versus the 1 liter of grain alcohol called for in the recipe). If this is the size you purchase, adjust the rest of your ingredients as follows: 8 lemons, 4 cups water and 3 cups sugar.
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
Homemade Limoncello


Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

   

It’s been a little over a week since I made a new post, because I had some fun things going on. We went to Blizzcon again this year, making it our 5th trip to Anaheim for the big event. What set this year apart from the others was the fact that a total of 10 people from my WoW raiding group were able to go. The day before we left for the airport I started preparations for goodie bags to give to everyone. In each bag I included jalapeno cheddar crackers, garlic rosemary crackers, chocolate chip cookies, and the recipe I am sharing here today – lemon cream cheese cookies. Everyone that tried them and reported back to me really enjoyed them. I enjoyed how easy they were to make!

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

I love it whenever I experiment with baking and get awesome results like these. I had originally intended to create a pecan pie fudge to pack in the treat bags, but I realized I didn’t want to fiddle around with candy making so close to a trip. There were a couple of small lemons on my counter and I decided to do something with them instead. On a whim I asked Jah to stop on the way home to buy me a tub of cream cheese, even though I had no idea how adding cream cheese to a cookie dough would affect it. The resulting texture is a tender and cake-like with a delicate lemony sweetness. The lemon flavor is enhanced with an easy-to-prepare lemon zest glaze that each cookie gets dipped into.

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

These cookies went halfway across the US by plane and arrived in good shape. The glaze on top also kept them soft and fresh tasting for several days. If packaged carefully I think they will be perfect for mailing out at Christmas time. I know this is the time of year for pie, warm spices, and pumpkin everything – but these cookies are a refreshing change from the winter norms. I think we can all appreciate tasting a little bit of sunshine in the middle of November :)

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies
Serves 36
Soft, cake-like lemon cookies with a lemon zest glaze.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
16 min
Total Time
26 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
16 min
Total Time
26 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 cup white sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon zest (this is about the amount I got from a small lemon)
  4. 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer powder mixed with 2 tablespoons of water (or 1 egg)
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 8oz plain cream cheese
  9. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  10. For the glaze:

  11. 1 cup powdered sugar
  12. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  13. 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  14. 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  15. 1 tablespoon whipping cream or milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Beat softened butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. I did everything in my food processor, which made it quick and easy.
  3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, egg replacement, vanilla, and baking powder. Pulse until combined.
  4. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth.
  5. Gradually add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, combining well after each addition.
  6. Using a melon baller, cookie scoop, or heaping tablespoon, place balls of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. I fit about a dozen per sheet.
  7. Bake for about 16 minutes or until the edges are just barely golden.
  8. Allow cookies to rest on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
  9. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and whipping cream until smooth. If you prefer the glaze a little thinner you can add more whipping cream, or more lemon juice if you prefer a tarter glaze.
  10. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze, shake off the excess, and place back onto the cooling rack. I recommend laying a sheet of wax paper under the rack to catch any glaze that drips through. It makes cleanup much easier.
  11. Allow the glaze to harden (about 30 minutes) before packing the cookies away.
Calories
  1. 96
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies