Elephants on Parade

Thank the lord it is Friday, but thank YOU dear readers for all the amazing feedback on our first party of the year!

As per your request here’s the recipe and play by play for making those fun and very fortune-ate Elephant Lemon Sugar cookies from our Maharaja-theme Birthday bash!

As you can see they can be dressed up anyway you like and reincarnated to suite any time and place…

For a recent dinner we thought they looked a little chilly, but by dipping them in Scharffen Berger Chocolate we were able to dress them up! Rich velvety pants seem more appropriate for these winter temperatures anyway.

Elephant Lemon Sugar Cookies
Adapted and only slightly changed from the near perfect original provided by Marian of Sweetopia.net

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups room temp unsalted European Butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 vanilla bean, scraped and use seeds only
zest of 1 large lemon, or two meyer lemons (if in season)
5 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp +1 pinch of sea salt

Optional Decoration
1 bar of Schaffen Berger Semisweet, 62% cacoa chocolate, chopped

Method
1. Sift flour, baking soda, salt through a fine mesh sieve over a large piece of parchment paper. Reserve.
2. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream the butter and sugar together on low, moving to medium. Do not over beat.
3. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add the vanilla bean seeds, and lemon zest to the eggs and slowly add in the eggs in two inclusions, while the paddle is mixing the butter and sugar on low. Mix just to incorporate.

4. Stop the mixer, add the sifted dry in ingredients all in one go, and place a kitchen towel over the mixing bowl to cover. Turn the mixer on low and mix on low until the batter comes together and clumps on the paddle.

5. Pour/pull out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and bring together. Cut into 3 even pieces and place each between two layer of parchment paper. Roll out each section of dough to about 1/8-1/4 inch in between the sheets of parchment. Refrigerate the dough you wish to use immediate or with in 24 hrs. Wrap the remaining rolled dough with seran wrap around the parchment and freeze for up to one month.

6. For the dough you wish to use immediately. Let it cool and set in the fridge for 1 hour.
7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bring out the dough, and let stand at room temperature for 8-10 minutes. Roll more if necessary or just dip your cookie cutter in flour and cut out shapes working as quickly and carefully as possible. Transfer cookie shapes to a baking tray fitted with a sil pat mat or parchment paper.

8. *This is key* Place the tray back in the fridge and cool in fridge for 30-45 minutes. Then take the tray of cookies directly from the fridge to the oven. Bake cookies for 15-17 minutes until slightly golden at edges. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

9. To decorate with metalic “eyes” use a bit of frosting or icing to stick the eyes onto the cooled cookie. 10. To give the elephants those “winter pants”, melt chopped chocolate in sauce pot over a large pot of hot scalding water heated by the stove on medium heat. Let the chocolate melt and stir to make a smooth chocolate sauce. Dunk the elephants in the chocolate, bums first and place on wax paper to cool to room temperature. Then finish cooling and harding the chocolate pants in the fridge. Peel from the wax paper once set and store in an air tight container with wax paper at room temperature or in the fridge for up to a few days.

May these little lemon elephants bring you good fortune and prosperity for the year to come!

Darcy Jones

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