Buttermilk Cookies

This recipe I scooped from Gourmet Magazine in their Jan. '08 Special 'Southern Cooking' edition. There are ALOT of amazing recipes included and I'll post a few I've tried and loved. This is definently a keeper, delivering a cookie soft and fluffy on the inside and just slightley crispy on the out. The glaze is also easy and gives you a cookie you'll be proud to serve!

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I used 1 vanilla pod, sliced and seeds scraped out)
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

preheat oven to 350 f, butter 2 large baking sheets
Whisk together flour, zest, baking soda and salt.
Beat together butter and sugar in large bowl untill pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. (using the vanilla bean gave me ever so subbtle black flecks in my my cookie which I love) Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in batches at low speed, beginning and ending with flour mixture untill smooth.
Drop level tablespoon of dough about 1 1/2" apart on baking sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time, untill cookies are puffed and golden on the edges, 12 to 15 minutes per batch. Cool cookies on sheets 1 minute then transfer to racks.
Glaze cookies: Wisk together all glaze ingredients and brush on top of warm cookies. (the whole 'brush' on thing didn't work out for me, instead I used 2 small spoons and blobbled about a 1/2 tsp of glaze onto each cookie.) Let stand untill cookies are cooled and glaze is set (of course trying a few out to make sure they are good<.>

The first time I made these I totally missed the lemon zest, b soda and salt and they turned out great. I could eat these all day, they are light and melt in your mouth delicious. The vanilla seed gives it a grown up elegance. So get out there and grab yourself some buttermilk and try them out. I'll post some ideas of things to do with all that left over buttermilk later....

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