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  • KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Lemon Burst Cookies, tinted with a wee bit 'o the green for St. Patrick's Day.
    KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Lemon Burst Cookies, tinted with a wee bit 'o the green for St. Patrick's Day.
Published March 12. 2014 05:01PM

I have to be honest here. This week's recipe is nothing like what it was supposed to be.

My intention was to make a yummy delicacy my mother was known for Lemon Burst Biscuits.

She made them often when she was serving brunch or just as a treat with a midday cup of coffee.

They were light and flaky and very popular.

I have the original recipe on a large index card in my mother's handwriting, stained and faded from many years of use.

It's so faded, as a matter of fact, I had a hard time reading it.

I even stood near the window trying to make out some of the words, several of which, are simply unreadable.

That's not where I went wrong, however.

Let's just say what you might call a mistake, I call serendipity. Or maybe we can call it the luck of the Irish, but whatever I did wrong, resulted in a delicious surprise.

Following the directions, I rolled out the dough to about a half-inch thick, as instructed. The problem was, once baked, my "biscuits" were still only a half-inch thick.

They didn't look anything like my mother's. I let them cool a bit, and broke off a piece. It was good; almost like a shortbread. I added the glaze.

They were delicious, but they were not biscuits.

I recalled that the English refer to cookies as "biscuits," so maybe I was confusing these with one of my mother's many other creations.

It wasn't until I was typing the recipe for this week's column that I realized what I had done wrong; I forgot to add the baking soda. I've seen recipes for biscuits without baking soda, but they usually use a lot more baking powder.

While I didn't end up with a tender, flaky biscuit, I did get a delicious, shortbread style cookie.

So call it what you will a mistake, luck, serendipity. I'm calling them Lemon Bursts.

(And don't fret. As soon as I get my eyes checked, I'll make sure to share the original biscuit recipe in an upcoming column.)

Lemon Bursts

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons lemon zest

teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

cup buttermilk

cup mayonnaise

Lemon Glaze

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon milk, plus additional if needed

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening and cut into dry mixture with a pastry blender or fork until small crumbs form, as if making pie dough. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk and mayonnaise and stir until well blended.

Add all at once to first mixture, and stir with a fork until combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10-12 times until smooth.

Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out into rounds about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool. Drizzle with lemon glaze.

To make glaze, combine all of the ingredients and stir. Add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed to achieve a thin enough consistency to drizzle over cookies.

Let cookies air dry until glaze is set. Store in an airtight container.

Check out more Comfort & Joy recipes at

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