Lemon-coconut wafers

Yield: 80 servings

Measure Ingredient
1½ tablespoon Lemon juice
½ tablespoon Grated lemon zest
½ cup Sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter or
Margarine, softened
1 Egg, lightly beaten
2 cups All-purpose or pastry flour
⅓ cup Unsweetened coconut, grated
1 teaspoon Baking powder
⅛ teaspoon Salt

"These delicate crackers never fail to attract a crowd. Fresh lemon zest is the secret to their popularity. Perfect party fare or dessert crackers, these treats are not too sweet, and they go well with a fresh pot of tea in the afternoon. You will bake these crackers again and again. 325~F. 12 to 15 minutes Preheat the oven to 325~F.

To prepare the zest, lightly grate the outer peel of the lemon against the fine grate of a cheese grater. Use only the colored part of the rind; the underlying white portion is bitter. You should have about ½ Tablespoon zest for this recipe. Squeeze the lemon for its juice; you should have about 1-½ Tablespoons.

In a large bowl or in the food processor, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg, the lemon juice, and the lemon zest. In another bowl, combine the flour, coconut, baking powder, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend to form a dough that will hold together in a cohesive ball. Divide the dough into 2 portions for rolling. On a floured surface or pastry cloth, roll thin, at most ⅛ inch. Cut out individual crackers about 2 inches across with a cookie cutter, juice can, or knife and arrange on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Prick each cracker all the way through 2 or 3 times with the tines of a fork. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the crackers over and bake another 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness, or until just very lightly browned. Cool the crackers on a rack. Yield: 75-80.

VARIATIONS: Try substituting orange zest and orange juice for the lemon. If absolutely necessary, you can substitute dried ground lemon peel. The result will not be as fresh and tasty, however.

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