This recipe comes from the Tangen House cookbook at Living History Farms, a very popular cookie with the staff! The recipe is from the 1860s, unchanged through to today. The dough is suitable for rolling and cutting out. or for making into small balls and baking that way. My personal preference is making small balls and slightly flattening them on a cookie sheet. After baking, they seem to remain softer, especially if placed in a zippie bag while still warm.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, milk and extract. When thoroughly mixed, add the dry ingredients and mix fully. Either roll out or make balls, bake at 350 degrees for 5- 10 minutes; take from oven when top of cookie feels firm but before it gets browned.
I melt the butter. I find it mixes up better and makes a better cookie, but also mind that I am baking at high altitude. I have used both regular flour and high altitude flour - it comes out the same to me.
In the past we have substituted other extracts for the lemon - we've used peppermint and almond. Since we tend to make these for the holidays, we put a bit of red food coloring in with the peppermint to make the cookies pinkish and distinguish them from the lemon. Imagine taking a cookie thinking you're getting peppermint and biting into lemon!
They are a bit addictive. Enjoy!