Never judge a book by its cover, right? Wrong. Of course I do, and I am a voracious reader at that. So it’s without any qualms whatsoever that I admit I made these cookies purely for shallow reasons. They look pretty and I wanted to see if I could replicate this recipe from Gourmet magazine.

I even read the reviews from readers who warned the taste of cornstarch might be too strong. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cookie recipe calling for 2/3 cup of cornstarch.) But I wanted to make them anyway.

So how’d they turn out? I made these for my sister’s graduation party and some of the adults were put off by the amount of sugar coating these cookies even before they took a bite. But my husband couldn’t get enough, and asked me to save some to have with his morning espresso.

His review? He sent me an email telling me “That cookie with an espresso is truly orgasmic.” His employee had one, too, and remarked that the cookie made him happy going down his throat.

 

Substitutions:
I added a few drops of lemon oil to the dough and also to the icing in the hopes that the extra lemon flavour would mask the cornstarch, which indeed was quite strong when I tasted the dough. I also did not use a pastry bag to pipe the icing onto the cookie halves, I just used a small spreader. I find it more convenient to do so, but you may find otherwise.

Would I make this again?
Certainly, these cookies were stunning and make a beautiful addition to a sweet table, perhaps for a baby or bridal shower, or even using red and green sanding sugars during the holidays. They were a bit time consuming, but that was to be expected. Truth be told, it was greatly amusing to dunk the balls of dough into the different coloured sanding sugars — took me back to kindergarten or something.

Grade:
Five stars out of five. I am always on the lookout for beautiful cookies and this recipe fit the bill. This isn’t a stand-alone dessert. You’ll have to serve it alongside coffee, tea, or some other sort of cake. But it’s sure to impress your guests. Be warned, the recipe says the yield is 50 sandwich cookies but I got 30 at a stretch, and I’m not sure I could have made them any smaller without burning them.