We’ve accidentally ended up with a glut of grapefruit at our house. Somebody brought a whole bucket in to the lab the other day and one of my housemates and I got a bit carried away when we grabbed some (there were plenty left for everybody else though). Then my other housemate turned up yesterday evening with even more grapefruit. Don’t be surprised if there’s a bit of a grapefruit theme over the next week or so…
The great thing about grapefruit and other citrus is that although they’re winter fruit, they always makes me think of summer, they bring zingy little rays of sunshine to any wintery proceedings. Spring officially starts on Sunday, so we’re nearly done with winter here and summer is definitely on its way, but I’ll still take anything with a hint of sunshine that I can get. Except mosquitoes – I killed my first one of the season this morning. Not cool. Anyway, I digress. Janine over at Cake of the Week has chosen “Summer” as the theme for this month’s Baking with Spirit challenge. Now the most summeriest of drinks is, of course, Pimm’s, but I don’t have any at the moment and none of the accompanying fruit are in season here.
As I was looking at our literal mini-mountain of grapefruit I decided that perhaps I should do something citrussy as my “summer” entry. I’m going for the winter version of summer. Did you know that grapefruit and gin go wonderfully well together? I didn’t know that until last night (thank you Flavour Thesaurus). I decided to make simple sugar cookies – the catharsis of rolling out cookie dough appealed to me – with a grapefruit and gin glaze. The cookies came out a bit softer than I was expecting, but are rather delicious – the zing of the grapefruit and subtle hint of gin in the glaze really make them.
Sugar cookies with grapefruit & gin glaze
Makes about 50 cookies
Cookies slightly adapted from Glorious Treats
Glaze by Sharky Oven Gloves
Rolling these out can be a bit of a faff, but you want to minimise the amount of flour that you add. These cookies keep their shape really well when baking, so feel free to use whatever fun cookie cutters you have. I used orange grapefruit, but I’m sure red grapefruit would work wonderfully as well. You won’t need all the juice from the grapefruit that you take the zest from, so you might as well just drink the rest. Ideally with a slug of gin. I definitely recommend the combination! These cookies will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container.
For the cookies:
375g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 grapefruit
For the glaze:
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp gin
2 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
To make the cookies:
1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl and stir together.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg, vanilla and grapefruit zest and whisk together.
4. Whisk in the flour a little at a time. Once it has all been incorporated (it will be rather crumbly), knead together with your hands to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and either refrigerate for about 2h or pop in the freezer for 20-30 mins (make sure it doesn’t harden otherwise you’ll have to wait for it to thaw).
5. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 195°C/fan oven 175°C.
6. Take half of the cookie dough (if it’s been in the freezer, transfer the remaining dough to the fridge) and either roll it out between two sheets of baking paper or roll it out on a lightly floured surface with a sheet of baking paper over the top. (This is to minimise the amount of extra flour added. I did it the first way, which was a bit of a faff but did work, you just have to anchor the bottom sheet.) Roll the dough out to a thickness of 4-5 mm. Cut out rounds of dough using your chosen cookie cutter (I used a 6cm scalloped round cutter) and place on the prepared baking trays, about 2cm apart. Pop the baking tray in the freezer for 5 mins before baking for 8-10 mins, until just starting to turn golden. Leave the cookies on the tray for about 1 min before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and leftover bits.
To make the glaze:
8. Once the cookies are completely cooled, make the glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a small bowl, add the gin and grapefruit juice and whisk together by hand. Pour the glaze into a zip-lock bag, snip a tiny corner off and drizzle over the cookies (I usually set paper towels underneath the wire racks to catch and dribbles of glaze). Allow to set before arranging on a plate or transferring to an airtight box.