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Pink Lemonade Crinkle Cookies

  It's June.  The months have been flying before my eyes these days, bookmarked by the occasional little blurb of a blog post.  I've had far too many people coming and going from my life lately.  I'm learning the ins and outs of latte art.  I'm working through a massive spring head cold.

  And I'm learning.  Always always always learning.  Some profound little life lesson/nugget of wisdom/unfortunate life experience seems to be popping up every week, and I'm just trying to take it all in.

  That being said, have you ever met a person that you just click with?  Like, almost instantaneously you feel comfortable being your weirdest self around them, and they around you.  I love those kindred spirits, and I tend to give them a little extra something when I can.  

  It's these kind of kindred spirits that awaken the baking flame within me.  Over time I find out what kind of flavors they like, baked good they prefer, and all that nonsense.  Subconsciously, my brain arranges all these little facts until one day it hits me with a brilliant idea.

  That is exactly how these delicate, sweet, tart, brilliantly pink cookies were born.  They basically embody the personality of the lady in question, and as soon as I had perfected the recipe, I couldn't wait to see her face when she bit into one.

  It's always an added bonus when such a specially catered baked good happens to thrill everyone else as well.  All who tried these were perplexed at first by the concept of pink lemonade in cookie form, but as soon as they'd had a taste I heard nothing but praise for these summer beauties.

  Descriptions ranged from "They're just the right amount of sweet," to "It's like a lemon bar, but not."  And mostly, and less confusing, "These are amazing."

  I tweaked a few knockoff recipes based on Pillsbury's ever famous Pink Lemonade Cookie to come up with these guys.  They're delicious and I'm so happy with how the lemon really shone through. 

  If you have a pink lemonade lover in your life with an insatiable sweet tooth and a face that you and everyone else just loves to see happy, make these.  Happy summer.

Pink Lemonade Crinkle Cookies
Yield: about 30 cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered pink lemonade mix (I used Country Time)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • a few drops of red food coloring
  • 3/4-1 cup powdered sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the butter, granulated sugar, and pink lemonade mix on medium-high until very light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add the dry ingredients in on low speed.  When the dry ingredients are almost completely incorporated, stop the mixer and add 2-3 drops of red food coloring to really bring out that pink.  Continue to mix until just incorporated.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar.  Place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, or until the sides of the cookies are just starting to brown and/or firm up but the centers are still quite soft.  A soft center is key to the chewy cookie factor, they will continue to bake for a bit on the hot baking sheet.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Store in an airtight container, obviously.

Sources: adapted lightly from I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing