Today, probably the greatest golfer who ever strode to a tee box, Arnold Palmer aka "The King", turns 80.
(Photo courtesy of russhons)
Whenever I think of Arnold Palmer, I think of lazy Sundays sitting on the floor in front of my dad's chair while we watched Arnold go head to head with his arch nemesis, Jack Nicklaus. We would sit, watch golf, and catch up with each other. He would ask me about school, I would ask about his job and we would both groan when ever Arnie or Jack missed a putt, put the ball in the rough, or hit a ball into a hazard. I think those Sundays spent watching Arnie, Jack and just spending time with my dad are when I first came to love golf.
Even if you don't play golf, have never watched golf, and couldn't name any players on the PGA Tour today other than Tiger Woods, you probably have heard of Arnold Palmer; if for nothing else for the drink of half iced tea and half lemonade named after him.
Several versions of how this refreshing drink became to be known as the "Arnold Palmer" exist. The most often cited tale is in the 1960s he ordered this combination of iced tea and lemonade in a bar and a woman sitting at the table next to him told the waitress to bring her "that Palmer drink". Regardless of how the drink got its name, it is one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks and even though it is associated with summer, I drink it all year round. It is light and refreshing even when there is ten inches of snow on the ground.
I wanted to take that refreshing feeling I get when I drink an Arnold Palmer and put it in a cookie.
So, I pulled out my trusty, killer recipe for lemon shortbread, my new kitchen gadget, a motar and pestle, and my tin of loose Twinings English Breakfast tea.
After finely grinding the tea,
I made the dough,
and formed a dough plank about 15" long by 3" wide by 2" tall
before placing the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
While the dough was in the freezer I made the glaze using both fresh squeezed lemonade and brewed iced tea.
After removing the almost frozen dough from the freezer, I sliced it to about 1/4" thick and placed the slices on a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan.
I baked the cookies in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes until the cookies were slightly brown at the edges. After letting the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes, I removed them to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely before I glazed them with a simple glaze made from confectioners sugar, lemonade and fresh brewed iced tea.
These cookies were every bit as refreshing as the drink that inspired them. According to my taste testers, they were a hole in one.
Happy 80th Birthday Arnie! You really are "The King".
Arnold Palmer Cookies
1 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C sifted confectioners sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/8 C lemonade, (Homemade is best but if you have to use store bought, try to get some that doesn't use high fructose corn syrup)
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 C AP flour, sifted
1/8 C finely ground black tea
Combine flour, salt and tea and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until the butter is light and fluffy. Add into the butter mixture, the lemon zest and lemonade. 1/4 cup at a time, add in flour mixture until the dough just comes together.
Form the dough plank on waxed paper, place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Dough can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.
Slice frozen dough in 1/4" slices, place on prepared or parchment paper lined cookie pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until edges are just starting to turn golden brown in pre-heated 350 degree oven.
Remove from oven, allow to cool on pan for 1-2 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp lemonade
1 Tbsp freshly brewed tea
Combine the ingredients together. You may need to add more liquid or sugar to get the glaze to the consistency you desire.
Make 2 dozen. These cookies freeze well, ship fantastic, and will stay fresh for one week in a sealed container.