In a small bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together; set aside.
Using the paddle attachment of your electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat for an additional
minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat another minutes until combined.
Add the lemon zest and salt; mix just briefly. Add the egg yolks and mix
until just combined.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the
flour mixture and blend just until the flour is incorporated.
NOTE: It is better to under beat than over beat at
this point. Be gentle when you mix in the flour, as tender cookies depend on
a tender touch.
Divide the dough between two 1-foot long
sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper. The dough will be quite soft at
this point. Shape each dough piece into a rough log approximately 1 1/4
inches thick (it is important to get the thickness right). Wrap the plastic
wrap around the dough; continue shaping and rolling form a nice round log.
Twist the end of the plastic wrap and tuck them under each log. Refrigerate
for at least 2 hours or up to a 3 days. The dough can also be stored in the
freezer for up 1 month.
NOTE: Refrigerating the dough relaxes the gluten and also helps the cookies
hold their shape during slicing and baking.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat
oven to 350 degrees F. and place rack in the middle of the oven. Line two (2) cookie sheets with parchment paper> or use the Silicone Baking Mats to prevent the cookies from sticking.
I personally recommend that you use the Silicone Baking Mats as nothing sticks to them.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg white and water together.
Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and with a pastry brush, lightly spread a little egg white mixture over the top.
Lay a 3rd piece of plastic wrap or parchment sheet on the counter and pour out a ridge of granulated sugar,
approximately the length of the logs, for rolling them in. Roll the chilled dough logs, one at a time,
in the granulated sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary. Completely coat the logs with sugar.
Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/4-inch thick slices. Lay the slices about 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (turning the baking sheets halfway through baking) until golden on the edges only. Remove
from oven and let cool on wire cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container. These cookies are best after sitting a couple of days. Because of the sugar
coating, these cookies are not suitable for freezing. For Christmas, roll dough in larger-grained, crystal, or colored sugar.
Makes approximately 40 cookies.