Have you ever been to Aldi before? (For those of you who do not know, Aldi is a discount grocery store.)
Some of you might make fun of the store or look down on it, but I don't. Now.
I used to. It never appealed to me to shop there until recently.
One day mom and I hopped into her Hyundai Santa Fe and decided to cruise on up to Aldi and see what they had to offer.
First we browsed the aisles of packaged cookies, chips, snacks, canned goods, etc. and I didn't really see anything I had to buy. Then we made our way through the dairy section and I started to warm up to Aldi a bit.
$1.99 for butter? That's a good price.
$2.20 for organic soy milk? Nice.
Feta and blue cheeses for $1.99? I like that.
Then we rounded the corner and came into the fresh produce section and I started snatching up vegetables and fruit as quickly as I could. The produce was ridiculously cheap.
I had all of this produce and dairy in my hands, but no cart, so it was hard to juggle and carry all of it up to the cash register.
Here's the thing about Aldi: you have to pay a quarter to rent a cart and when you're finished with the cart you get your quarter back. Isn't that strange? Did they really have that big of a problem with people stealing carts?
Here's another thing about Aldi: they don't bag your groceries. You have to carry a box up there, I think. I'm not sure where you get the boxes though.
So picture Mom and me carrying out two heads of cauliflower, butter, a frozen chicken, zucchini, a pineapple, a bunch of bananas, a bag of oranges, a bag of limes and a bag lemons out to the car. It's not easily done my friends.
I am now a fan of Aldi for life.
I also like that a lot of elderly people shop there because the elderly are wise and know Aldi is where it's at, and it just LOADED with bargains. And they don't rush me when I'm picking out the perfect bunch of bananas. They understand.
And we can have conversations with one another about how cheap the pineapple is.
And I noticed that they buy tapioca pudding just like I do.
The large amount of citrus I purchased was crying out to be used in some new baking recipes. So I made lemon cookies. Lemon Coolers, actually.
When I smell anything lemon (like a lemon crisp candle), I start craving Lemon Cooler cookies. Did you have these when you were growing up? They're crisp lemon cookies with a powdered sugar coating. Mmm.
I haven't seen Lemon Coolers in a very long time. I wonder if they still make them? It doesn't matter anyway, because you can bake them yourself and they're much better! No hydrogenated oils!
This is a simple lemon cookie with lemon zest and juice in the batter. Small teaspoons of the dough are dropped on to cookie sheets and baked until just crisp, then coated in confectioners' sugar.
My Lemon Cooler craving is satisfied now.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until creamy - about 1-2 minutes. Beat in lemon juice, vanilla and eggs until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in dry ingredients until just combined - about 1-2 minutes. Chill dough in refrigerator or freezer until firm - about 30 minutes.
Roll teaspoons of dough into balls, place on cookie sheets, and bake 10 minutes or until light golden on the bottoms. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. When cool, dip cookies into confectioners' sugar.
Makes 4 dozen tiny cookies