Monday, July 15, 2013

Turnip Cookies

Dear Lauren,

I was reading my friend Cyndi's cookbook. It's hilarious. Here's the front and back cover.

The book contains crazy recipes like "enchiladas" made with saltine crackers. Oh, I made them, of course I did! I had to! They were edible and that's all I can say in their favor. Then I saw a recipe for Turnip Cookies. Had to make those too.

The funny thing is, I never would have thought another thing about them. I mean they were good, but they're not going to replace chocolate chip cookies, ya know? But, you were home one weekend and you found the turnip cookies I'd stored in the freezer and you liked them. Ok, you loved them! You ate all of them and you don't "do" sweets! So hey, there's something to these here turnip cookies!

Turnip Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for coating the dough balls
zest of one lemon, reserve a pinch for the glaze (if making)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup turnips (which is about 3), cooked and mashed

For the glaze, optional:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
lemon zest, reserved from cookie ingredients

Cook (boil, steam, or roast, then peel) and mash your turnips. Pat dry with a paper towel.  

Preheat the oven to 375°F

Place parchment paper on two rimmed baking sheets. You can lightly butter the pans if you want, but parchment paper makes for an easy cleanup.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the zest to the sugar and stir with a spoon or just use your fingers to disperse it. In a large or stand mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the turnips.

Place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for an hour. Then use a tablespoon or a small scoop to make dough balls and roll in sugar. Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookie balls with the bottom of a glass. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes or until golden brown.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon zest until combined. Use a knife or pastry brush to glaze the tops of the cooled cookies. Allow to set for 5 minutes.


P.S. I made these cookies with and without the glaze. I actually liked them better without the glaze, but only because the glaze was not very flavorful. The unglazed cookies are prettier with the crunchy sugar on top! Try them both ways and see what you think!
P.P.S. Dad can't stand these cookies!
P.P.S.S. I've decided that these cookies might appeal to the Christmas fruitcake crowd! They have a slight bitterness that comes through.


  1. I have looked for this recipe for years, my mother made them when we were young.