4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or shortening (the original recipe specifies lard)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup light cream or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Milk (about 2 tablespoons)
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl to distribute evenly and aerate. Beat the sugar and margarine with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and citrus zests to the milk, then beat it into the sugar mixture alternately with the flour mixture. With greased hands, form dough into 3 balls. It should be slightly sticky; if it is too sticky to handle, knead in a little more flour by hand. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Working with one ball at a time, pull off a handful of dough and roll it on a lightly floured surface into a rope about 1/3-inch thick. Cut into 4- to -6-inch lengths and tie a knot at the center of each. (Or simply form into circles.) Place on ungreased cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. (The cookies will expand significantly.)
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden but not brown. Let rest a few minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to cooling racks.
For glaze, mix confectioners' sugar and zests with a fork. Add milk a teaspoon at a time until glaze is as thick as heavy cream.
While cookies are still on racks, brush with the glaze (place wax paper underneath to catch drips). When the glaze is hard, store in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Nutrition per cookie: 93 calories (27 percent from fat), 2.8 g fat (0.8 g saturated, 1.1 g monounsaturated), 14.9 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g protein, 15.2 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g fiber, 199.1 mg sodium.