The cookie jar

We always made these 'cookies' or biscuits de Milan when I was growing up and they are a favourite  with my children too. They are simple to make but I never seem to keep up with demand. This is how many you'll get from the recipe below. The cookie jar is one of a few I bought for a small donation to charity from a traditional sweetshop. It's plastic but you can't tell when it's up on the shelf and I dressed it up with a bit of paper ribbon.

Les biscuits de Milan

250g butter softened
225g sugar
1 unwaxed lemon
3 eggs
500g plain flour with a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk diluted with a little water for brushing

mix butter and sugar with an electric whisk or beater 
grate the lemon zest and add
add eggs carefully and beat  - put in a spoon of flour each time to stop the batter splitting 
fold in flour
make a dough with the spoon and then your hands
chill in the fridge for an hour or longer if you don't want to bake the cookies straightaway 
cut the dough in half and roll out to about 5 cms thick - thicker makes them chalky somehow
use a heart shape cutter to press out the cookies
place on a baking tray or two and brush with the diluted egg yolk
bake in a hot oven at 200C for about 10 minutes
I like them just to start browning at the edges - lemony and buttery

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