I’m learning French. Yes, you read that right. I am learning how to speak French! If all goes according to plan, Derek and I will be living in France one year from now, so we figure we should start learning the lingo!
Let me tell you: French is not the easiest language on Earth. The whole “put 10 vowels in a row and not pronounce any of them” thing is new to me. Spanish is easy and phonetic! French? Same structure as Spanish (which makes the learning easier), but NOT phonetic at all. At least not to me…
Really though, I’m enjoying learning French. Mostly, I’m enjoying how I’m learning French. If you haven’t yet, you should check out the app Duolingo. It’s free, structured like a game, and really quite addicting. Also, it is apparently proven to be more effective than a college language course. Say whaat?
I mostly like the encouraging dinging noises it makes when I answer correctly, and the hilarious sentences it comes up with. The awesome thing? Duolingo is helping translate the internet! Very cool! You work on real-life sentences on the internet, and translate them one by one (with various people crowd-sourcing the translation and checking each other, to ensure the most accurate translation). If you have ever wanted to learn another language (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and German are offered, I believe), give Duolingo a try! I’m offering this opinion as 100% mine, not coerced to promote them or anything… we just love the app and are having fun learning!
Once your brain is full of new words, take a break to make these cookies. Just like the iced lemon cookies, they’re not too sweet. In fact, these are deliciously tart!
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp lemon zest
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- With clean fingers, rub the zest into the granulated sugar until very fragrant.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and mix again until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes before continuing.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Roll dough into ⅛ cup balls, then roll in powdered sugar until well coated. Arrange 2" apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.