After lots of procrastination, I finally finished a stressful project at work at the end of last week. To reward myself, I decided to bake up some cookies. It’s not so much the cookies that are my reward but the baking of them. The simple acts of baking – gathering ingredients, measuring flour and sugar, mixing the dough, and watching it all come together like magic in the oven – are therapeutic for me.
Our markets are always overrun with citrus, so I knew I wanted to make something with lemons. When I stopped in Publix on my way home from work on Friday, I happened upon some Meyer lemons. I’ve never used Meyers in my cooking or baking, so I picked up a couple, along with some regular lemons and some limes. I didn’t necessarily know what I was going to do with them, but I just can’t resist citrus, so the fruit sometimes just ends up displayed in a bowl on my breakfast nook table.
The cookies I made are based on a recipe for Lemon Icebox Cookies from Everyday Food. I made a few changes to the original recipe, partly because I wanted to and partly out of necessity. I used the Meyer lemons for lemon zest and lemon juice, and because I wanted a bit more citrus kick, I added some lime zest and lime juice. The original recipe calls for rolling the dough into a log, freezing it for a couple of hours, then slicing it into 1/4 inch slices. My dough was too sticky to form into the log shape, and I didn’t have the patience to work with it. Instead, I refrigerated the dough overnight (because I got distracted with other things), then made drop cookies.
The cookies turned out great. They had great citrus flavor and I could taste both the lemon and the lime. I could also taste the saltiness from the kosher salt, and it balanced out the citrus flavor nicely. The texture was light and almost like a shortbread – crumbly and sandy. They were a hit with my husband and daughter, too. Both kept trying to sneak extras – always a sure sign of a successful recipe.
Yield: approx 24 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest (I used a Meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (again, I used Meyer)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 large egg yolks
In a food processor, pulse flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, lemon zest, and lime zest until combined. Add butter and process until sandy. Add egg yolks and lemon and lime juices; pulse until dough comes together. Place dough in a bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (roll the dough into balls with your hands if the dough is too firm) onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. (To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to 5 days.)
Adapted from this recipe from Everyday Food.