meyer lemon and lime cookies

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

Meyer Lemon and Lime Cookies

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.)

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12 Responses to “finding balance and a blueberry buttermilk tart”

  1. Macaroni Mama — April 27, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    It warms my heart that your children associate baking with love, warmth, and hugs. We won’t take up much of your time this weekend for this very reason. XXXOOO

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — April 28th, 2012 @ 7:37 am

      Any time we spend with you is time well spent, Mom. You and Dad are our priority, too!

  2. Liren — April 27, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

    That balance that we all aim to achieve is definitely more challenging at times than others. Thank goodness for baking, it really is a comforting therapy. I know a slice of this tart would bring peace and satisfaction. Hope this weekend brings more time with the kids in the kitchen.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — April 28th, 2012 @ 7:38 am

      Thank you, Liren. Yes, baking is such a great thing, especially when I can do it with the kids.

  3. Thyme (Sarah) — April 28, 2012 @ 8:32 am

    Your words hit the spot with me. I am the complete opposite of your world but the same in so many ways. I am a stay at home mom with 2 teens (one off to college in the fall) and I have homeschooled for the past 6 years. That “guilt” word often has me analyzing my decisions off and on. Yesterday was one of those days. I clenched my hair yesterday and yelled “I can’t take 3 more years of school!!” and…”I’m not even getting paid!!” I felt horrible after that and spent the rest of the day in shame. Apologies went around. I follow your blog andy you are doing the best job! Good luck with everything!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — April 28th, 2012 @ 10:00 am

      Guilt really can get the best of us, right? I think the work-life balance challenge holds true whether your work is outside the home or INSIDE the home, as yours is. And thank you for being a reader — I’m so glad you’re here!

  4. Beth (OMG! Yummy) — April 28, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    Nice post Merry-Jennifer – so honest and revealing in a conversation starting, endearing way. Guilt pervades my life and I’m Jewish, so it’s a long-standing joke in the family too. As for the balance, I commented on Twitter to Rebecca Subbiah yesterday that I take life one hour at a time these days – a whole day overwhelms me. Since I’ve become determined to reinvent a career for myself while still managing a complicated household, I’ve both improved the balance and thrown it way off. But I remain determined to forge ahead and hope that the decisions I make hourly are for the most part, good ones.

    Love that your kids want to bake with you – that is a priceless memory that will stay with them forever. The fact that you are mentally or physically gone occasionally will, on the other hand, melt away.

  5. Paula — April 29, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    Your parents, friends, co-workers, patients, spouse and especially your children are so very blessed to have you in their lives and so cognizant of their needs. Guilt always invades our thoughts when time for everyone seems at a minimum. When your children go to sleep each night they know that they are loved so every second that you spend with them or do for them, while to you may never seem enough, really and truly is.

  6. Amy — May 2, 2012 @ 8:33 am

    It seems I will never fully master the art of balance. But I’m trying.

    I want this now. For breakfast. ; )

  7. Tickled Red — May 18, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Sometimes I come across a post after it has been written and I realize now that it’s for a reason. I need to read this today because the past month and a half has been topsy turvy for me. My balance had been whipped off the map. Love this post!! And yes baking does seem to do just that ;D

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