Yes, I know the title doesn’t rhyme, but what can I do? I’m hopeless: I have fallen in love with Meyer lemons 🙂 After years of using lemons indiscriminately, I have finally seen the light: some lemons are, indeed, better than others.
With a delicate, sweet flavor, thin skin and aromatic smell, Meyer lemons are something to behold. I was lucky to find them on sale at the local grocery store, and this limited time offer could not have come at a better time. I used Meyer lemons to make two kinds of lemon cookies, using my mom’s age-old recipes. I am still amazed: How could so much flavor, zest and juiciness come in such small packages? Meyer lemons are smaller than regular lemons and have a bright yellow color, with subtle tints of orange. They are very easy to squeeze by hand (perhaps due to their thin skin), and juicier than their regular counterparts. Just look at the picture below: these lemons are so vibrant and aesthetically pleasing!
It seems to me Meyer lemons have more seeds compared with regular lemons – but maybe that’s just the batch I got. In any case, what really sets Meyer lemons apart is the juice: flavorful, semi-sweet and only slightly acidic, this juice is the perfect ingredient in cookies and cakes, especially during the holiday season.
Mom’s recipes called for lemon juice and zest, and we used both liberally in our baking. We used two lemons to make the original lemon cookies (the ones without cocoa) and it showed: the flavor, smell and color of the cookies were unbelievable! From the very beginning, the zest gave the dough a pleasant, almost saffron-like color.
We used our hands to make round-shaped cookies and placed them on a baking pan in the preheated oven, keeping an eye on the clock to avoid burning the cookies.
Fresh out of the oven, the cookies looked great – and our kitchen smelled great as well!
To make the cookies pretty, I used my imagination and the limited decoration supplies I had in my pantry. I left some cookies as they were and I dipped others in chocolate sauce or in the lemon icing recipe I found here. Thank you, Karlynn Johnston aka The Kitchen Magpie!
For the chocolate and lemon cookies, I used the juice and zest from only one lemon. I wanted to create a balance between the cocoa and the lemon, and didn’t want one to overpower the other.
I was very pleased with how this second batch of cookies turned out. The lemon came through beautifully and held in check the assertive chocolate flavor, cementing the “balancing act” I was looking for in these cookies.
Once again, I got carried away with the decorations. I know it’s not perfect – but hey, it’s a start 🙂
I hope you make and enjoy these cookies as much as we do. Feel free to use regular lemons – or if you can, by all means, hunt down Meyer lemons at your local store. If you’re lucky, you’ll find them – and trust me: your baking will never be the same 🙂