Cookies for Santa and Rudolph: sugar and… lemons – and all things nice!

Yes, I know the title doesn’t rhyme, but what can I do? I’m hopeless: I have fallen in love with Meyer lemons šŸ™‚ 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!

Print Recipe
Delicious Meyer lemon cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the butter and the sugar in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest until the mixture is creamy and homogeneous.
  3. Add the flour and the baking powder.
  4. Add the chopped walnuts and mix well with a spatula.
  5. Make round shaped cookies out of the cookie dough.
  6. Place the raw cookies in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the cookies are dry in the center.
  8. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  9. Serve the cookies as they are, covered with lemon icing or sprinkled with powdered sugar.

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 šŸ™‚

Print Recipe
Chocolate and lemon cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the butter and the sugar in a bowl until the mixture is creamy and homogeneous.
  3. Add the egg yolks one by one, mixing after each addition.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.
  5. Add the lemon juice and zest. Mix until well combined.
  6. Roll the dough on a floured flat surface until about 1/4-inch thick.
  7. Make cookies using cookie cutters of various shapes and sizes. The more, the merrier!
  8. Place the raw cookies in a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cookies are hard to the touch.
  10. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  11. Serve the cookies as they are, dipped in chocolate sauce or sprinkled with powdered sugar.

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 šŸ™‚


2 Comments

  • Marina Y

    December 22, 2016

    I wasn’t even aware that a different kind of lemons existed! The thick skin of the regular lemons always seemed a nuisance but I didn’t know that there’s such an alternative as Meyer lemons. Will definitely try them for my lemon cream and cookies in the future! šŸ˜€

    Reply
    • MickyN

      December 22, 2016

      Me neither, Marina. I saw the Meyer lemons in-store and they looked so nice I *had* to have them. When I got home I did some research and found out more about Meyer lemons – and then I did the baking, and my cookies turned out excellent thanks to these truly special lemons. I guess you learn something new every day šŸ™‚

      Reply

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