I love lemon-flavoured treats. I’m certain I’ve mentioned this before. A lot of times, pastries that have the right lemon kick to them wind up at the top of my favourites list. I just can’t get enough of that lovely, sour tang! It gives such a character to what otherwise would have simply been something sweet or something buttery.
Take these cookies for instance. At first glance, they look rather simple and average, even something you would possibly overlook if set side by side with the more elaborate-looking cookies. But quite frankly, I find myself willing to try anything with the word lemon in its title at least once, no matter how plain they may look. Looks can be deceiving after all.
These thin butter cookies seem rather straightforward, but the specks of lemon add something special to their appearance. The fragrance and lovely lemon flavour is apparent in every bite. The secret lies in the fact that the recipe starts off by having you make a sort of lemon butter, effectively trapping the essence of lemons inside the cookies. The flavor isn’t exactly bold, but pleasantly subtle; the sort that is dainty enough to be taken with tea. I would recommend them rolled out quite thin, baked to a slight crunch but not overly browned.
Makes about 64 (2-1/2-inch) cookies
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1. Heat the lemon juice in a small non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Boil for about 5 minutes, or until thick and syrupy and reduced to about 1 Tablespoon. Add the butter and stir until melted. Set aside.
- 2. Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or a fork. Set aside.
- 3. Using a spoon or a rubber spatula, mix the egg, egg yolk, and sugar in a large bowl until homogeneous. Mix in the butter mixture, lemon zest, and salt.
- 4. Add the dry ingredients into the lemon mixture and stir just until incorporated, forming a soft dough.
- 5. Cover the dough and chill at least 20 minutes.
- 6. Once chilled, divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece 1/16-inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic from a plastic bag or wax paper.
- 7. Slide a cookie sheet under the plastic sheets and dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes or up to 2 days.
- 8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, or grease them.
- 9. Remove 1 piece of dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the top sheet of plastic or paper and set it in front of you. Invert the dough onto it and peel off the second sheet.
- 10. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 2 1/2-inch cookies or any desired size or shape. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets.
- 11. Repeat with the remaining dough, pressing together and rerolling scrap pieces of dough.
- 12. Bake the cookies for 6 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pans or just the liners on the racks to cool completely before stacking or storing.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container as soon as they are cool to retain crispiness. Cookies will last stored airtight for at least 1 week.
If you have any yummy lemon recipes to share, please feel free to post a link at the comments section! 🙂