I know, there’s been a lot of citrus lately. I feel desperate to play with Meyer lemons and blood oranges while they’re still around, plus it helps remind me that spring is coming, despite the really weird snowfall we had yesterday.
Full confession: before I made these, I tried to make some kind of low fat oatmeal cinnamon cookies using the one overripe banana we had in the house. I should have tried the “one banana banana bread” instead because those oatmeal cookies were disgusting. Just look at the batter:
The photo is overexposed and so was that batter, because it never should have seen the light of day. Revolting.
Anyway, I found cookie redemption in these lovely light lemon cookies, and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day (which I don’t actually care about), I used a good Irish butter, Kerrygold. Of course it didn’t come with those handy markings on it for measuring, so I simply nestled a regular non-Irish stick of butter next to it, and cut accordingly.
Then, clearer than ever on how the foundation of a good cookie starts with sugar and butter, I ignored the “put everything in a bowl and mix it” directions and leaned on tradition. I creamed the butter & sugar together first.
Then I remembered the Meyer lemons. Must prep the lemons! I was down to my last four. It took three to get the zest I needed and two for a quarter cup of juice. I am going to miss the smell and color of that zest when Meyer lemons go out of season.
Separately, despite no specific instruction to do so, I whisked together the dry ingredients: whole wheat white flour, salt, baking soda, and the mysterious cream of tartar. (What is it and why is it in cookies? I must remember to do some research on this.)
And THEN I went back to what was going on in the stand mixer. I added the zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and an egg.
The texture made me a little nervous, I admit. But I’ve learned to have patience (young Padawan). I started adding in the flour mixture incrementally, beating on low speed as I went. Things soon turned around.
It looked like cookie batter. Better yet, it tasted like delicious cookie batter. I gave it an hour in the fridge to firm up, and set up the kids for an unusual Saturday night treat: Chinese food in front of the tv. We have a no-food-outside-of-the-kitchen rule for survival reasons, but I rented them a movie through Amazon Instant Video and let them have some fun. By the time they were all set and Dave & I were done eating, the dough was good to go.
I scooped it into balls and rolled each one in cane sugar.
They took about 17 minutes to bake. I didn’t have any specific instructions about what to look for to know they were done, but it wasn’t that hard to tell.
These are wonderful cookies. They’re crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside without losing that crispness entirely, and bursting with tangy lemon flavor, tempered nicely by the sugar.
Another great find.