Sweet and Tart is a lovely “single subject” cookbook. It features 70 recipes featuring citrus. The royalty of citrus is the Meyer lemon, small in size and intense in flavor. The Meyer lemon trees are native to China but were imported to the US in 1908. They were grown massively in California until it was discovered they carried a virus that destroyed millions of citrus trees around the world. The California trees were destroyed and it not until 1975 that virus-free species was certified in California. These improved Meyer Lemons are the ones so ardently employed by chefs like Alice Waters and Martha Stewart.
These cookies are a display of lemon power with both juice and zest employed in the pillowy cookie and the glaze. Yes, that plate is not exactly artful. Pouring glaze is messy process. The result though is lemony tasteful at its sour best.
The taste? These are those classic lemon cookies you always remember, always crave. Soft, delicious, and decidedly lemon. Meyer lemon.
Meyer Lemon Drop Cookies
Yield: about 60 cookies depending on your scooping fidelity
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- Zest of 3 Meyer lemons; plus ¼ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, plus 3 tablespoons more juice for the glaze
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Set aside.
Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and two-thirds of the lemon zest in a mixer bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the ¼ cup lemon juice and the lemon extract and then the eggs, one at a time. Turn the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture in three additions just until combined.
Drop the dough by tablespoons or use a 1-tablespoon scoop to scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until just firm to the touch, rotating the baking sheets 180 degrees about halfway through the baking time.
Let cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes then lift the cookies from the parchment with a spatula and let cool completely on the racks. Repeat to bake the remaining dough on the same sheets.
Combine the powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, and remaining lemon zest in a small bowl and blend with a fork to make a glaze. (If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add a few drops of lemon juice or water.)
Set the wire racks over a baking sheet and drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies with a fork. (The sheet will catch the drips, which can be scraped up and reused if you run short of glaze.) Let set for 20 minutes. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 weeks.
Source: Sweet and Tart by Carla Snyder [Chronicle 2015]
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/30th second at ISO‑200