It’s Meyer lemon season. Every week my son and I go to attend our violin and viola lessons where we wait outside the studio next to a fantastic Meyer lemon tree. Once the lesson is over, we gather up a half dozen lemons to take home. A cross between a lemon and orange, Meyer lemons are less acidic and great for baking. Up to now I have mostly been making lemon bars, but have always been on the lookout for a lemon cookie recipe.
Most citrus cookie recipes I found were accompanied by a powdered sugar based icing. At first, I was reluctant to make an iced cookie, as I was really looking for a classic cookie shape and texture. I was almost tempted to make a lemon and rosemary recipe I found since we have fresh rosemary in our backyard, but was determined for a lemon only cookie. Some recipes had shortening, others were shortbread. Finally I found this recipe in The Great American Cookie Cookbook. As usual, I upped the amount of lemon zest called for since Meyer lemons aren’t as harsh as the typical eureka lemons found in most supermarkets.
At first, I made only a few cookies per sheet, starting with simply rolled balls of dough. They turned out beautiful, but were too cake-like; we found ourselves enjoying the crispy edges the most. The next sheet I flattened the dough with a glass as suggested by the recipe, and these turned out better. The final sheets I really flattened the cookie dough to 1/4 inch and made sure they were browned on the edges before removing from the oven. The icing in this recipe gives the cookies a little zing, which you can adjust by how densely you space your icing stripes.
For a recipe with as much butter and sugar as chocolate chip cookies, it only made 24 cookies. This was the only disappointment with these cookies, however—they vanished quickly when I brought them into work this morning. The recipe, with detailed instructions and complete photo gallery, can be found on the Iced Lemon Cookie recipe page.