I’ve come to the realization that prolific citrus trees are like summer zucchini; you find yourself using them in every dish possible and then leaving sacks of them on your neighbor’s doorsteps in the middle of the night. I’m not saying I did this, but I know someone who has….
We have an gnarled old Meyer lemon tree in our back yard which is about as wide as it is tall, and considering that it’s shorter than I am, could almost qualify as a “Meyer bush” if such things existed.
For the first few years we lived here we got sporadic lemons and thought that the tree might have been so old it was dying. Then, a couple of years ago I gave it some citrus food and extra water and suddenly the lemon angels were singing “hallelujah!” and we had a tree which while still stubby, was now heavily laden with the kind of sweet-tart lemons for which Meyer trees are known. Now it’s blessing us with twice yearly crops and I am always on the lookout for new ways to utilize them.
So consider yourself warned; there may be more recipes with lemons to come. It’s raining here and I can’t be out there “sharing” with the neighbors if you know what I mean.
12 oz butter, soft (3 sticks)
6 oz (wt) sugar (about 3/4 cup)
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1 tsp. vanilla extract
18 oz (wt) flour (about 3.5 cups)
The premise of Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio is that most recipes are in fact simple ratios. In the case of this cookie, 1-2-3 is the ratio for 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat (butter) and 3 parts flour. Change it up by adding egg or flavors and you get a different cookie depending on what you choose. This is a ratio of weight, thus the 1-2-3 becomes 6 oz-12 oz-18oz. Weighing the ingredients is a much more accurate way to measure, especially when dry ingredients like flour can vary greatly if using a liquid measuring cup. My husband gave me a Salter Kitchen Scale for Christmas and I don’t know how I ever cooked without it before. I love it.
Preheat oven to 350.
Cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer or standing mixer. Add in the egg, poppy seeds, lemon zest and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour until the dough comes together.
Using plastic wrap or parchment paper, shape the dough into a 2″ thick log (depending on how you wrap it, you may need to make two). Chill until firm.
Remove the paper or plastic and slice the dough log into 1/4″ thick rounds. Place the rounds on a cookie sheet (I used my Silpat Baking Mat on mine) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack and then glaze (recipe for glaze below).
Meyer Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar (about 2 oz weight), sifted.
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tsp lemon juice
Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Spread on the cookies once they are completely cooled. The glaze will harden in about 1/2 an hour. Makes enough glaze to cover about 16- 2.5″ cookies. Store the cookies in an airtight container.
*Because the dough can be refrigerated, it’s easy to slice off as many cookies as you want to bake and then mix up a little glaze as needed. I usually devide the dough into two rolls and save one for later. It makes it easy to have a dessert on the fly if needed.
*The original recipe called for rolling the dough into 1″ balls and then flattening to 1/4 inch thick. I tried this and they were ok, but a little uneven looking for my taste. The other option was to roll the dough and cut it. I did this with the balance of the dough and liked the results better.
*Yes, you can use regular lemons if you don’t have Meyers. But if you see them, buy them, they are worth it! They also make excellent lemonade and lemon curd.
*No, you don’t have to glaze them. This is what they look like plain: