February 5, 2009

Lemon Sables {Naptime Everyday}

In the past week the temperature in my neighborhood has averaged 22 degrees, without the wind chill. These days getting out of the house is a hideous affair involving wrestling a toddler into several layers of wool, zipping her into a fleece sleeping bag and enveloping the entire stroller in a plastic bubble, which has a small vent for air circulation. She is essentially rendered immobile by all of her layers and doesn’t understand why we won’t take her to Florida to visit her grandparents, toute suite! I am not keen on this weather whatsoever, and neither is she. The only shred of silver lining I can find at this time of year is that it is finally Meyer lemon season. The moment Meyer lemons first appear in the store I purchase as many as I can carry (or afford) and run to my kitchen to begin work.


To say I’m slightly enthusiastic about Meyer lemons is like saying Julia Child kind of liked french food, or Giada seems to enjoy cooking with mascarpone cheese. Since Meyer lemons are, in fact, a cross between a mandarin orange and regular lemon their juice is sweeter than that of a ho-hum regular lemon. When cooking they add a deeper, more intense flavor to any dish, making them perfect for squeezing over seafood, adding to baked goods, and even stirring into cocktails. Also, as an added bonus, when I am zesting away with the microplane, my kitchen becomes filled with a delicious uplifting lemon scent, conjuring up images of warm beaches, sunny days and fruity summer sangria.


Unfortunately, however, Meyer lemon season is criminally short, so it is important to act fast from when the first crate arrives in the store. So far this winter I’ve made pasta with Meyer lemon zest, cream fraiche, arugula and pine nuts, creamy Meyer lemon risotto, and Meyer lemon poundcake. I have squeezed it over fish, chicken and even added the zest to a herb salt I made for a potato dish. This week, during naptime, I whipped up a batch of Lemon Sables. These are the most delicious, crumbly, sandy lemon cookies I have ever tasted. The lemon flavor is distinct but delicate and couples nicely with the rich butter content and sugar coating. The best part is that these cookies get better with age, the flavor deepening with each day you keep them in the container. These cookies do a lot for my frame of mind as well. Their bright citrus flavor continually makes me “think summer”, helping me look forward to the day when we can shed our winter layers, put away the fleece and wave good-bye to frostbite. At this point, those days can’t come soon enough. Pass the sangria, please.

Recipe

Lemon Sables for Winter Weather

adapted from Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser

Ingredients

2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ c. confectioner’s sugar
½ c. sugar, plus more for rolling
2 T. grated Meyer lemon zest
1 t. Kosher salt
egg yolks

Instructions

1. Combine flour and baking powder together in a small bowl and stir.
2. Beat the butter in a mixer until pale and creamy. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat for one minute. Add regular sugar and beat for another minute. Add lemon zest and salt, mix until just combined.
3. Drop in egg yolks one at time. Mix each for just a few moments until combined.
4. While the mixer is on low speed add the flour mixture slowly until just combined.
5. Remove dough from mixer and shape it into a log about 1 ½inches round. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to overnight.
6. To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a rimmed cookie sheet with a ridge of sugar.
7. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it in the sugar, coating the log entirely.
8. Slice log into ¼ inch slices and place on cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
9. Bake 13-16 minutes, or until edges turn golden.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This cookie is one of the best ways to harness the Meyer lemon flavor, especially when you get a little tired of poundcake.

Naptime Stopwatch

This recipe is fast and easy to prepare during naptime. Like earlier cookies I’ve made, I assembled the dough during naptime, put it in the fridge to chill in the log shape, then sliced and baked that evening after her bedtime.

Naptime Reviews

These were a huge hit with both the husband and toddler. Both washed their cookies down with glasses of milk!

  • Liz & Joe

    Kelsey,

    Great blog! Heather just shared it with us. Concept is very cool. I’ll definitely continue to read.

    Cheers,
    Elizabeth

  • Liz & Joe

    Kelsey,Great blog! Heather just shared it with us. Concept is very cool. I’ll definitely continue to read.Cheers,Elizabeth

  • http://www.vanderbiltwife.com vanderbiltwife

    I love Cooking for Mr. Latte. :) I think Amanda has a slight “zest” for Meyer lemons as well.

    I love their sweet tang. I use them as much as possible, too!