Following my Carrot Cake Cookie stint I was in the mood to make another cookie with a twist. I've made Pecan Pie Cookies before, and so thought I would go with another classic, the lemon meringue. Now one thing I would say, the lemon and almond cookies are perfectly fine without the lemon curd and meringue, so if you can't be arsed to make the whole thing, I shan't judge, we all have those days. That said, you gotta try making the complete package, they are out of this world.
Hands-on Time 30 minutes plus chilling (overnight)
Baking Time 14 minutes
250g Unsalted butter (softened)
200g Light brown sugar
325g Caster sugar
2 tsp Almond extract
2 Eggs, large
400g Plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp Fine salt
2 Eggs, medium
2 Egg yolks, medium
70g White chocolate, broken up
Swiss Meringue using 4 medium egg whites and 280 grams of sugar
Freestanding mixer with paddle
Baking sheet (ideally aluminium)
Round bottomed spoon, such as a tablespoon measure
Saucepan filled with water
Piping bag with star tip
Add the butter, light brown sugar, and 175 grams of caster sugar to the bowl of the mixer and beat on a medium-high speed for 5 minutes until you have a very light and fluffy mixture.
Add the almond extract and two large eggs and beat for a couple of seconds until combined.
Add the flour, bicarb, and salt and beat for a couple of seconds until combined. Scrape the sides down using a spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.
Grate the zest of two lemons over the dough before giving it a final mix. You shouldn’t need to run the mixer for more than 10 seconds. The key thing is not to over-mix.
Take a sheet of baking parchment and place the dough onto. Shape the dough into a wide, long sausage and roll up before popping it into fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take the dough out of the fridge, slice into 16 equal rounds. Roll each round into a ball and place onto the lined baking sheet.
Pop the sheet back into the fridge, ideally overnight, so the dough balls can firm up.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3.
Slide the baking sheet out of the fridge and leave the dough balls on the shelf.
Once the oven has warmed up line the baking sheet with another piece of parchment.
Place approx 6/8 balls spaced about 10cm apart from each other onto the baking parchment.
Pop the tray into the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 14 minutes.
Once the time is up remove the tray from the oven. Slide the parchment carefully, with the cookies, onto the worktop. Immediately use a round bottom spoon to press down into the centres of the cookies to make a dimple for the curd.
Re-line the baking sheet with more paper and bake your next batch.
After the cookies have rested for a couple of minutes they should be firm enough for you to transfer onto a wire rack to fully cool. Don’t forget they will get firmer as they cool, as tempting as it is to immediately eat them straight from the oven. Like some things in life, patience pays off.
When the cookies have cooled you can get on with the lemon curd and Swiss meringue.
For the lemon curd grate the remaining 3 lemons over the heatproof bowl before juicing them and the 2 other lemons from earlier. You’re looking for 150ml of lemon juice. If you’re a tad short, top up with water or use lemon juice from a squeezy lemon bottle if you have one to hand.
Add 150 grams of caster sugar along with 70 grams of white chocolate to the lemon juice.
Pop the pan over a medium heat. When it’s simmering place the bowl on top. Stir the lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted.
Take the pan off the heat.
Beat the 2 medium wholes eggs and 2 yolks in a jug. Whilst whisking the lemon juice, slowly pour in the eggs and keep stirring.
Pop the pan back over a medium heat and keep stirring the mixture until it has thickened up. Keep an eye on it.
Once the curd is lovely and thick, take the pan off the heat again. Remove and dry the bowl and leave until it’s complete cooled.
When the curd has cooled make the Swiss meringue as instructed.
Transfer the meringue into a piping bag and pipe a circle around the dimples you’ve made in the centres of the cookies.
Spoon the lemon curd into the centres of the cookies before piping the rest of the meringue over the top, sealing it in.
You can either use a blowtorch to brown the meringue or you could pop the cookies under a grill. Do keep an eye on them if you’re doing the latter as they will turn quickly.