The Lemon Ladies are sending out their beautiful lemons and I received my first box of the season a few weeks ago. I know I go on and on about these lemons every year, but they really do make a difference to me during these cold, dark winter months. Some people in Fairbanks buy Happy Lights, I buy lemons. As long as Karen has been shipping me these lemons, I have been making these Lemon Butter Cookies. These cookies and lemon bars are always the first thing I want each season. I actually have a little confession to make, these have already been a post on this blog. Way back in the beginning before most of you were here. I thought it was sad that a cookie as lovely as this one was buried back in the archives with crappy photos and little praise. This cookie really does deserve a second chance on the blog, and so I decided to bring it back. I hadn't planned on posting two recipes in two weeks with "Meyer Lemon Butter" in the title, but sometimes things just work out that way. I really recommend you get yourself some Meyer Lemons and give these cookies a try. They are just a simple little cookie, good with a cup of coffee for a late morning snack. There isn't much to them, so the Meyer Lemon flavor really gets to shine. Just what you needed for a cold winter day. Speaking of cold, they are saying it might get down to 50 below tomorrow. Keep warm Fairbanks.
Meyer Lemon Butter Cookies
adapted from Alpineberry
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, divided
pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp finely grated lemon zest, or more to taste
2 cups all purpose flour
approximately 1/2 cup coarse sanding sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until smooth (about 4 minutes), add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth (another 2 minutes). Beat in 1 egg yolk, followed by salt, vanilla and lemon zest. On low speed, add the flour and mix just until flour is just incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a counter. Form dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. I find it is easiest to do this on a piece of parchment paper, I then wrap the entire log, parchment paper and all in plastic wrap. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes in refrigerator. You may also place dough in freezer at this point and store for up to three months.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
If you are coating your cookies with sugar, whisk the remaining egg yolk until it's smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze, you may need to add a little water. Spread granulated sugar out on a piece of parchment paper. Unwrap your chilled dough log and brush lightly with the egg yolk. Roll the log in sugar, pressing gently to help the sugar stick.
Slice each log into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Place on baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch between the cookies.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until they are set but not browned. (It's okay if the yolk-sugar edges brown slightly.) Transfer cookies to cooling rack.