Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meyer Lemon Sablés

When life gives you Meyer lemons, you make? Lemonade is too boring. You can make lemonade with regular lemons and it tastes pretty much the same. So what, then? What is worthy of beauties such as these?

The color of these lemons is not a trick of the camera. They're practically orange. Which is appropriate, because Meyer lemons are sweeter than the average lemon. In fact, if you're making a recipe that requires Meyer lemons and you only have regular ones, the substitution is to add a bit of orange juice.

I found a basket of these lovelies at Whole Foods, and bought two. I've been wracking my brain with what to do with them. Naturally, one of the first places I checked for a Meyer lemon recipe was Orangette, since her recipes are usually quite pleasing to me. That's how I came to make these cookies, which are basically like lemon shortbread cookies. They're light and buttery, and though I wish they were a little crispier, or maybe a little chewier, they're addictive to eat. The problem is that the recipe makes 80 cookies, and well, there's just me!

Now I have two zested Meyer lemons and haven't decided yet what I'll be doing with the juice/pulp. But I'll come up with something soon, and when I do, you'll be the second to know about it.

Meyer Lemon Sablés

Recipe originally found at Orangette

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from about 2 good-size fruits)
  • ¾ tsp coarse sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup coarse Turbinado sugar, for rolling logs of dough


  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, and whisk to mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Put the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl). Beat (with the paddle attachment, if you’re using a stand mixer) on medium-low speed until the butter is creamy; then add the confectioner’s sugar and beat for a minute. Add the granulated sugar, and beat for a minute more. Sprinkle the lemon zest and salt into the bowl, and mix briefly to just combine. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing briefly to incorporate after each addition. With the mixer on low, add the flour in three doses, mixing just until the flour is absorbed. Use a rubber spatula to do any last scraping and stirring; do not overmix. The dough will be quite thick and dense and sticky.
  3. Divide the dough between two large sheets of wax paper. Using the paper as an aid, smoosh and roll and shape one blob of dough into a rough log about 1½ inches in diameter. Roll up the log in the paper, and twist the ends to seal it closed. Repeat with the remaining blob of dough. Chill the two logs until the dough is cold and firm, at least two hours and up to a couple of days.
  4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F, and set a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Put a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter, and pour the Turbinado sugar onto it, making a ridge of sugar approximately the length of the dough logs. Remove a log from the fridge, unwrap it, and roll it lightly in the sugar to press the crystals into its sides. Coat the log as thoroughly as you can; then slice it into ¼-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices on the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Refrigerate the remaining dough.
  5. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until just golden around the edges, rotating the sheet 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. Cool them on the silicone mat or parchment paper on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough.

Note: Store the cookies in an airtight tin at room temperature for up to three days, or freeze them in a Tupperware, with a sheet of wax paper between each layer.

Yield: about 80 silver-dollar-size cookies

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