As soon as I saw these cookies on Joy the Baker, I knew I would make them for the gluten-free ladies in my life. I’m not a huge fan of lemon in desserts (I’m a chocolate / butterscotch /peanut butter girl through and through), but something about citrus just makes it perfect for Spring. It would be even better if we were actually having a Spring around here – it seems I jumped the gun a bit back on St. Patrick’s Day – as it was snowing last weekend. Anyway, with Easter this weekend, I made these for Jill and Aoife as a little treat.
I’m no stranger to making meringues, and in fact I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, and just added lemon zest and left out the chocolate chips. Nothing against Joy’s recipe, but I didn’t really have time to wait around for two hours while these cookies baked. You can definitely just spoon the meringues out onto the baking sheet, but I was feeling fancy, so I piped them out with a plain round tip. While the cookies baked, I cooked the lemon curd, which was actually really easy. I put everything together this morning and brought them over to Jill at work, and to Aoife when I dropped by her new office tonight. It’s a good idea to chill the meringues so the lemon curd can firm up a bit, otherwise things can get a bit messy.
If you have lemon meringue pie fans in your life, but don’t want to deal with pastry, this is a great option!
Lemon Meringue Cookies
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (you’ll need 2 lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, but into pieces.
1. For meringues, whip egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Add salt, cream of tartar and vanilla and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar while continuing to beat, until stiff peaks form.
2. Spoon or pipe mixture into little circles on parchment paper lined baking sheets. I was going for bite-sized treats here, so make them pretty small.
3. Bake at 300 for 25 minutes, and rotate your baking sheets front-to-back, top-to-bottom halfway through the baking time.
4. Let meringues cool for a couple minutes, then flip half of them over and press down gently so they are level, but don’t smoosh them down too much.
5. For lemon curd, first get out a mesh strainer, and place it over a medium-sized bowl. Set aside. Whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs, egg yolks and salt in a medium sized pot. Place over medium-low heat. Add butter and stir until butter melts and the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and pour through strainer to remove any little bits of cooked egg that might have happened. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the lemon curd, and put in the fridge to chill.
6. For assembly, spoon a little bit of curd on top of the flattened meringues. Top with a cute meringue.
7. These are best served right away, but Jill just stored hers in the fridge all morning and they were fine.