There are many things to consider when gifting cookies, especially to other food bloggers.
I guess I should back up a moment…for the past month I have been looking forward to participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Here’s the gist: I needed to send a dozen cookies to three food bloggers around the country, and in return I would receive three dozen cookies of my own. Let me assure you: nothing feels better than getting cookies in the mail. Nothing.
When the time finally came, I agonized over picking the perfect cookie. While bringing a plate of perfect chocolate chip cookies to a potluck can be great, it felt just a little too…normal to send in a cookie swap. My overambitious side wanted to make rainbow cookies, a personal favorite, but ultimately I had to concede that mailing soft cookies enrobed in melted chocolate was a disaster waiting to happen.
Taking a walk to the grocery store proved to be all the inspiration I needed. That’s where a bag of Meyer lemons appeared before me, 10 to a bag and somehow cheaper than their everyday counterparts sitting in the next bin over. Greedily, I grabbed the bag without having any idea what to do with them—I had only ever heard of this mythical citrus fruit, growing in the winter months and somehow never crossing my path. Then I remembered a tart, almondy lemon cookie I made once for my officemates (when I still worked in an office). That cookie was sturdy, but with a delicate lemon glaze and a body that melted in your mouth, the almond meal and confectioner’s sugar crumbling on impact. This cookie puts a premium on texture, with just enough bite to match. I was confident these could withstand a USPS plane ride across the country. I guess only the recipients can vouch for that!
These cookies are great anytime: with tea at breakfast, as a little pick-me-up after lunch, or with some ice cream for dessert. Make them with or without meyer lemons, they are delicious either way (although if you like a tarter lemon flavor, go with the regular guys).
And sign up here to receive notifications about next year’s Cookie Swap!
Glazed Meyer Lemon Almond Cookies
Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
For the cookies:
1 cup almond meal (can be found at Trader Joe’s, or pulse 1 cup almonds in a food processor until fine)
3 tablespoons grated zest from 3-4 meyer (or 3 regular) lemons
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons juice from 3-4 meyer (or 3 regular) lemons
In a medium bowl, mix almond flour and lemon zest together until fragrant. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat softened butter on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute. Stop the mixer, and add ½ cup confectioner’s sugar. Beat on low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula and add vanilla and almond extracts. Mix on medium-high speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.
Stop the mixer, and add the flour, salt, and lemon-almond mix on medium-low speed for another minute or so until it starts to come together.
Pat down the dough until it forms a ball. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll a small amount of dough (about a tablespoon) in your hand and place balls ½” apart on an ungreased baking sheet, patting down the tops lightly. Bake until golden brown on bottom and pale gold on top, 15-20 minutes (mine took about 18). Cool cookies at least 20-30 minutes before glazing.
To make the glaze, whisk the sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze, and set aside on a wire rack or on paper towels to set, about 15 minutes.