Marc and I are on vacation this week for a week full of sun, sand, and some seriously relaxation on Captiva Island, Florida. Oh, and lots of key lime pie. Since last week I was in vacation-prep mode, trying to clean out the fridge, I didn’t do much cooking (other than a huge pot of The Pioneer Woman’s Beef Stew…yum!) but I can’t stay away from the kitchen for long so I snuck in some baking right before we left.
Since the weather has been getting warmer and it seems that we are on the verge of spring, I wanted to bake something light and springy. I had picked up a bag of Meyer lemons at Trader Joe’s without a plan of how to use them (typical impulse buy), and so it was perfect timing to bake with them. Speaking of the Meyer lemons – apparently they are a cross between regular lemon and mandarin oranges, and are sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons. I think because of this, the lemon flavor was a little more subtle in the cookies than they would be if you use regular lemons. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, you can definitely use regular ones.
These cookies turned out exactly as I hoped: a chewy sugar cookie with a light lemon and vanilla flavor. The key to their chewiness was baking them the absolute least amount of time needed, which for me was 9 minutes. When I took them out of the oven, they didn’t look as if they were done baking, but as they cooled on the baking sheet and then more on the cooling rack, they were perfectly chewy.
They were a hit with the co-workers and Marc’s only gripe was that I took too many of them with me to share at work. I figured we could do without 2 dozen cookies right before going on a bikini-wearing vacation!
Meyer Lemon and Vanilla Bean Cookies
recipe from My Baking Addiction
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one large lemon
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
more sugar, for rolling cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat to combine.
Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just combined. Using cookie dough scooper or spoon, roll rounded teaspoonfuls (mine were large teaspoons) of dough into balls, roll in sugar, then place onto prepared baking sheets 1 1/2″ apart.
Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. I baked mine exactly 8 minutes and though they didn’t appear done right away, after cooling on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then cooling completely on cooling rack, they were perfectly chewy. Enjoy!