Looking back on some recent posts, I’ve had a decidedly citrusy month so far this August! I posted my recipe for Lemon Mrytle & Thyme Vegan Shortbread, and last week I made a Vegan Orange Curd. My morning green smoothies have had a good dose of citrus too, and I’ve been liberally adding wonderfully aromatic yuzu juice in place of lemons for various things. Amazing what a little change can do :)
We tend to associate fresh, tangy citrus fruits with summer but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with adding a bit of zest to winter cooking and baking. After all, this is certainly the time of the year when we need all the extra Vitamin C we can get! I’m personally just getting over a nasty sinus cold so I’ll be stocking up on lemons and oranges this week, which means a lot of lovely zest to use up.
For the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop this month (themed Cookie Monster and hosted by Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet), I knew I’d be trying out a recipe or two from Turkish Bakery Delight, my latest cookbook darling that I found at the local library. This book immediately made me add Turkey to my list of places to visit one day! It has oodles of recipes for cookies but I couldn’t go past the one for Lemon Meringue Cookies.
This cookie’s dough is wonderfully buttery and in fact, the author refers to it as a pastry dough which makes sense. Once baked, it has a rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture that, when combined with the sticky and puffy meringue swirled through, makes you think that you’re eating a mouthful of lemon meringue pie. Unlike the pie though, this cookie doesn’t have the super sour burst of lemon curd but there’s still a lot of lovely flavour that comes through from the zest.
I think this cookie would have been more than fine as per the recipe but since I can’t help tinkering, I added a teaspoon of yuzu juice into the dough for a more sour flavour, and a dash in the meringue. Unfortunately, the latter caused my already soft meringue to go a bit loose which made for a hard time rolling the pastry dough up and cutting into cookie portions :|
While my cookies weren’t picture perfect (if you’d like an example of what they should look like, please visit the wonderful Lemonpi), they did have lovely swirls of meringue through them and trust me when I say it’s love at first bite. The cookies are soooo light and crumbly :) I’ll definitely make these again one day but I’ll go easy on the meringue!
- Pastry Dough:
- (note - I have halved the ingredients from original recipe to produce 12 cookies)
- 1 small egg (or use yolk and half of white from a large egg)
- 50g white sugar (I used a blend of brown rice syrup and white sugar)
- 150g unsalted butter
- 185g plain flour (I used even amounts of spelt, plain and gluten free flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of yuzu or lemon juice (optional)
- Meringue :
- 2 egg whites
- 150g sugar
- zest from 1 large lemon
- dash of yuzu or lemon juice (optional)
- Place butter, sugar and egg into the Thermomix Bowl and process on Speed 5 for 5 seconds or until nice and creamy.
- Add flour, baking powder and citrus juice (if using) into TMX bowl and process on Speed 6 for a few seconds or until well combined. You should have a crumbly mix of dough.
- Transfer dough to another bowl, press together into a ball and allow to rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 160C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Prepare meringue (Thermomix or hand mixer) by beating until soft peaks form, adding sugar gradually until glossy. Add zest and juice (if using) and beat briefly to combine.
- Roll out pastry dough onto a floured surface, creating a rectangle that is 2mm in height. The longest side should be facing you.
- Spread meringue mixture over the pastry, leaving at least 3cm of uncovered pastry at one of the longer ends (I only remembered this point now...)
- Gently roll the pastry as though making a swiss roll. Cut 2cm wide portions and place on baking sheet. It's important to work fairly fast so the pastry remains cool and manageable.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until pastry and meringue are golden. Allow to cool before serving.