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Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Lime zest and juice can be used instead of the lemon in this recipe.–Martha Stewart

LC Melting Away Note

Lovely and delicate, these lemony cookies are quite, quite aptly named. It’s tricky to explain in mere words that meltaway sensation, but we think you know what we mean. It’s that moment of nibbling at shortbread in which crunch gives way to a surprising and sweet nothingness that lingers for just a second before making you question yourself. As in, did I just imagine that? And then you rationalize having one more lemon meltaway cookie, just so you know for certain if you’d actually imagined it or not. Trust us, this is a scenario we’ve experienced more than once. And happily so. Even if you follow Martha’s advice above and swap citrus, the same meltaway sensation still remains. And thank heavens for that.

Lemon Meltaway Cookies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • Finely grated zest from 2 lemons, preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • 1. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix just until combined. The dough may be quite crumbly, but that’s okay. Simply press the dough crumbles together.
  • 2. Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. (To do this with ease, place each portion of dough on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper and then roll to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along the long edge of the parchment at each turn.) Place the log of dough in a resealable plastic bag or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, no thicker. Place the rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies until pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets once halfway through. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool slightly.
  • 4. When the cookies are no longer hot but still warm, gently toss a few of them at a time with the remaining 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar in a resealable plastic bag or a brown paper bag. (Mind you, the cookies are delicate. Use caution.) Place the wire racks over newspaper, return the cookies to the racks, and cool completely. (The cookies can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)
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