I am not sure I have given Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies a proper review. I’ve now made 5 cookies from it: these, Extra Chocolatey Biscotti (they did not make it on to the blog because of traveling, but I hope to feature them soon), “Hawaiian” Wedding Cookies, Chocolate Mint Sandwiches, and Coconut & Dried Cherry Oatmeal Cookies, all of which have been flat out fantastic. The collection itself is encyclopedic–I don’t even know how to tell you exactly how many recipes the book contains because most of the recipes come with multiple “upgrades” or alternative ways of preparing them. They are broken down by texture, which I think is a wonderful way to sort cookies. I know what kind of cookie I want is frequently determined by whether I am craving something light and crisp, dry and crunchy, rich and chewy, etc. I like to call successful recipes run don’t walk recipes–well this is a run don’t walk cookbook. If you like cookie cookbooks, you want this cookbook.
So about these particular cookies. Alice Medrich refers to them as Maya’s Lemon Thins as her friend Maya Klein invented them, but I changed the name a bit because I specifically used all Meyer lemons when making the cookies. Because Meyer lemons are less acidic and less sour, I adjusted the recipe a bit to make the cookies even more lemony.
I served the cookies at a “formal” tea that I threw for my daughters and 2 of their friends, another set of sisters. They all got dressed up and I served mint tea with gingerbread cakes and lemon cookies. It was a total hoot–and the cookies were perfect. They are also good keepers and would make fabulous sandwich cookies with either a vanilla or citrus based filling.
- ½ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 12 T (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
- 2½ cups (11.25 oz) AP flour
- ¼ t baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup (7 oz) sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- ¼ t salt
- Heat the lemon juice in a small, nonreactive pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium, and let the lemon juice boil until it reduces to approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon syrup. Watch it closely near the end so it does not burn. Add the butter and stir until melted. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk together. Set aside.
- Place the egg, egg yolk, and sugar into a large bowl and mix with a rubber spatula. Mix in the lemon zest and add the lemon-butter mixture. Add the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes--this will make the dough firmer and easier to work with.
- Medrich calls for rolling out this dough and using cookie cutters, but I chose to roll the dough into 2 logs with a circle of about 2.5-inch diameter. Then chill the logs for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days,
- Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with silicone or parchment (or grease them). Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Slice the dough into rounds--the thinner you can slice them the better. Aim for 1/16-inch. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets, 1 inch apart (I got 20 per sheet). Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned at the edges. Let the cookies cool for 5 or so minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing--tore promptly in airtight contains to maintain crispness.
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