Tender shortbread-like cookies are the perfect base for rich and tangy lemon curd topped with a dollop of lightly toasted meringue.
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1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
252 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
3 large Land O Lakes® Eggs (yolks only), whites reserved, yolks slightly beaten
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, cut into pieces
3 large Land O Lakes® Eggs (whites only)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
Combine 1 cup butter, 2/3 cup sugar and almond extract in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Shape dough into 42 (1-inch) balls. Place, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Place in refrigerator while making lemon curd.
Place beaten egg yolks in bowl; set aside.
Combine lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest in 1 1/2-quart saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 4-5 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil and is slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
Pour small amount of warm lemon mixture into egg yolks, beating constantly with whisk. Repeat until about half of mixture is combined with yolks. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 4-5 minutes or until mixture reaches 165°F and is thickened. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter pieces until melted.
Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon lemon curd. Bake 10-12 minutes or until bottom of cookie is light golden brown. Remove from oven to cool completely.
Beat 3 egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl at low speed until foamy. Beat at high speed, gradually adding 1/3 cup sugar, 3-4 minutes or until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy. Spoon into piping bag fitted with star tip and pipe dollop on each thumprint cookie. Toast with kitchen torch.
This cookie is most successful when you weigh the flour. Measuring flour by the cup often results in different amount of flour from baker to baker, and too much flour can result in dry, crumbly cookies.
Whimsical umbrellas, flower surprise cookies and more—bake a bouquet of these lovely springtime cookies.