I shared this recipe over at Lil' Luna a few weeks ago and I think it's one you're really going to love! One of my favorite family recipes is my Grandma Carol's lemon bars. They're perfect in every way and everyone loves them! The only problem is that they take quite a bit of time to make and they tend to get a bit messy when you're trying to plate them up. So I thought that I'd skip the mess and make a Grandma Carol inspired treat for you! These thumbprints were just what I was hoping for- buttery, flakey and full of zesty lemon flavor. I dusted them with powdered sugar and filled them with a dollop of chilled curd. These little cookies taste just like lemon bars- so delicious! Since Meyer lemons are always abundant around Christmas I used them, but if you can't seem to find any, you can always use regular lemons (the curd will be slightly more tart). To cut down on the prep time I decided to make the curd in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. Trust me, there's nothing worse then spending half an hour whisking curd over a hot stove- so to save yourself some time and give the microwave method a try, I think you're gonna like it!
2½ c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
14 tbsp. (1¾ sticks) butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2 tsp. Meyer lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Microwave Meyer Lemon Curd
⅔ c. sugar
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
½ c. Meyer lemon juice
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
¹⁄₈ tsp Madagascar vanilla bean paste
⅓ c. powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
2. To make the lemon curd, in a large microwaveable bowl, combine sugar, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla bean paste. Whisk in egg, then egg yolk. Place in the mixture into the microwave and cook for 1 minute at a time, whisking after each minute. You will need to do a total of 4-6 minutes or until the curd coats the back of a spatula (it will look jelly-like). The time will depend on the strength of your microwave.
3. Pour the hot curd through a mesh sieve to remove any "eggy" parts. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until cookies have completely cooled.
4. To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix just until incorporated. Add salt, then with mixing speed on low, gradually add flour a ½ cup at a time. Mix until incorporated.
5. Roll dough into 1" balls, place on prepared baking sheets. Lightly pat down to flatten (just a little bit), then using your thumb press little wells into each. Place into the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cookies have cooled (30 minutes or so) using a mesh sieve, gently dust powdered sugar over each cookie. Place a dollop of chilled lemon curd in the center of each, then place in refrigerator to set up. Serve & enjoy!
Adapted from redbookmag.com, Lemon Thumbprint Cookies | Makes approximately 30 cookies