Monday, April 30, 2007


Just a few sweets for my uncle's pottery show this weekend. From left to right: soft but crisp lemony cookies with lemon icing, outrageous brownie triangles, chocolate-vanilla pinwheels, and meringue kisses--my favorite of the group, and the easiest, made with toasted pecans and unsweetened coconut.

Meringue Kisses
(from Carole Walter's Great Cookies)

These are fabulous cookies and very easy to make, usually. Meringues are tempermental, so don't try these when it's humid or if you're in a hurry. In the past week I've made four batches of these: the first took forever to get crisp, the second produced perfect clouds, the third was tossed out due to operator error, and the last batch, made yesterday, was good but not as great as the second batch. They still taste good, but they don't have the creamy fluffiness of the others. The weather's been back and forth lately, and I was impatient--all of which are factors, but you should still make these because they're just that good.


1 c pecans, lightly toasted and chopped (small to med. pieces)
3 Tbs unsweetened, flaked coconut
1/3 c plus 2 Tbs superfine sugar, divided (I use regular white sugar)
2 large egg whites, at room temp.
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tarter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the pecans, coconut, and 2 Tbs sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites on medium until frothy. Add the salt and cream of tarter. Increase the speed to med-high and beat until firm peaks form. Add the remaining 1/3 c sugar, 1 tsp at a time, taking about 2 minutes in all. Then add the vanilla.

Gently fold the coconut-pecan mixture into the meringue. Drop the batter from the tip of a teaspoon onto the cookie sheets (you might want to use two spoons to get the batter off easily.)

Bake the meringues for 50-60 minutes, or until they can be lifted off of the parchment without sticking. Rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back toward the end of baking time. Let the meringues stand in the turned-off oven to dry for 15 min., then transfer them to cooling racks. Note: If it's humid outside, the meringues will take longer to bake. You'll be able to tell when they're done when they come off the sheets easily. I left mine to cool in the turned-off oven overnight.

Optional: Lightly dust the tops of the meringues with unsweetened cocoa powder, sifting it through a fine strainer.

Glazed Lemon Cookies
(also from Carole Walter's Great Cookies)

1 3/4 c flour
1 c cake flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, slightly firm
2 Tbs lemon zest
1 1/2 c sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/4 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

2 c strained confectioners' sugar
2-3 Tbs hot lemon juice, plus extra if needed
1 Tbs light corn syrup
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour, cake flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together three times. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and lemon zest on medium-low til creamy and lighter in color, about 2 min. Add the sugar and mix for another 1-2 min. Then add the egg yolks, mixing for up to a minute, then add in the lemon juice and vanilla. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three parts, mixing til just blended. Put dough in a clean bowl, cover, and let chill for 60 min.

The original recipe makes just 16 big cookies, but instead I formed the dough into 1 Tbs-sized balls, put them on parchment-lined cookie sheets, evenly spaced, and then flatten them somewhat with the palm of my hand. Bake for 12-15 min., and then start checking for doneness; the edges of the cookies should be lightly brown. When done, remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for about 5 min. and then transfer to wire racks set over wax or parchment paper. Glaze the cookies while still warm.

For the glaze: Put the confectioners' sugar in a bowl and add the lemon juice, corn syrup and salt. Whisk together until smooth. Add extra lemon juice to thin, but you want the glaze to pour from a spoon in a steady stream. Using a small spoon, spread the glaze thinly over the surface of the entire cookie and then let air-dry til the surface has set.


CM said...

Would you be willing to share your lemon cookie recipe? All the cookies look and sound fantastic.

Kt said...

Thank you!

And absolutely! The recipe is from Carole Walters' Great Cookies. I'll post it this weekend. :)