When my sister and I started baking, everything we made was lemon flavoured. One of my earliest independent baking memories is of us making Lemon Meringue Pie to take to our Nana down in Eastbourne. There was one particularly memorable time we made it where I managed to get my hair caught in our electric whisk. Aside from attempting to sneak lemon into every bake, my other baking trait was that I primarily turned out biscuits. Of every shape, style, flavour and size – they were all I wanted to make. Now I’m at university, the most popular bakes with my friends are always chocolate based, but this weekend I wanted to recreate those early baking traits.
I always refuse to do any work on a Saturday – taking it as my one day each week to completely relax and temporarily forget about whatever Renaissance issue I’ve been tackling that week. Baking replaces reading as my top priority and the thought of whichever cookie, cake or pie I’ve chosen for the weekend ahead gets me through many a long library session midweek. This week, I fancied a break from chocolate and as I was considering a return to my lemon-obsessed ways, I thought may as well equally return to being a cookie fanatic. When I started baking I churned out many a tray of cookies, working my way through most of Rachel Allen’s back catalogue.
Today’s inspiration came from Smitten Kitchen, who initially made a key lime version that I’ve had bookmarked for years. They were every bit as buttery, crumbly and moreish as I had anticipated – with the bonus of being a total cinch to make. The heavy icing sugar coating means they are not the best surreptitious library snack – but that just gives you an excuse to take a break.
Lemon Meltaway Cookies
- 175g soft butter
- 40g icing sugar, plus around 150g more to coat
- 1 lemon, zested and ½ juiced
- 1tsp vanilla
- 240g plain flour
Mix the butter and 40g icing sugar together until well combined. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice and stir to incorporate. Add the flour gradually, stirring well until it is all incorporated and smooth.
Tip the dough onto a sheet of baking paper and shape into a 30cm log. Roll up in the paper, twisting each end like a cracker. Place in the fridge for an hour until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180’C. Remove the dough log from the fridge and unwrap. Slice into 1cm rounds and place on two lined baking trays. Bake fro 15minutes until beginning to go golden round the edge.
Tip plenty of icing sugar into a small bowl. Toss the cookies gently, a few at a time, in the icing sugar to fully coat and place on a wire rack to cool.