Lemon Meringue Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter*, softened
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (134 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- Lemon Curd (recipe follows) Meringue Kisses (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in almond extract. Add flour, beating until combined.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls (about 12 grams), and place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Using your thumb or a ¼ teaspoon, gently make an indentation in center of each ball.
- Bake until bottoms are golden brown, 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven, and press down centers again. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Assemble just before serving. Spoon about ¾ teaspoon (about 6 grams) Lemon Curd into center of each cookie. Top with Meringue Kisses. Serve immediately.
If desired, the tops of the baked and cooled kisses can be browned with a kitchen torch. Just be sure to transfer them to an unlined baking sheet before torching.
- 3 large egg yolks (56 grams)
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (4 grams) lemon zest
- ¼ cup (60 grams) strained fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
- In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest and juice until combined. Add butter; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F (77°C), about 12 minutes. (Do not boil.)
- Immediately remove from heat. Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of curd. Let cool slightly. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- 3 large egg whites (90 grams), room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 225°F (107°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla at high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Add sugar in a slow, steady stream, beating until glossy, soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
- Spoon meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with an open star tip (Wilton #21 or #32). Pipe small stars (about ¾ inch) onto prepared pans. If torching kisses to brown, lightly press down any pointed tips to prevent burning. (See Note.)
- Bake until firm and lightly browned, about 2 hours. Let cool completely. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.
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