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Lemon Meltaways ~ Light and buttery, these lemon bite-sized cookies are a real treat! Easy to make and the perfect little bite of lemon!
Do you think if I post bright lemony recipes, spring will come early? Probably not but it’s nice to dream. The forecast is calling for -4 degrees tomorrow night, we have about 7 inches of snow on the ground and a cold front coming in. I’m really not complaining because we’ve all wished for a good snow this year.
Now that we’ve had our snow – I’m ready for blooming dogwood trees, tiny tomato plants in the garden, asparagus peaking out from the frozen ground and I can’t wait to go camping and kayaking again! It seems like it has been a long, long winter. But who wants to talk about the cold when there are delicious, lemony, melt-in-your-mouth cookies to share?!?
Zest only the yellow outer skin of the lemon, and no white pith.
If you get carried away with your zesting, you may end up with a bitter taste instead of the bright lemon sunshine flavor you’re looking for.
I always use organic lemons and oranges when planning to include the zest in a recipe. Call me crazy but I can still taste the pesticides. Organic or not, you should always wash your citrus with a vinegar solution or soap and water. Be sure to rinse and dry the lemons before zesting and only remove the outer layer.
Each lemon is different. Some are thick skinned while other are not. Different growing regions produce varied sizes of lemons, as well. I prefer the smaller, thin skinned lemons for zesting. The flavor seems better to me but I have no scientific proof to back that up.
Lemon Meltaways are easy to make with just a few pantry ingredients.
These truly do melt in your mouth and are similar in texture to a buttery shortbread cookie. The lemon brightens the cookie and gives it an irresistible freshness. Simple to make with just a few pantry ingredients they come together in no time. Roll the dough into balls or flatten into discs and bake until barely browned around the edges.
These lemon meltaways can be presented several ways.
The warm, baked cookies can be tossed immediately in powdered sugar like a Russian Tea Cake or Mexican Wedding Cookie. If planning to serve this way, there’s no need to flatten the cookie before baking. You can leave them in a ball shape.
My favorite way to serve these cookies is with a lemon drizzle.
The lemon icing really adds a lot of lemon flavor to the meltaway cookies. The icing is easy to make and drizzle or spread on the baked, cooled cookies. The glaze can be spread on thick or drizzled on a little thinner – it’s all up to you! Either way, you’ll have a memorable lemon experience!
Lemon Meltaways are bite-sized treats that freeze beautifully!
Rolling the cookies into a small single-bite size treat makes it super easy to pop them in your mouth. Not overly sweet, these cookies are the perfect light ending to any meal.
Can you substitute other kinds of citrus for the lemon?
Feel free to substitute lime, key lime or orange for the lemon in these cookies. We’ve made Coconut Key Lime Meltaways with great success and enjoy Peppermint Meltaways during the holiday seasons too. I hope you’ll give these cookies a try. Enjoy!
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For the cookie dough:
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, packed - about 2 lemons (no white pith)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1 lemon
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the lemon glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest for garnish, if desired
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add ½ cup of powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Gently blend on low until incorporated, scrapping down sides with a spatula as needed.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together.
- Add the flour in four batches to the creamed butter and lemon mixture. Blend on medium low until each is incorporated.
- Place the cookie dough in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop a level spoonful of dough using a 1-inch cookie scoop. Roll each into a tight ball and place two inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- If you want to make cookie discs, press each dough ball to the desired thickness using the bottom of a flat glass covered with a small piece of wax paper.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Slide the parchment paper and baked cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat with a new piece of parchment paper placed on a cooled cookie sheet. Cool cookies completely if using a glaze. If covering in confectioners' sugar, allow the hot cookies to cool for a minute then toss in 1 cup of powdered sugar to coat. Cool completely on the wire rack.
- To make the glaze, mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add more lemon juice or sugar as needed to reach desired consistency. Spread on each cookie and garnish with lemon zest if desired.
- Allow the glaze to fully set then store cookies in a cool place or refrigerator.
Here are a few more of our favorite Meltaway Cookie recipes you might also enjoy:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Meltaway Cookies – for the chocolate and peanut butter lover in your life! These light little bite-sized cookies are not too sweet and get a nice salty bite from the crushed roasted peanuts. Click HERE for the Peanut Butter Chocolate Meltaway Cookie Recipe.