If I am anything in this world, it is a lemon lover. All of my tea cups are littered with spent lemon rinds. I hardly drink a cocktail without a twist. I will eschew chocolate desserts in favor of a lemon dessert every time. Please stop with those mean looks; I know how you feel about chocolate! I do like chocolate—I have a whole section on this site devoted to it here: chocolate desserts for two. But it just doesn’t hold a candle to lemon. Who’s with me?
I think what most people miss in lemon desserts is a flavor that surpasses acidic or tart. I think I found that missing flavor: it’s ginger! Ginger brings warmth and depth to a lemon dessert.
I made ginger thumbprints filled with lemon curd. You can use store-bought lemon curd instead of making my small batch of lemon curd. I really won’t mind. I tried it with both, and nothing kept me from eating every last cookie in each batch.
Add these bright and cheery cookies to your holiday cookie table!
Lemon Ginger Thumbprints
Yield: 12 two-bite cookies
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup flour
For the lemon curd:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
First, make the lemon curd: In a small bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the butter and sugar. Beat this mixture very well, until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the whole egg, beat until combined, then add the remaining egg yolk and beat well.
Next, slowly stream in the lemon juice while beating. The mixture may look curdled, but do not worry. Pour the mixture into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and cook over low heat while stirring continuously and scrapping the sides of the pan. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, in about 5-7 minutes, it is done.
Remove from the heat, pour into a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly on the surface before placing it in the fridge to chill. (Can be made 1-2 days in advance).
Next, make the cookies: preheat the oven to 350.
Cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Next, add the vanilla and continue beating. Sprinkle in the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat well.
This is very important: slowly add the flour to the dough while mixing, about 1 tablespoon at a time. If you dump all of the flour in at once, the dough won't come together.
Scoop the dough into 12 teaspoon-sized mounds. Use a chopstick to make a divot in the center of each cookie. Press the edges together if the dough cracks a bit.
Bake for 13-14 minutes, or until the edges of cookies brown slightly.
Move the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
Add scoops of lemon curd into the center of each cookie, and serve.
Christina Lane is the author of 3 cookbooks all about cooking and baking for two. She has scaled down hundreds of recipes into smaller servings so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without the leftovers! Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday.