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!
- 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.