My Christmas baking has been very scattered. And by scattered, what I mean is, I haven't done any. At all! Time got away from me, and all those weekends I meant to reserve for baking homemade gifts...well, I baked for book club. Or I cooked a multi-course dinner for friends who, because they are wonderful, loaded our belongings into a truck and moved them to our new apartment while Jason and I were at work. Or I finished reading book 7 of the Harry Potter series (and cried on the Metro while doing so, but that's another story...). In other words, I've done no holiday baking.
When I got around to looking at the calendar, I realized I would have no time to get my gifts made and packaged prior to leaving for vacation -- Oh. Did I mention we're going away for the holidays? Just to some little place called Paris! -- so my gifts, and the corresponding posts, will come in January, accompanied by Happy-New-Year-Sorry-This-Is-Late cards. But really, who expects Christmas gifts in January? It will be a very unexpected, pleasant surprise. Like the year my mom forgot she hid some of my presents in her bedroom closet, and didn't find them until well after Christmas.
from Luscious Lemon Desserts, by Lori Longbotham
I used meyer lemons for this recipe only because my friends showed up at my doorstep with a bag of them, but you can use any lemons you wish, and these will still turn out heavenly.
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar + additional for dusting
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
2) Whisk together 1 cup of the flour, 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar, the zest, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Knead the dough in the bowl until it begins to come together.
3) Transfer the dough to the baking pan and press it evenly into the bottom. Bake for 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
4) Whisk together the remaining 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour, and the baking powder in a small bowl.
5) Beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high speed in a medium bowl for about 2 minutes, or until tripled in volume. Reduce the speed to low, add the sugar mixture, and beat just until blended, scraping down the side of the bowl. Add the lemon juice and beat just until blended.
6) Pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the filling is just set in the center. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
7) Just before serving, lightly sift confectioners' sugar over the cookies and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container. Makes approximately 16 squares.