Meyer lemon season is almost over, so hurry up and get your fill of these tart gems!
I have never had lemons as good as these until I moved to California. I hate to boast, but sunny California has the best produce. You might think lemons are just lemons…false. You will know when you have a good one on hand. I’ve been stocking up at the farmers market because I just can’t get enough!
Lemons are a kitchen staple. Add them to everyday cooking, baking, salad dressings and as water enhancers. Tip: cut up lemon slices and lay them in a single layer in a bag and store them in the freezer to pop one in your water whenever you want. The frozen lemon slice acts as both an ice-cube and brings the most delicious lemon flavor to perk up your water for a change.
Before saying farewell to Meyer lemons for the season I had to make something delicious. My grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe came to mind, and although her cookies are perfect in their own way, I decided to switch things up quite a bit. Zulka graciously provided me with samples of their Morena Pure Cane Sugar to use in recipes. Their sugar is minimally processed and comes from small family farms. Thanks again, guys!
I replaced all-purpose flour with spelt flour – see this post for more info on spelt. The addition of raw, local honey makes for a more chewy consistency and brings in some honey flavor. The lemon zest and fresh lemon juice really brightens up these cookies, and I love the specks of yellow you see in each cookie from the zest! I also reduced some of the fat by substituting plain, 2% Greek yogurt for margarine (I use Fage Total 2%). These cookies definitely scream spring!
Yields 30 cookies
1/2 cup pure cane sugar (plus more for rolling)
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/4 cup raw local honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 small Meyer lemon
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or use a silicone mat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, yogurt, honey, oil, lemon juice, vanilla, egg and the zest. In a smaller separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add dry mixture to the wet and stir just until thoroughly incorporated; dough will be sticky. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to help make for easier rolling.
Form dough into small balls, about tablespoon size, and roll into cane sugar. Place them on cookie sheet and gently flatten each cookie with your fingers. Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place cookies on a rack to cool.
*Zulka Sugar kindly provided me with samples of their products and no compensation was involved.