Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pucker Up

I picked up some Meyer lemons, that's what started this thing. I picked them up, not knowing what I would do with them, but they were there at Trader Joe's. Four perfect sunny ovals with stems--looking up at me. Since this was the first time I had ever seen them at a price that matched my budget, I figured I'd go for it. So, I took them home, admired them on the way into the crisper drawer, and promptly forgot they existed. By the time I found them, I needed to make something, and I needed to make it quick.

Fortunately, Joe over at Culinary in the Country came riding in on a white steed to save the day. Well, not really, and even if he deed, I make it a rule to allow no white steeds in my kitchen, but his blog is a great resource for all things baking. When I saw these English Lemon Shortbread Strips, I knew I'd found the solution to my lemon problem.

This recipe couldn't be easier. The first step is unique--I've never seen this before. The sugar is placed into a mixing bowl, and lemon zest is showered over the top. A little massage follows, with your fingers rubbing the two together until the sugar is soft and almost snowy, having incorporated the oils from the lemon juice. After a whirl in the mixer with the rest of the ingredients, the whole thing is scooped into a pan and baked. After it comes out of the oven, it cools a bit, then is glazed with a zest-rich topping of powdered sugar, butter, and lemon juice.

You can try to eat just one of these, but if you hear a tiny, puckery voice calling your name in the night, you know where its coming from!

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