Annika Eats

Lemon thumbprint cookies (Day 2)

Lemon meringue pie and a cookie had a baby, this recipe would be the baby. It is a lemon cookie base with lemon curd and a torched meringue top. 

Welcome to day 2 of my 12 Days Of Christmas Cookie Series. We are getting into the spirit by keeping things fresh and zesty in this recipe. Honestly this cookie is a 2 in 1 situation as we need make a lemon curd as well. 

I love a good lemon bar or lemon meringue pie. It is the perfect amount of sweetness mixed with tartness. So when I made this cookie recipe it had to taste as close to that memory as possible. These cookies are so yummy, crumbly, saucy and fin to make. If you love lemons then this is the cookie for you. 

What ingredients do we need to make these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies?

Cookie –

The cookie dough is my no fuss Vanilla Spiced Sugar Cookie, it was the foundation recipe for day 1 of my 12 Days Of Christmas Cookie Recipes. To flavor the dough I use fresh lemon zest, if you don’t have that you could use a tiny drop of lemon extract (this stuff is potent so  little goes a long way). 

Lemon curd-

We need sugar, egg yolk, cornflour, lemon juice, lemon zest and butter to make this lemon curd. It is very simple to make, video on how to make lemon curd is linked here. If you want to make these lime or orange thumbprint cookies, substitute the lemon everywhere for lime or orange. It will work the same. Also if you want to make the curd vegan, I would recommend using 30gm cornflour, omitting the egg yolk. It will not have the same structure but it will work fine. 

Meringue top aka Royal icing-

A traditional lemon pie must have the meringue on top. I have used royal icing since I am not using alit here. I have done a royal icing 101 recipe talking about all the tips and tricks you need to make this icing, I have linked the recipe here. Make sure to check it out. The meringue is optional though. 

What equipment do you need to make these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies?

We need a mixing bowl, to mix the lemon zest into the cookie dough. It is then rolled between our palms, before baking on a cookie tray lined with baking paper. I use a teaspoon or tablespoon to create the thumbprint more accurately you can use your thumb. The lemon curd needs a sauce pot and whisk to make but we need a piping bag to transfer the curd into the cookie cavity. We also need a piping bag to add the meringue on top of the curd. You can eve use a spoon to fill the cookies. We need a blow torch for the toasted meringue.

How to make these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies?

To make the cookies, start by preheating the oven to 170℃ and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a mixing bowl break up the cookie dough that is fridge cold, add the lemon zest and mix it together using your hands. Form into ball and pinch out pieces of the dough, approximately 1 tablespoon worth of dough. Roll into a ball between the palms of your hands dunk in castor sugar and place on the baking tray. Create a cavity in the center of the ball with your thumb or the back of a spoon. Bake for 8-10 mins until the bottom is golden and the top is dry to touch. Let it cool completely.

To make the Lemon curd: whisk the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch together in a sauce pot. Add the lemon juice and whisk again. Place on the stove on low to medium heat. Stirring constantly, let the mixture come to boil. Once you see bubbles on the top it is done. Take it off the heat add the butter, Leon zest and whisk. Cover with clingfilm, making sure it touches the lemon curd to avoid a skin from forming. Let it cool completely.Watch the recipe video here.

Pro Tips For The Perfect Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Cookie dough –

The cookie dough must be fridge cold before you crumble and mix in the lemon zest. This will ensure the dough doesn’t melt in your hands while rolling into balls. 

Roll in castor sugar –

The dough must be rolled in castor sugar to create that crunchy pie crust feel in every bite. This also helps the cookie stay crunchy even though the lemon curd is filled in the cookie later. 

Baking & Cooling –

Do not over bake the cookies or else they will get extremely hard and tough to eat. Also we need to let them cool down completely before assembling serving. Hence they can be made ahead. 

Lemon curd –

Do not over cook the lemon curd or else is will spilt. Once it is vigorously bubbling, remove from the heat but always strain it to ensure there are no lumps in the sauce. 

No blow torch?

You can leave the cookie as it is without the burnt meringue situation. I prefer it as it not only looks pretty but also it a great tool to have. Blow torch I use is this one. 

How to serve and store these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies?

Spoon/Pipe a little of the lemon curd in the cavity of the cookies and pipe the meringue/royal icing on top. Blow torch the “meringue” if you like and serve. If you are not serving them immediately. These cookies are best made and eaten immediately. They last for a couple of days but nothing longer. I would recommend making all the components and assembling when ready to serve. The cookies on their own store well in an air tight container fro 4-6 days at room temperature. The lemon curd can be kept in the fridge for 1 week in an air tight jar. Royal icing storage details on the recipe linked here. 

Now that we have covered how to make these Lemon Thumbprint Cookies, you can have a look at the recipe video on my socials but let’s get to it. 

If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share it with me on instagram so I can see how it turned out. I’d love nothing more than to chat with you on your cooking/baking.

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies (Day 2)

Lemon meringue pie and a cookie had a baby, this recipe would be the baby. It is a lemon cookie base with lemon curd and a torched meringue top.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Bake Time 10 mins
Course Bars, biscuit, cookie, Finger food, High Tea, Icing, Sweet tooth, tea time
Cuisine American, French
Servings 14 Cookies

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Cling wrap
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking tray
  • Small sauce pot
  • Rubber spatula
  • Electric beater

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Vanilla spiced sugar cookie recipe check notes
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp Castor sugar

Lemon curd-

  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 70 gm Castor sugar
  • 15 gm Corn starch
  • 70 ml Lemon juice
  • Zest of a Lemon
  • 70 gm Butter

Topping-

  • 1 Royal Icing recipe check notes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 170℃ and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a mixing bowl break up the cookie dough that is fridge cold, add the lemon zest and mix it together using your hands.
  • Form into ball and pinch out pieces of the dough, approximately 1 tablespoon worth of dough. Roll into a ball between the palms of your hands and place on the baking tray. Create a cavity in the center of the ball with your thumb or the back of a spoon. Bake for 8-10 mins until the bottom is golden and the top is dry to touch. Let it cool completely.
  • To make the Lemon curd: whisk the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch together in a sauce pot. Add the lemon juice, zest and whisk again. Place on the stove on low to medium heat. Stirring constantly, let the mixture come to boil. Once you see bubbles on the top it is done. Take it off the heat add the butter and whisk. Cover with clingfilm, making sure it touches the lemon curd to avoid a skin from forming. Let it cool completely.
  • Assemble: Spoon/Pipe a little of the lemon curd in the cavity of the cookies and pipe the meringue/royal icing on top. Blow torch the “meringue” if you like and serve. If you are not serving them immediately.

Notes

  • I wouldn’t recommend assembling them and keeping for many days. They hold well for 2 days once assembled.
  • Vanilla spiced sugar cookie is linked here.
  • Royal icing recipe is linked here.
  • Lemon curd recipe video is linked here.

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