Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lemon Meringue Cookies and lemon curd


Oh I soooo want to make these!!

Lemon Meringue Cookies
Recipe found on www.joythebaker.com

Makes: about 55 cookies







For the Meringues:

2 large egg whites

pinch of salt

2/3 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place two racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Foil will also work in a pinch. Set the baking pans aside.

Place the egg whites (save the yolks for the curd) in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy. Add the pinch of salt and increase speed to medium-high. Slowly begin to sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to beat eggs until they become thick, glossy and hold stiff peeks. The egg whites will be the consistency of melted marshmallow.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Spoon into a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip. Pipe about a teaspoons worth of meringue onto the baking sheet. Stars can be close together, as they won't spread or puff during baking. Pipe stars onto the two baking sheets until no meringue remains in the bag. Using the back of a spoon, flatten out half of the meringue stars, making them as flat as possible, but not necessarily a larger circle than the original piped star. The flattened star will become the bottom of the sandwich cookie.

Bake meringues for 2 hours, until no longer sticky , but firm and hardened.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet before filling and sandwiching.

For the Lemon Curd:

from: David Lebovitz

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set aside.

In a medium pot, whisk together lemon juice, granulated sugar, eggs, yolks, and pinch of salt. Place the pot over a medium-low flame and add butter. Stir mixture with a whisk, and spatula. The spatula will help you get into the corners of the pan, ensuring that none of the curd over-cooks too much. Cook the curd until the butter is melted, and the mixture is the thickness of warm hot fudge. The whisk will begin to leave a trail of whisk marks and the mixture will have the distinct smell of lemon curd. You don't really need to boil lemon curd... it's probably done it if gets to the boiling stage.

Remove from the flame and immediately pour into the fine mesh strainer over the medium bowl. Press through the strainer, leaving any cooked egg bits in the strainer, and not in your beautiful curd.

Place curd in a jar, with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly over the curd. Place in the fridge until completely cold.

To fill the cookies, spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of curd onto a flattened bottom cookie. Top with a star shaped cookie. Place cookies in a single layer on a tray and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to an hour. I love these cookies right out of the freezer. You can also fill them and serve them immediately. These cookies do not last well if willed and left to sit.

Curd should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Curd lasts for about a week. Meringues should be kept in an airtight container, in a dry area, at room temperature. Meringues last for about 5 days... though humidity makes them sticky balls.

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