Hey y’all – So last week, we made the decision in this pandemic that since we were well-stocked, we would focus on using exactly what we have rather than our usual ‘pick up this and that as we want it’ habit we’ve been in for so many years. That means as of this week I am out of sesame oil, rice vinegar, balsamic, peppercorns, and butter, with a tiny amount of all-purpose flour set aside purely for our sourdough starter. (Now I have 4 or 5 other kinds of flour right now, but anyone who bakes knows that each flour does different things to the recipes). Anyhow, so in the interest of “baking creatively” and thinking about my oldest and dearest friend down in SoCal who is sheltered-in-place with her two boys in an apartment, I thought, it’s time to make cookies! Knowing one of her boys doesn’t like chocolate, I opened the fridge and saw this quart jar full of preserved Meyer lemons that I’d made up in the fall and used…once. Because back in my chocolatier days I used to love to use lemon in interesting ways, I got straight onto the internet to look up what I could do with these babies that didn’t involve a Moroccan dish 🙂
And I ran into this beautiful recipe for preserved meyer lemon almond cookies, which was absolutely perfect. Ironically in my final grocery run I picked up some almond meal/flour for an orange cake I wanted to make, so we were in luck as almonds are now treated as delicacies for us because of the issues with honeybees that I discussed in my last post. Everything else I either had or had an appropriate substitute, which I’ll note here in how I modified this pretty fantastic recipe.
Preserved Meyer Lemon Almond Cookies
1 stick of butter, softened (SUB: lard) 1 1/2 cups sugar (original recipe asked for 2 cups, wayyyy too much, next time I’ll probably cut by another half cup) 3 large eggs (SUB: 4 small eggs – our chooks don’t make ’em large) 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp almond extract (SUB: lemon extract) juice and zest of 1 large lemon (SUB: 4 Tbsp lemon juice + 1 tsp dried orange zest) 1/4 cup Preserved Meyer Lemons, rinsed and coarsely chopped 3/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped (SUB: almond meal) 4 cups all purpose flour (SUB: pastry flour – note, this will make more cakey-style rather than the thin crisp/chewy style the original recipe describes.) 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and eggs for about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice and zest. Beat again, less vigorously, for another minute or so. Fold in the Preserved Lemons, almonds, flour, sea salt, and baking soda. Plop golf ball sized cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes.
They are so good I had to hide a few away otherwise husband would not get any when he arrives home from the co-op, and packed the rest up “touch-free” to send to my friend 🙂
While I know many of you won’t have preserved lemons just hanging around, the point of sharing this was to find new and delicious ways to use up what you already have! Take the oldest thing in your fridge and look it up, i.e., “recipes using preserved lemons”, and you might be surprised what is out there. Save money, waste less, discover more!