Lemon and Orange Punitions

IMG_0703Dinner party last night. New Year’s Eve party tonight. And yesterday, I didn’t yet feel saturated with holiday baking.  Ergo: cookies.

This time of year, I feel an urge to roll things out and cut them into shapes.  However, I’m not a patient baker.  A few years ago, I spent two days making a gingersnap recipe from Cook’s Illustrated; I’m sure they would have been delightful if I hadn’t overbaked them.  They were still pretty good, but seriously: two days.  This time, I wanted something quickish and simple, a straight-up sugar cookie that I could then embellish because I have a surplus of oranges and Meyer lemons just wilting to be zested and juiced.

So I went to Smitten Kitchen and found these: punitions.  First off, I love the name (“punishments” in French).  Second, they’re sort of shortbreads (my favourite) but not (because there’s egg in them).  And they’re straightforward enough that I could play with them.  My plan was to add zest to the dough and then make a glaze for the tops – or rather, two glazes, one Meyer lemon and one orange, to see which was better.

I made the dough in two batches, one with lemon zest and one with orange.

IMG_0684 IMG_0690IMG_0696IMG_0692I used cane sugar instead of white granulated, because I wanted the cookies to have a nice sandy texture.

IMG_0697 IMG_0700 IMG_0705 IMG_0716The flowers are lemon-scented and the hearts are orange.

IMG_0742A good, simple recipe for glaze: 2 c icing sugar, 1/3 c citrus juice, and a pinch of salt.  I made orange glaze first, and then halved the recipe to make lemon glaze and added it to the orange glaze leftovers.  The lemon/orange glaze was FANTASTIC, and the lemon cookies were definitely the winners.  Next time, I will use salted butter and make lemon cookies only (or maybe try grapefruit?), but otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I won’t tell you how many of these cookies I ate before bringing half of what was left to dinner.  I quickly packed up the remaining half when we got home, because it’s somehow harder to sneak cookies when they’re already sealed in a box and ready for transport.  I expect these to be my go-to party cookies for a while.

Try these! And if you have suggestions about what to do with my remaining lemons and oranges, fire away.


3 thoughts on “Lemon and Orange Punitions

  1. These look great. I made something similar last year, but with the addition of cracked peppercorns to the lemon. I also like eating meyer lemons in a Moroccan style stew, with prunes and chicken, though you could probably rough out something quite similar with chick peas.

    • Oh, peppercorns – would not have occurred to me, but now I have to try that. I love preserved lemons in Moroccan stews, but have never thought of adding fresh lemons (except for juice), or prunes for that matter. Now you’ve got me thinking.

  2. Those look fantastic! I am always on the lookout for a good cookie recipe – and especially one that won’t take two days to make!

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