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.

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2 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.

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