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.
A 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.