The cookie we decided to try is new to us this year, and it's basically Chow's Meyer Lemon and Black Pepper Cookies with the one minor addition of lemon oil. We also made ours into smaller bites for easier packaging, as you can see, and so we could have more cookies to share!
We love the delicious sweetness the Meyer lemon zest added to each bite (enhanced by the lemon oil of course), which balanced exquisitely with the subtle spiciness of the black pepper, all in one beautiful bite. And how wonderful is it that the dough can be made ahead of time and frozen? Perfect for this busy time of year. This is probably going to become one of our many go-to cookie recipes for the holidays. We sure hope Lou and Esi, Grandma Loy, and Lori enjoyed them as much as we did. (Click their names to see what cookies they sent!)
Thank you very much to Jenny, Morgan, and Jenn for sharing their cookies with us (click their names to see their cookies and recipes). What a treat it was to get these packages in the mail knowing they were filled with yummy goodies.
Meyer Lemon and Black Pepper Cookie Bites
minimally adapted from Chow
1/4 cup loosely packed, finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from about 4 medium or 6 small lemons)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
Whisk together the flour, zest, baking powder, pepper, and salt in a medium bowl to break up any lumps; set aside. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula. Return the mixer to medium speed, add the egg, vanilla, and lemon oil, and beat until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with the rubber spatula.Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the reserved flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide it in half. Roll each portion into a log measuring the desired diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days (or freeze up to one month). When ready to bake the cookies, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange the racks to divide the oven into thirds. Remove the dough logs from the refrigerator (allow to thaw if frozen), remove the plastic wrap, and slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds about 1/2 inch apart on 2 baking sheets (about 20 cookies per sheet). Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom and bake until the edges of the cookies are firm but the tops are still soft, about 6 to 7 minutes more. Place the baking sheets on wire racks and let them cool for 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula, transfer the cookies to the wire racks to cool completely.
To see all the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap recipes, and to get some wonderful holiday ideas for yourself, go to The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap recipe roundup.