Lemon Curd Cookie Cups
Making these lemon curd cookie cups will be a memorable experience to share with your kids and a great dessert to end any meal. The homemade lemon curd that is center stage in this recipe comes together easily and is made from fresh ingredients that you will feel good about serving to your family. We made these special treats over the holidays and enjoyed them for dessert and also for breakfast!
We love to spend time together as a family in the kitchen. With my husband and I being both self-proclaimed foodies we are eager to pass on our joy of cooking (and eating) to our little. Since she was a toddler we have been baking together in the kitchen and this is still one of our favorite activities to do together. She loves measuring the ingredients, operating the mixer and sampling the warm treats when they come out of the oven. Hearing her laughter, the whirl of the mixer and the aroma of fresh baked goods in the warm kitchen is one of my happy places and it easily can become one of yours.
This recipe incorporated fresh lemons that I ordered from our local produce farm supply box and we loved smelling the sweet and citrusy aroma from the lemons as we juiced them. I spent my childhood in New York where we purchased citrus at the grocery store, with it being seasonal in winter months this recipe makes a great choice to make for winter holidays on the East Coast. One of the many blessings that has come from moving to Southern California is access to citrus that is provided by local farms, visiting citrus orchards and farm stands also make a great family experience (but more on this later).
I would recommend approaching this recipe in two phases, with the first being preparation of the fresh lemon curd. If you find that your little is worn out after making the fresh lemon curd then the curd can chill in the refrigerator for up to a week (until you have time to make the cookie base). If you never come back to making the cookie, not to fret because the curd can be eaten with croissants purchased at the grocery store for a special treat at brunch.
Begin by juicing the lemons. To get all the juice from the lemons (and to entertain the kids) have them roll the intact lemons on the counter while pushing down as they roll, this will help break down fibrous parts of the fruit to loosen the juice. Then with a knife cut the lemons in half and juice the lemons using a citrus reamer over a large bowl fitted with a strainer. The strainer will catch the seeds and fibers and allow the beautiful juice to flow through. My little enjoyed doing this, we reamed lemons for almost 20 minutes and she was so proud of how much juice she collected.
To make the lemon curd all the ingredients are mixed together using an electric mixer and wire whisk attachment. The uncooked curd has lumps of butter and the liquid qualities of the juice used to make it. This mixture is transferred to a medium sized sauce pan (with a heavy bottom) and heated slowly until the lumps of butter melt. We placed a candy thermometer in our sauce pan and watched the temperature rise as we stirred. As the mixture reached 170 degrees the mixture began to thicken and was transformed into a bright yellow opaque silky lemon curd, watching this process was magical!*
Once the lemon curd is prepared, transfer it to a bowl and wrap with saran wrap. Be sure to place the saran wrap to rest directly on top of the curd, this will prevent a thick (and gross) layer of gel from forming on top of the curd. The curd will thicken further as it cools and can be poured, piped or spooned into the cookie cups. Then it’s time to make the cookie cups while the curd chills!
The cookie cup recipe is a basic sugar cookie-like dough that can either be pressed into a small muffin tin or rolled into a ball and baked. After baking for 8 minutes remove the partly baked cookies and create the indents to place the curd with the back of a wooden spoon or a wooden pestle. Then fill with lemon curd and place back into the over for an additional 5 minutes. These lemon curd cookie cups taste wonderful warm and fresh out of the oven. We stored our leftovers in the refrigerator and they were also delicious chilled.
These special little treats are the perfect combination of sweet and sour. The use of eggs, butter and fresh lemons to make the curd produces a delicious treat that captures the farm to table flavors of healthy family cooking.
*Cooking the curd is a great job for parents to do with littles standing at a safe distance from the cooktop looking on.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare the lemon curd:
In a large mixing bowl beat room temperature butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and egg yolks and beat for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and zest and mix until just combined.
Transfer mixture to a medium sized sauce pan with a heavy bottom. With the range top set to low/medium heat, stir the mixture constantly while the temperature rises to 170 degrees. The mixture will begin to thicken as it warms. Hold the temperature at 170 degrees for 2-3 minutes while stirring and do not let the mixture come to a boil. Transfer the hot mixture to an oven safe bowel, cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Prepare the cookie cups:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar) in a bowl and set aside.
Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix on slow until incorporated.
Drop one tablespoon of cookie dough into a greased small muffin pan or onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove partly baked cookies from the oven and using a wooden spoon create an indent to place the lemon curd. Fill the cookie cups with curd and bake for an addition 5 minutes until the cups are lightly browned on the edges. Cool cookies or baking pans on metal racks and enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from Barbara Schieving https://www.barbarabakes.com//lemon-bar-cookie-cups
Posted 1/5/2020 Chrissa, Flavored Living