When life gives you Meyer lemons, why make lemonade when you can make “Lemon-Walnut Biscotti” instead?
Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about when winter rains give way to a backyard tree full of ripe, juicy, sunshine-y lemons — finally.
Sure, you can make these crisp, crumbly cookies with regular Eureka lemons that have a sharper tang. But make them with the more floral Meyers and you’re really in for a treat. My husband’s colleagues tried some and thought for sure there was rosemary or some other herb in them. But nope, it’s just the complexity of the Meyers coming through loud and clear.
The recipe is from the hefty, new “Bon Appetit Desserts” cookbook (Andrews McMeel) by Barbara Fairchild, former editor-in-chief of that magazine who just stepped down now that the publication has moved its offices from Los Angeles to Manhattan. The 686-page tome, of which I just received a review copy, contains more than 600 recipes to keep you baking to your heart’s content.
Both lemon zest and lemon juice are incorporated into the butter- and egg-enriched dough that contains a whopping three cups of chopped walnuts. Before baking, the dough gets refrigerated for at least three hours or up to two days to firm up. Shape the dough into three flattened logs for the first bake. Then, let them cool before slicing them for the second baking.
Sure, lemonade may be quenching. But lemon biscotti is hands-down, crunch-a-licious.
(Makes about 5 dozen)
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and lemon peel in a large bowl until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just to blend after each addition. Beat in lemon juice, then flour mixture. Stir in walnuts.
Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Place each piece on a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap as aid, form dough into 8-inch long logs; press each slightly, flattening to 2 1/2-inch-wide logs. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 3 hours.
Do Ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line a heavy, large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap logs and set atop plastic. Brush tops of logs with egg. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Lift logs from plastic and transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Bake until golden brown and just firm to touch, about 50 minutes. Carefully transfer to rack and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Line 2 heavy rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using long, serrated knife, carefully cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. They are very tender, so work quickly with your knife. Arrange biscotti, cut side down, on prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies until golden brown around edges, about 20 minutes. Cool completely (biscotti will crisp as they cool).
Storing: Cookies will stay fresh for three days when stored in an air-tight container at room temperature. The cookies also can be frozen. Wrap them tightly in foil and enclose in a resealable plastic freezer bag. When you’re ready to enjoy them, let them come to room temperature. If you prefer them warm, pop them in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes.
From “Bon Appetit Desserts” by Barbara Fairchild
Other Lemon Recipes: Preserved Lemons
Another Biscotti Recipe: Brown Sugar and Almond Biscotti