Gluten Free Lemon Curd Cookies
1 houractive time
3 hours 25 minutestotal time
100 g (½ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon ((Ideally, use organic unwaxed lemons.))
3 US large/UK medium egg yolks, room temperature
¼ tsp salt
60 g (¼ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
55 g (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
150 g (¾ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
zest of 2 lemons ((Ideally, use organic unwaxed lemons.))
115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
2 US large/UK medium eggs, room temperature
30 g (2 tbsp) freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla bean paste ((or 1 tsp vanilla extract))
240 g (2 cups) plain gluten free flour blend
½ tsp xanthan gum ((Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.))
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
90 g (¾ cup) powdered/icing sugar, for rolling the cookies before baking
It's best to minimise contact with metal when preparing the lemon curd to prevent it from developing a metallic aftertaste. Therefore, I don't recommend using a metal bowl, metal utensils (such as a metal whisk) or a metal/metal-coated saucepan.Instead, use a glass or ceramic bowl, a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, and a non-metal saucepan such as one with a ceramic coating.
Add the sugar and lemon zest to a bowl, and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar.Tip: This helps to release more essential oils from the zest and it will make your lemon curd extra fragrant.
Add the egg yolks and salt to the lemon-sugar, and mix or whip them until slightly fluffy and paler in colour (no need to use a stand or a hand mixer for this, just whisk them briefly together by hand with a silicone whisk, a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon).
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the lemon juice until it only just comes to a boil.
Add the hot lemon juice to the egg yolk-sugar mixture in a slow drizzle, mixing constantly until you've added all the juice.Tip: This tempers the egg yolks and reduces the chances of your lemon curd splitting or curdling when you cook it.
Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook it over low heat with constant stirring until thickened so that it thickly coats the back of a spoon or spatula. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Don't allow the lemon curd to come to a boil – you shouldn't see any bubbles forming.
Once thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it's fully melted.
Pass the lemon curd though a fine mesh sieve to remove the lemon zest – this will make it perfectly smooth and creamy (but you can skip this step if you don't mind the texture of the lemon zest).Tip: I don't recommend using a metal sieve, as contact with metal can give your lemon curd a slight metallic aftertaste. If possible, use a sieve with a plastic or silicone mesh.
Pour the finished lemon curd into a bowl or heat-proof container and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap/cling film. Make sure that the plastic wrap/cling film is in direct contact with the surface of the lemon curd – this will prevent skin formation. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. (You can also prepare the lemon curd a day or two in advance and keep it in the fridge until needed.)
Lemon cookie dough:
Add the sugar and lemon zest to a large bowl, and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. Tip: This helps to release more essential oils from the zest, and it will make your cookies even more lemony and aromatic.
Add the melted butter, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla, and whisk well until combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt, and add them to the wet ingredients.
Mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until you get a smooth, batter-like cookie dough.Tip: At this stage, the cookie dough will really be more like a batter – it will be very loose, soft and sticky, bordering on runny. That's how it should be. Don't add more flour!
Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours before proceeding to the next step. You can also keep it in the fridge overnight if you want to bake the cookies the next day.Tip: In addition to firming up the cookie dough into something you can actually handle and shape into balls, chilling also ensures that the cookies won’t melt into puddles during baking.
Assembling & baking the cookies:
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line two large baking sheets with parchment/baking paper.Tip: You will bake the cookies in two batches, so you can line two baking sheets if you have them on hand. Otherwise, just re-use the same baking sheet, but make sure to cool it completely before you place the next batch of unbaked cookies onto it.
Use a 2-tablespoon cookie or ice cream scoop to scoop out a portion of the cookie dough. Drop it directly into a bowl of powdered/icing sugar and roll it around until it’s evenly coated. The sugar coating will allow you to handle the cookie dough without it sticking, so you can roll it between your palms to form a perfectly round ball.Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough, you should get 16 cookies in total.
Place the sugar-coated cookie dough balls onto the lined baking sheets, with plenty of space between them, about 8 per baking sheet (as the cookies will spread during baking).
Use a ½-tablespoon measuring spoon to make an indent in the centre of each cookie dough ball (make sure that you press only halfway through each cookie dough ball, not all the way through).
Fill the cookies with about 1 (generous) teaspoon of lemon curd.
Bake one baking sheet at a time at 350ºF (180ºC) for 9-12 minutes or until the cookies have spread and cracked around the edges and the lemon curd centre is slightly puffed up but NOT visibly bubbling (this will ensure that it stays beautifully smooth and creamy).While the first batch of cookies is baking, keep the second baking sheet with the cookies in the fridge until needed.
The cookies will be very soft and delicate immediately out of the oven. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
These lemon curd cookies are amazing both warm and at room temperature, but I find them to be at their very best when they're chilled from the fridge.
The gluten free lemon curd cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for up to about 1 week.
You might have some lemon curd left over – you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about 10 days.
1 houractive time
3 hours 25 minutestotal time